WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU CAN’T DO DENTISTRY
These are interesting and difficult times. Though you are all dealing with matters concerning your practice and office personnel, and you are still seeing emergencies, you probably have some unexpected time on your hands. Here are some ideas on how to spend that time…
1) See if it makes sense to refinance your business and personal loans. Interest rates may never be this low again.
2) If you haven’t done it yet, apply for unemployment, apply for the Paycheck Protection Plan, and apply for the SBA Covid-19 disaster loans (if needed).
3) If you don’t have one, apply for a line of credit so that you have access to additional funds should you need them.
4) Inform your patients that your office is not closed. You are currently limiting your practice to emergency dentistry as required by Gov. Whitmer’s order, and highly urged by the MDA and ADA.
5) Put on your social media platform a personal video where you are stating your concern for society in general, your team, and your patient families. Give clear instructions to patients on how they can contact you if need be.
6) Learn how to hold meetings online (check out www.zoom.com and Zoom for Telehealth) Check out group messaging (www.slack.com). Even after this crises is resolved, you will very likely continue to use these platforms.
7) Consult with your patients (who are having dental problems or have dental questions) via Zoom for Telehealth, or a similar venue. You can also FaceTime with them. You can diagnose problems, and possibly also avoid some emergency office visits that may not be required. You can bill for this when appropriate. Strongly consider continuing this even when things return to a more normal situation.
8) Meet with staff weekly via Zoom Video Conferencing, or a similar venue. Remind them that all practices are going through a similar situation, and assure them that your practice will survive and thrive. Remind them that patients will need them more than ever when the crises subsides. The backlog of dental work will be considerable. There will likely be extended office hours when you open again, for which they will be paid for overtime. Their jobs are safe, and things will be OK again.
9) Take online CE, and make your staff aware of its availability. CE vendors such as Parkell, My Social Practice, Garrison Dental, and many others are offering CE at no charge.
10) Stay updated with your practice’s social media content.
11) Check out LocalMed. New patients can find your practice via social media and book themselves an appointment (when the time comes). You can also send them appropriate forms to fill out via this venue.12) Take inventory of your practice office supplies. Also, for insurance purposes, take an inventory of items you have at home. Get rid of, or donate, what you don’t need. Take pictures for insurance purposes.
13) Shop around for better insurance rates; health, practice, auto, home, life. This is another item you usually don’t have time to attend to.
14) Get a jump on your spring yard work. You are normally just trying to squeeze this in to your tight schedule. This is also quite therapeutic.
15) Get going on an in-house exercise program.
16) Clean and re-organize your at-home office.
To all of our dental colleagues…stay safe and stay positive. The world, and your practices, WILL return to normal. Or a slightly altered normal. They always have, and they always will.
Copyright 2020, Kim Sena DDS, Erick Rupprecht DDS