The unforeseen toll of the pandemic has brought widespread fear and uncertainties. As such, businesses either had to adapt to the new normal or shut down permanently. Even the dental industry was not spared from its disruptive impact. But in more than a year, dental clinics have already learned to accept the drastic changes.
Now, Canada has fully vaccinated over 70% of its population. Still, many people are not letting their guard down. Keeping the safety of the professionals, staff, and patients remains a big challenge. This drives the creativity in promoting oral health amidst the pandemic.
In a recent survey on dentists in Canada, almost 50% said their revenues dropped in 2020. Meanwhile, their operating costs increased, driven by the mandatory use of PPEs. They had to adjust to keep their operations afloat, hoping that 2021 would be a better year for them. With that in mind, here are some tips on how dental clinics can cope with the new normal:
Make Your Patients Feel Safe and Comfortable
People can smell fear, and your patients are not an exemption. As such, make sure that your dental clinic abides by the health and safety measures. One way is to show them that you and your staff are prioritizing cleanliness and safety. Also, set a buffer between patients for disinfection and physical distancing.
It is better if you are all vaccinated. In that way, you can guarantee infection prevention. Have them book an appointment first before going to the clinic. You may ask them to call upon arrival and wait outside the clinic until they can enter. As much as possible, companions are not allowed except for those who need help.
Maximize the Potential of Teleconsultation or Teledentistry
With teledentistry, dentists do not always have to be physically present in Ontario. They may also schedule a call or video call hours before the patients go to the clinic. So, they may ask for their temperature and symptoms related to Covid-19. Also, they may give instructions in advance, like disinfection and wearing of PPEs.
The potential of teledentistry extends to checking patients’ previous dental history. With it, the screening and matching of patients with a dentist’s practice are also getting easier. Fortunately, a local dentist in Hamilton, Ontario, provides a broad range of services.
Check Your Payment Policies
You may consider removing cancellation fees, especially if patients are not feeling well. Also, make sure that they are informed of extra fees for PPEs. Provide flexible payment options for uninsured or underinsured patients. For example, you may put in place cashless payments.
Doing all these will increase efficiency and safety. Patients will appreciate your consideration and become repeat clients. Costs are higher, and protocols are stringent, so going the extra mile for them will pay off.
Use Social Media the Right Way
With millions of people at home, social media platforms have become a part of our daily lives. Businesses continue to use the Internet for the work-from-home setup and online marketing. With that, you, too, can market your dental clinic on websites like Facebook and Twitter.
Run Support Chatbots
Using chatbots is another efficient way to communicate with your patients. Since your clinic is not open 24/7, patients can still reach you through chatbots. Scheduling and canceling appointments can be done with ease. They can also report their symptoms and have an early diagnosis. Through chatbots, you may also give them medication assistance and oral health guidance. As such, your services will remain deep in their minds even if you are not present.
Operating a business in the new normal is challenging. The burden is even heavier in the dental industry due to stricter requirements and SOPs. Even so, you can still run your dental clinic with ease by adopting some efficient methods. In that way, your clinic will stay afloat, recover, and cope with more changes.