Part 2: 6 Things To Consider Before Reopening Your Dental Practice

As dentists prepare to reopen their practice, there’s going to be challenges. One thing you can control is how you plan to run your schedule. This post is a continuation from last week. If you missed tips 1-3 you can catch them here.

 I have outlined 6 things that we can plan for now to help with re-opening our offices.   

#4. My next suggestion is to condense days.  In reality, I don’t think we’re going to open up at 100% capacity and there’s nothing more stressful than getting back to work and then having three hours in the middle of the day with no patients on the schedule. I would suggest if we don’t feel like we’re going to open up at 100% capacity, maybe consider things like working five hours a day instead of eight or maybe working three days to start instead of four. Another option would be doing a split shift – have half the team work in the morning and another half of the team work in the afternoon. That way, when we go back to work, our team members who still have kids at home or still have things they have to deal with have options. As we start to reopen and ramp back up, consider being creative with the schedule right now to help accommodate not only our team members but also our patients who also have kids at home and other things they need to handle as well.

#5Next, we want to discuss all the scenarios of what could happen and make a plan. We want to think about issues we may have right now, as well as, have we thought about if this happens? Have we planned for that? This is a great way to work with your team – get together and ask yourselves, what are all of the things we can think of that might happen. Every office is different than the next or might be in a different state and have different laws they need to abide by. We need to talk about all the scenarios for our office and then plan how we’re going to handle that when we open back up.

#6. Lastly, I would go ahead and start discussing the rest of the year. Let’s start thinking – we have seven months, potentially, to make up for the two or three months that we lost.  How is that going to look for the rest of the year? We know we’re going to get busy hopefully at the end of the year with patients wanting to use their insurance, especially now that we have a lot of patients who didn’t use their insurance at all yet.  For example, if you typically take a week off between Christmas and New Year, are you still going to do that? Are you still going to take the Wednesday before Thanksgiving?  Are we going to stay closed on Fridays? When it gets to the end of the year are we going to open on Fridays? Are we going to consider Saturdays potentially?  Let’s start thinking about this now so that when this gets rolling we have already planned for the rest of the year.  The hope is that we can make up as much as possible by December because we are most likely not going to make it up the first month we open. Think about the whole year now and make a plan accordingly.

The more we can proactively prepare for these things and have a plan for them, the better the reopening will be.  We can start to plan now for the rest of the year and hopefully be better for it.  Don’t wait until it is time to start seeing patients, get going now.  You will thank me later.

Have you watched our “Opportunity Time Webinars”? We recorded these webinars specifically for dental teams to use the time we have now to get ahead when we reopen and how to still have a successful 2020. 

Laura Nelson

Laura Nelson, BS, MS, FAADOM is the founder and driving force behind Front Office Rocks, and the leading provider of on-demand virtual training and resources for dental practices.