Planning your practice reopening and business bounce back strategy

Henry Schein explains it’s bounce back strategy for dental practices, as businesses start looking at reopening after COVID-19.

As we wait for the announcement that dental practices may reopen, there is much for practice owners to consider. Not least what the ‘new’ is going to look like. And what factors you need to consider to be able to reopen your doors safely.

It’s important to be ahead of the curve. Have a strategy that will allow your business to bounce back and start to recover lost profits. So we at Henry Schein Dental have pooled all our services, ideas and resources to produce a Business Bounceback checklist. This will give you all the information you need in one place. It will also allow you to find out what’s happening in other countries where dentists have already reopened and to see how they are managing in this situation. It will help you to prepare the implementation of some of the new workflows and practices. Changes you can make to your waiting room and surgeries and also how to prepare for contactless arrivals and departures. With links to official back to work protocols and a SOP for urgent dental care centres, it will help all DHCPs to plan for the post-COVID-19 world.

Infection control

We have tried to address many of the concerns that have been raised around infection control and aerosol generating procedures. And how you can incorporate safety measures into your practice and your workflow. This includes information on pre-screening your team and patients with useful downloadable checklists, equipment considerations such as wipe clean keyboards, seamless chairs and stools, air purification systems, intraoral and extraoral high-volume evacuation equipment, use of rubber dam, mouthwashes, sterilisation and disinfection services. There is also a section on the official PPE recommendations, fit testing and masks.

Are you prepared for contactless arrivals and departures? The fewer physical touch points there are in your practice, the less risk there is of transmission. Sending forms direct to patients’ mobile devices prior to the appointment and encouraging self-check-in via a QR code and kiosk in reception, combined with contactless payment options on departure, all help to minimise risk. Treatment plans can be emailed in advance having discussed them with the patient, so by the time they come in, you know exactly what they’re coming in for. Access to these services is free of charge from Software of Excellence until the 1 of September. Register your interest here.

Bounce back review

Software of Excellence will further support your bounce back planning. It is offering Exact customers a complimentary bounce back review. The aim is to help you and your practice team create a plan to recuperate lost earnings, and to ensure that you return to a full diary in the safest possible way. During the call, you will consider both risk and fear and how you can navigate them. In this way, you, your team and your patients will be comfortable returning to the practice when you reopen it. The calls take a maximum of one hour, at a time of your choice. Your bespoke action plan will cover:

  • The financial impact
  • The contactless experience
  • Patient communications
  • Team engagement.

To book your free consultation just click here.

And if you’re looking for more detailed financial advice and longer-term support to manage your cashflow and your bottom line, Mediestates has a variety of webinars with management accountant and dental business coach Andy McDougall from Spoton Business Planning. With details of a mentoring programme to create a bespoke business recovery plan for your practice, help you consolidate your decisions and also transform your financial results. See him in action with a series of informative webinars covering business survival and business revival. Click here to view.

Managing appointments

Diary management and appointment planning will form the backbone of your back-to-work protocol. So think about your diary zoning plans and sessions. Which patients do you want to come first thing, last thing and in between? Will you be using two surgeries? Can you limit one surgery – even for part of each day – to AGPs?

Manage your appointment planning for reopening by calling and prioritising your patients. You probably won’t want to simply rebook patients that have missed appointments during lockdown (or indeed start your recalls). Your days will be very different: you are consequently likely to see far fewer patients initially. Each will take much longer with new pre-screening, decontamination and hygiene measures.

Your aim should be to reopen in a structured way. So think about timings for clinics, vulnerable patients, finance plan patients, AGP treatments, hygiene appointments – and visit our Business Bounceback checklist to find out more about how you can do this.

Ensuring you manage your practice staffing levels against your appointment book will be one of the key challenges facing practices after lockdown. With salaries to pay and income streams diminished, making the right decisions at the right time will be crucial.

Virtual consultations

There is a helpful section on teledentistry to help you manage, plan and run virtual consultations with your patients. This could provide an important new revenue stream if you want to charge for whitening or aligner consultations for example. It will also keep your patients safe and allow them to benefit from AAA without having to risk a visit to the surgery. Find information on:

  • How to set up an NHS email account
  • Applications of teledentistry
  • How to launch virtual consultations to your patients
  • Risk assessments
  • Framework for claims
  • Triage guidance.

And don’t forget your equipment. We have created some Youtube recommissioning playlists to help you with this and to show what needs to be done to recommission your equipment and get it working again before opening. Our service team will be on standby should you need further assistance with this.

There is so much to think about and to organise. So we are sure that our checklist will help you with your planning and allow you to formulate a successful strategy.

Bounceback Virtual Dental Festival

Please also join Software of Excellences’s two-day Bounceback Virtual Dental Festival on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27. SOE has teamed up with experts from various fields across the dental industry to share their perspective of what the world post-COVID will look like; and help you plan for coming out of lockdown. Through a series of bite-sized webinars there will be proactive training, scenario planning and sharing of collated advice and understanding across the areas of patient communications, business and financials, team and HR, the new contactless patient journey, marketing, mental health and more. The sessions will be interactive with an opportunity to share your own experiences and ask questions, along with the chance to join an expert panel for a drink and Q&A at the end of the day on Tuesday.

Click here for more information and to book.

Now is the time to lead the way together in the dental industry, to prepare and be ready to bounce back as we move towards our ‘new normal’.

In the words of Stan Bergman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Henry Schein, Inc: ‘At Henry Schein, we have no doubt that the demand for dental and office-based medical services will rebound once the coronavirus passes. Henry Schein intends to be there for you on that day and all the days leading up to the full resumption of care, now and in the future. We ask you to rely on us, and we are committed to living up to that promise during this pandemic. Thank you again for relying on Henry Schein.’

Click here to view Stan’s full message to our valued customers.

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