Lockdown during COVID-19 has presented a huge number of challenges for dentists. But there is always light in the dark and there are also opportunities to be found.
While we know you would much rather be treating patients right now, during this time while you can’t there is time to catch up on all those things you don’t normally have chance to do. And, there are positive steps you can take to make sure that when the lockdown lifts you will be in the best position possible.
Below are eight things you can be doing now to make sure you are ready for reopening:
- Use your time wisely… remember the olden pre-COVID-19 days when we were all really busy? Well, the chances are that we’re going to be even busier as the world begins to get back to normal! Why not spend some of your downtime making use of the Medenta eLearning portal? This can be accessed online and provides the opportunity to not only get prepared and refresh your knowledge prior to reopening but also bank some free CPD in the process.
- Update your website… your website will often be the first point of contact for new and existing patients. Now is a great time to make sure it’s up to date and to include a nod to patient finance for any prospective patients. Did you know Medenta can provide you with all the information you need to provide a compliant message to patients? Just speak to a member of the Medenta team who will be able to help you.
- Audit your treatment plans… with dentistry coming to an abrupt halt a few weeks ago many pending treatment plans will still be sat on your patient management system (PMS) with the potential to convert these patients as we move into our new normal. Have you assessed the potential? Do you have a priority list of patients to contact? What does your follow-up process look like in order to maximise the low hanging fruit within your existing patient base?
- Emergency appointments… it’s likely that emergency care and getting patients out of pain will be the first phase of our return to normality. Now’s the time to start thinking about how this will be managed within your practice. While we will have to work to guidelines yet to be released, it’s important to consider how you will structure your provision of emergency car. It’s worth considering:
- How will you prioritise patients?
- How many extra sessions will you be able to facilitate?
- What capacity will you have to offer pain or emergency appointments to those patients unable to access care elsewhere? This potential influx of patients could present a valuable source of new patients eternally grateful to have been gotten out of pain!
- Marketing activity… when the world sneaks back to life it will probably look very different and there is no doubt there will be some patients whose priorities have changed completely. However, as with any storm there’s normally a rainbow at the end of it and there will be a huge wealth of opportunity too if we look in the right place.Now is a good time to revisit your marketing strategy. Identify your key target market, consider the messages you will put out and what the most appropriate medium is for each of these. If any of your marketing activity is about patient finance you will need to follow the rules on financial promotions – head to the Medenta eLearning module on designing compliant marketing material for further details.
- Check your stock levels… while it’s impossible to know exactly what will be required in terms of stock on the other side of lockdown, now is a good time to take a look at your inventory. Key areas to consider include:
- Implant materials – will delayed treatments lead to an increase in required extractions resulting in an increased demand for implants?
- Glass ionomer/temporary filling material – might you need to increase stocks in advance of being able to provide permanent restorations?
- Cement – how many patients might need crowns re-cementing?
- Are you ortho-ready?… many potential orthodontic patients have been sitting in lockdown not spending their money (unless like me they’ve been lulled into the false sense of security presented by online shopping!).They haven’t been going on holidays, they haven’t been going out for meals, they haven’t been buying clothes but their desire to straighten their teeth is unlikely to have diminished (priorities allowing). Now might be the time to get your practice ready to tap into this lucrative market and maximise your potential to convert as many patients into treatment as possible.
- Is your finance offering fit-for-purpose?… as we emerge into our new reality it is inevitable that our habits as consumers will have changed. If your practice currently offers just six and ten-months interest-free credit, is now the time to consider your wider options?
We may see an upturn in patients wishing to access extended terms in order to lower the monthly payment applicable, this would mean practices require authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority. With an online application required, is now the right time to complete this task while the pressures of everyday practice are lessened? For guidance on FCA applications please speak to a member of the Medenta team.
If you’d like to speak to a member of Medenta call: 01691 684175 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.