A short Guide for getting your Dental Practice back on its Feet
Dealing with the aftermath of the Coronavirus is not easy and just about every dental practice across the world suffered disruption to work. Here are five steps that can help you get you get going again, create a team that is more unified and productive, improve communication and to your customers and put their mind at ease to facilitate quicker return to normal, and reach out to new patients.
Create a Plan and a Schedule
Your plan should include preparation and delivery of communications with both patients and employees (more on that below), a supply checklist, schedule for restocking and procedures for the protection of patients and employees from Coronavirus.
It is advisable to build an action plan according to deliverables, deadlines, and the person responsible for each deliverable.
If you did not have weekly meetings with your staff until today – now is the time to start. Each meeting should be used to go over the plan and see if it is progressing according to schedule, that everyone is doing what they are supposed to, and what challenges, if any, need to address.
Just like you, your employees also need to change their mindset to be more attuned to the practice of financial and operational goals. Providing weekly quantifiable targets for each one is the best way to go about it. For example, the number of patient calls, the increase in the number of active patients, and the increase in the number of collections and reimbursements.
Create Protocols for preparing the Practice for Screening, Greeting and treating patients
Use the guidelines found in the websites of your professional associations to create a protocol for greeting and treating patients. Post the guidelines around the office and be sure to regularly communicate these protocols to your team as well as to your patients, in order to assure them that you are doing whatever is required to keep them safe.
Create a Patient Communication Plan
Your customers(patients) will not come back unless they know they can. It is vital to let them know that you are open for business (aligned with your state guidelines) and that you are taking every precaution to keep them fully protected – screening, protecting, disinfecting, etc.
Specify new procedures/equipment implemented in the practice to protect your patients, keep assuring them the practice is safe, and showcase your renewed work.
Once is not enough. Be sure to repeat this message weekly, and every time there are updates in local and national regulations and guidelines. Also, don’t forget to address different age groups, even if the enhanced precaution procedures may be the same.
Inform your patients of whether you are taking in only certain patients, what type procedures are you performing, who should come in sooner and who can wait, and if you are offering any special payment plans for patients who have been furloughed.
When communicating with patients via email, social media, and your website, you can link to professional websites of your local dental associations, so your patients know you are relying on your country’s regulations and on sound medical advice.
Be attuned to your Financial Situation
Your plan should include milestones in growing your business back to its former capacity, and to increase it in order to make up for the loss incurred in recent months. Set the pace with the help of your accountant, considering your patient base
It is advisable to look at your Profit and Loss statement every week, and with the help of your accountant try to adjust your payables and receivables so your revenue grows at the pace that you envisaged.
Be sure to take advantage of the new payment plans and pricing programs offered by Noris Medical. Our new plans are aimed at helping your practice get on its feet as soon as possible.
In addition, ask your accountant to find out if you are eligible for any government assistance programs for small businesses or programs for subsiding workers. These programs could help you balance your books and retain your employees so you can go back to full capacity as soon as possible.
Create a Contingency Plan
We don’t know if and when Coronavirus will strike again, so it’s wise to develop a contingency plan with your accountant: work out how much liquidity is needed to support a two-month shutdown and add it to your financial growth plan.