Dealing with Your Patients COVID-19 Fears
There are two parts to this Newsletter and both are key elements to restarting your practice in the most positive way possible during these unique and challenging times.
The first is to show you how you can best protect yourself, your staff, and your patients from exposure to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) once you open your office again. The second is to utilize these protective protocols as a marketing tool to promote your practice and let you stand out from the competition.
When the coronavirus (CV) restrictions have been lifted people will begin to return to their lives prior to the pandemic. During this period the competition for patients will be even more intense and generating new patients (and bringing existing patients back) will never be more important.
But, even when the risk of contracting CV is reduced, people will still retain a great deal of fear and anxiety. The best way to deal with their fears is to let them know your office will, as much as possible, protect them from exposure to the coronavirus.
Once implemented these protocols will simply become a part of your normal practice. I also believe they should be used even after the pandemic has abated. Doing so will minimize the transmission of other contagious viruses and bacteria; including flu, colds, hepatitis, etc. At the end of this Segment of the Newsletter I'll explain the COVID-19 Patient Protection Protocol Handout and how you can get access to it to use in your practice and on your website.
Note: Taking these protective steps is not difficult, complicated, or costly. In effect, doing so will be similar, and significantly less expensive, to the protocols you use to protect your patients from unnecessary and excessive exposure to mercury vapor.
Goals & Steps
Following my suggestions will accomplish three important goals:
Steps Necessary to Accomplish These Goals
You will be able to accomplish these goals by:
Step One of the Process: For the Office & Staff
The first part of this process is to maximize your ability to minimize exposure to the coronavirus within your office. (These can be modified by you to fit your practice.)
At the end of the day all surfaces that patients or staff have had contact with will be sterilized by wiping with alcohol. This would include restrooms, all counters, chairs, reading material, etc. You want to make sure you have a sterile office to start the next day.
Step Two of the Process: For the Patient
It is just as important to protect the dentist, and staff, from exposure to the coronavirus that a patient could bring to the office. To accomplish this, the staff will employ the necessary protocols to protect the dentist and staff from the patient while in the office. Once the patient has sterilized his/her hands and has put on a mask, the patient will then be able to touch any surface and the team will know that any exposure to the virus has been significantly minimized, or removed.
Protocols for the Patient
Please don't think you are overdoing the protection protocols, or that they may not be necessary. Taking these steps will make a significant impact on those patients who are still fearful of contracting the virus and will make a difference. It is this difference that will generate word-of-mouth promotion - the very best kind!
Patient Handout: Explanation
Each new patient will be given a COVID-19 Safety Protocol Handout when entering the office - if it hasn't been emailed. (I also recommend that each existing patient be mailed/emailed a copy of the Safety Protocol.) Doing so will allow you to actively market your new safety protocol to existing/new patients, encouraging their return to your practice.
The front desk staff could also get the email addresses of all new patients and email the handout so they too will know what you are doing to protect them before they come to the office. This also encourages word of mouth promotion by both existing and new patients. You can't expect them to know the steps you are taking unless you tell them.
Note: If you decide to put this and other information on your website your front office person could refer patients to it. We will send you a Word Document copy of the Patient Handout upon request and you can customize it to fit your practice. ***Susan's Contact Information is found below.
Marketing & Promoting a Mercury Safe Practice
Mercury Safe Dentist Directory Listing
Add Covid-19 Content to Your Website