Right now, in the U.S. alone, 90 percent of Americans are under a stay-at-home order, all but 12 states, which means effectively placing handcuffs on actively practicing non-emergency dentistry due to COVID-19.
Every office is different, and the goal of this article is to brainstorm some options to help our clients stay productive and bring in revenue, while adhering to your state or province orders. There are many things your staff can do during this unexpected downtime to help ensure you have some income heading your way. Additionally, if you find you need financial help until this clears out, you can take advantage of the Small Business CARES Act or the Canadian Government disaster assistance.
There are various degrees of shutdown and regulation enforcement depending on the state. The following are some of the different situations that dental offices have encountered during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- No ban on any dental services
- No services allowed that are deemed elective, such as whitening or cosmetic procedures
- No procedures allowed besides emergencies (root canals and extractions allowed)
- No procedures allowed at all that require a mask and gloves to be worn. Additionally, all emergencies must be referred to a specialist (and some states are asking for dental office supply surplus)
- Stay-at-home order (don’t go to your dental office to work)
The impact on the dental field these various orders will have is tremendous, but there are still opportunities for you to bring in some income during this time.
Here are some ideas for projects to give your team (not all of these will apply to you depending on your restrictions):
- Go through OSHA guidelines and update your office as needed.
- Take inventory on supplies, or even put an inventory system in place.
- Do some much-needed software training or software updates and maintenance.
- Do computer upgrades and maintenance to get up to spec.
- Get carpet, tile, or other areas of your practice deep cleaned.
- Go digital or go paperless!
DentiMax offers the DentiMax Document Center for creating, storing, e-signing documents, and the Online Kiosk for new patient registration via smartphone, or anywhere the patient has internet. Your staff now has plenty of time to scan old files into your system with these tools.
You can also implement digital imaging during this time if you are still using film! If you are unsure about making the switch, DentiMax has a totally free 2 week trial of our award-winning Dream Sensor, and we will set you up with imaging software, dial in your images to your preference, and train you on using the tools before you even spend a dollar!
Implement teledentistry, curbside check-in and wellness forms, and work with your patients remotely.There are several options on the market, some of which are included in a communications system. Give a call to our practice management sales department at 1-800-704-8494 and we will be happy to discuss the various options with you.
Work your recall system. Reschedule hygiene appointments and other procedures for appointments to ensure you have patients on the schedule as soon as the ban is lifted.
Follow up on insurance aging and outstanding or unpaid claims. Most insurance companies are still open and operating. Following up on these claims is a great way to get some cash flow coming in even though you are not seeing patients. Check out our latest tools which will centralize all your claim data in one place, such as the Insurance Aging Drill Down Screen.
Implement a communication strategy and system with your patients. Patients need to know when they can start coming back in. Here are some great options to explore: How to power your dental office with these communication tools.
These communication options will not only alert patients to the fact that you are still there to help them, but when your practice re-opens, you will want to shout it from the rooftops, and you will not want to have to call patients one by one, trust me. Knock out your recall, past due, treatment scheduling, notifications, and newsletters with a communications option.
Get a demo of new solutions you haven’t had the time to look into, like integrated credit card processing, electronic attachments, e-prescribing, and more.
What DentiMax is doing to help
The U.S. Small Business Administration is helping with Assistance in response to COVID-19. In addition, if you need to discuss your account, you can do so by reaching out to our accounting department at [email protected].
We will be offering a variety of free online webinars on various parts of the software, products, and services that your practice may want or need. They will cover both introductory knowledge or additional advanced training.
Our DentiMax team will also be maintaining normal office hours so we can continue to be available for your training questions, support, or if you need to add new services or products. You can reach us at 1-800-704-8494- Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.
Remember, this will not be forever, and your patients will need you when things return to “normal". You will want your schedule full, your team sharp, and your systems equipped to handle what you need. Please let us know how we can help.