As states and cities begin to reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, you as a dentist, along with your office manager, are likely determining the best plan of action to welcome back your staff and patients in such a way that is safe and efficient. Or, perhaps you’re considering closing again as cases rise in the U.S. and want to take this time to develop a better plan for the future. Look no further–here is our COVID-19 reopening action plan.
A Safe and Welcoming Waiting Area
Your dentist office’s waiting area needs to be welcoming and comfortable, especially with the shift caused by COVID. You must ensure that you’re regularly sanitizing your entire practice without disrupting your patients. We recommend the following:
- Take patient temperature upon arrival
- Have patients fill out any necessary paperwork prior to arrival
- Install a plexiglass system to serve as boundaries between your staff and your patients
- Only allow a few people in at a time so your waiting room is never at full capacity. This helps enforce social distancing.
- Remove childrens' toys, books, and magazines from circulation
- Sanitize and disinfect chairs, tables, and other frequently touched surfaces
Implementing Technology For Smoother Check-In and Patient Visits
Part of being a modern dentist with a modern practice has to do with implementing certain technologies that improve the overall patient experience and the team’s efficiency. Here are some ideas that may help as you reopen your dental practice for braces appointments, cleanings, and other treatments.
Dental Practice Management Software
If before the pandemic your team was having a hard time remaining efficient and organized with record-keeping and billing, then reopening in our current conditions may only make it more challenging.
This is the perfect time to invest in a management software that allows you to digitize all patient documents and every process your team follows to run the practice. Doing so will help make your team all the more efficient.
We have to rethink how we welcome and treat patients while practicing social distancing. We recommend setting up the following:
- A mobile check-in system so hygienists know when patients are ready, ensuring patients can go straight to the dental chair when called upon and spend less time in the waiting room
- Download OrthoPhoto App if you treat patients with dental braces. OrthoPhoto speeds up the process of taking your patient’s clinical images and braces progress photos so they don’t need to stay any longer than they should. The app also automatically sorts through the photos and places them in a predetermined template that then goes to the patient’s file. This reduces the time you spend after-hours on dental photography work so that you can, instead, focus on sanitizing and disinfecting at the end of the day.
Most of All: Remain Patient and Take Precautions
Although it’s good that we are able to reopen our practices, we aren’t out of the woods yet. As you prepare to reopen, continue to enforce social distancing and download the necessary technology, whether it be OrthoPhoto for braces progress photos or practice management software. We will soon adjust to this new way of operating, which will ultimately make our staff and patients feel safer for it.