States are opening for business, and dentists who haven’t done the work necessary to successfully open their practices in “World 2.0” will miss many new patient opportunities.
You might be counting on “pent up demand” to fill your chairs. If you’ve been following Colin Receveur’s weekly “Survive & THRIVE” webinars, you already know that pent up demand may be a short “bang” followed by a whimper. We even have a free report that lays out the case why this is likely to happen.
All the factors that are present now – continued infections of the Covid-19 virus, rising death tolls, and huge uncertainty – are still in play.
Your patients and future patients will be reluctant, if not downright scared, to return to your practice. You can overcome that reluctance if you successfully and frequently communicate all of the Patient Safety & Security measures you’ve put into place to safeguard them (and by extension, their families and friends) while they’re in your practice.
Getting Your Practice Ready
Dentistry can produce large numbers of particles and aerosols that can spread the virus. The risk of transmission is two-fold; directly from the patient to your staff, and indirectly to the patients through inhaling contaminated room air.
In the April 22nd webinar, Colin presented a number of innovative solutions to maximize patient and staff safety – “no touch” thermometers, mask decontamination/sterilization units, whole-building air purification options, and an aerosol vac station to capture aerosol particles at the chair. There’s even a handy guide to the various types of masks that are best for dental practices.
There are a number of other risk mitigation strategies, including remote check-in; patients remaining in their vehicles until notified via text or email to enter the practice; patients only in the practice unless they require the presence of a family member; removing all extraneous items from waiting rooms; and spacing out appointments to allow for room decontamination and to minimize the possibility of “hallway encounters.”
If you have all these measures, or comparable ones, in place, your practice is ready to reopen. But you have to communicate all these measures to your patients and prospects if you expect them to return. We’re told that Covid-19 will likely be in play for 12-18 months or even longer. Patients will flock to the practices that give them the greatest reassurance that they won’t be exposed to the virus during their visit.
It’s a question of degrees; there is no absolute safety. But by doing everything possible to mitigate risk, and informing your patients of the steps you’ve taken, you have the greatest chance of keeping your chairs as filled as safety allows even after the “pent up demand” fizzles out.
It’s Time, And Past Time
If you plan to reopen your practice – and you likely do, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog – the time to act is now. Any of your competitors who have already taken the steps outlined above are ahead of you. And you can’t count on patient loyalty to trump the impact of potentially serious illness.
Since this situation is fluid, to say the least, you’ll also need to stay up on the latest information and strategies to deal with this pandemic. You can register for Colin’s webinar at smartboxdental.com/covid-19-update if you haven’t already.
You probably won’t succeed if you’re behind the power curve in your market. You will succeed if you catch up, and fast.
SmartBox employs the best minds in dentistry to help you grow your practice. Our Practice Growth System™ is proven to help dentists in every market area across the country achieve predictable year-over-year growth.