ADA Return to Work Toolkit
As many dental practices and DSOs prepare to reopen, there are resources available to support a successful launch.
The American Dental Association has recently published a Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit for dental offices and it is an excellent resource for both private practices, as well as DSOs supporting multiple locations.
The Toolkit includes:
- Sample letter to patients
- Guidance on pre-appointment screening
- In-office patient registration procedures
- Reception area preparation strategies
- Chairside checklist
- Staff protection strategies
- Supplies shopping list
Additional best practices for reopening your locations include:
Team Preparation: Conducting a few pre-opening meetings with your returning team is a great idea to prepare them for the coming weeks. Ideas for topics include PPE and sterilization expectations, Patient Communication, Team safety and any new protocols such as patient screening or aerosol control.
Patient Communication: Communicating with your patients in advance regarding your precautions and procedures will greatly improve the chance of patients feeling comfortable in your practice. Share with them your infection control processes, patient and staff screening plans and how you may have adjusted your patient volume or reception area to ensure a healthy environment. The sample letter provided by the ADA is a great start, but also train your team on how to handle patients over the phone and reassure them regarding their appointments. Ensure the team understands your guidelines and procedures if the screening results indicate a patient is not safe to treat and how to communicate that appropriately.
Revisit and Restructure your Budget: Calculating your lost Production and Collections and then evaluating your next 8 months targets will help you better plan for your Revenue and Profitability outcomes for the year. In the weeks after opening, establishing brief weekly team meetings will help ease any concerns from the team and can act as brainstorming sessions on the strategy to ramp up production together based on your new goals.
Improve Efficiencies: There are many ways to limit patient and team exposure while ensuring necessary processes are completed. Utilizing a tool like the Jarvis Front Office Module to review account balances, ensure current insurance information is attached and that scheduling needs are identified in advance is a great way to prepare for patients before they are in your office. Being prepared allows your front office team to conduct screening questions, collect patient copays and schedule follow up visits over the phone prior to the appointment to ensure a speedy and touch free check in and check out.