It looks like dental practices will be part of the Phase 1 reopening of the economy, which is fantastic news.
There’s going to be a pent-up demand for dentistry, mixed with a little trepidation. That’s why dentists need to have a 100-day plan, said John Meis, DDS.
Dr. Meis is an international speaker, two-time Amazon best-selling author, and a dental consultant. He’s been a highly-productive practicing dentist, built a large group practice, and served as president of one of the 20 largest DSOs in the country. He leads two consulting firms. Spark Dental Network helps small-to-medium-sized dental groups create sustainable growth. The Team Training Institute helps practices improve productivity, profitability, and peace of mind.
In this video, he talked to Patient Prism CEO Amol Nirgudkar about the guidance he’s providing to dentists across the country. Dr. Meis’ checklist for the 100-Day Plan is available at www.patientprismgift.com.
Hiring Back Dental Team Members
The first part of the 100-Day Plan is staffing. Will you need to hire everybody back, or will there be a phased employment plan based on patient demand?
If you don’t already have somebody answering your phone and filling your schedule, now is the time to get started.
As you’re going through your reopening checklist, make sure you’re communicating with all the members of your team so they understand the decision matrix you’re using, and their role within the reopening process.
Plan for the New Normal in Dental Practices
Things are going to be different. Now is the time to determine what PPE and social distancing protocols you need to enact. Will you require everyone in your office to wear masks, even members of the non-clinical team? Will you execute even more stringent disinfectant policies than the universal precautions require? Will you have patients wait in their cars until you’re ready to bring them in to an operatory?
Things will be different for your patients, too. Many of them will have lost their dental benefits during this time. Others will have lost income and may be more concerned than ever about how to pay for the treatment they need.
“About 80% of the country is financially about the same, but 20% is really struggling,” said Dr. Meis. “So we have to be sensitive. We have to be better listeners. We have to ask better questions in order to understand where our patients are. So that’s one of the things that people can do to prepare is discuss how are we going to talk about finances with people when some people are just fine and other people are struggling?”
Communicate with your Patients
In order to reopen, you’re going to need patients.
In the video, Dr. Meis outlines some very effective ways that dentists are communicating with their patients.
The important messages to include are:
- Anticipated open date
- Describe the universal precautions you take to keep them safe
- Describe what may be different
- Include that you and your team can’t wait to see them again
Develop Marketing and Operations Checklists
As part of your 100-Day Plan, dentists will want to factor in marketing to attract new patients and operational benchmarks. How will you measure success? How will you gather feedback from your team and from your patients on what is working and what could be tweaked?
People feel better when they have a plan. It’s ok if the information changes based on new guidelines from your state. The important thing is to be communicating with your patients and your team so everyone knows the goal and how you plan to get there.
Dentists have a lot of free resources available to them including webinars, Facebook support groups and peer groups. Three times a week, Dr. Meis and his partners co-host Facebook live events on the Team Training Institute’s Facebook page.
Dr. Meis is also making his newest book available for free. It’s called “The Ultimate Guide to Doubling or Tripling Your Practice Production” and is available at www.DrJohnsFreeBook.com.
Patient Prism has made its library of hundreds of interviews with dental industry leaders, training resources, and COVID-19 resources free for 90 days. Visit Academy.PatientPrism.com to gain access.