Road to Recovery: Strategies for Reopening Your Practice
Posted July 16, 2020 by Beth
Patient health has always been your primary goal. As you reopen your dental practice for nonemergency procedures, you are likely to expand safety precautions for your staff and yourself. The American Dental Association (ADA) has issued useful guidelines to consider when reopening your practice. Along with these critical clinical and procedural guidelines for public health, you may also benefit from strategies to prioritize your practice’s operational health. XLDent would like to offer a few essential tips for reopening and remind you that we are here to support you. Your satisfaction continues to be our priority.
Clinical Charting Considerations
Due to the delays in routine care that patients endured during COVID quarantining, the need for professional maintenance in dental care may be higher than during a more typical season. Patients may have also had less self-maintenance and be more prone to increased bruxism due to increased stress during the challenges of last spring.
Electronic Dental Record systems that provide paperless charting like XLDent can be a valuable part of your reopening workflow. They allow you to customize your workflow and digitize your forms without any paper. XLDent’s “Ink on Chart” tool enables you to make quick notes, educate your patient, and engage them in their dental health without any extra tools or contamination points.
Preparing your Dental Practice
Given our current knowledge of the transmission of Coronavirus, dentists are likely to reassess and optimize their use of Personal Protection Equipment, especially where the risk of airborne droplet transmission becomes the most extreme. The ADA has recommended that you consider having all of your staff complete OSHA Infection Control Training. The ADA has also suggested that practices provide multiple hand-sanitizing stations in the waiting area and consistently clean and restock bathrooms with soap and paper towels. Supporting hygiene for employees and patients is a crucial element to the ADA’s advice for reopening practices.
Maintaining reliable communication can be a challenge for the reopening dental office. Many practices will have a dispersed team, with some of the staff onsite and others working from home. Investments in tools like XLDent Interoffice Communication pay for themselves as they simplify instant messaging. For example, XLDent Interoffice Communication allows you to easily send messages to specific people, groups of people, or even each member of your staff. Efficient dental office communication will help you keep in touch even when social distancing is a part of your reopening strategy. XLNotify is compatible with all Dental Practice Management systems, and you do not need to do an entire implementation of XLDent to get started using this tool as part of your safety protocols.
No matter what policies and procedures your practice has decided upon, keeping patients informed means providing consistent messaging in all your communications. For example, the sign on the door should match the office hold message. The Coronavirus procedures on your website should match the messaging on your social media accounts.
Tools like XLDent’s Secure Mail allow you to keep in touch with patients using a simple to install, HIPAA-compliant solution that secures sensitive patient information. SecureMail is a cost-effective, cloud-based subscription service. This service is available to any practice, regardless of the dental practice management system that they choose to use.
Another strategy for patient communication and engagement are patient portals like XLPortal from XLDent. This web-based solution allows you to conveniently build relationships and improve your efficiency when patient demand for online tools is high. XLPortal is directly integrated with your XLDent dental practice management system to provide your patients with electronic dental record information in real-time.
XLDent’s Continued Commitment
At XLDent, our mission to enhance the standard of patient care for improved patient outcomes remains steadfast during this trying time. We continue to design all of our products and eSolutions around the customizable workflows dentists need, even as those challenges change. Our efficient mobile and tablet friendly solutions will continue to cater to the patient/doctor experience. We will always provide seamless integration, training, and staff education to make your practice the most profitable and successful that it can be.