With practices just reopening or preparing to reopen, there have been many practices that have had to rethink how they want to do dentistry. When you were forced to close, you never intended to have team member changes when you reopened and that is exactly what has happened to many practices across the country. So now you are dealing with changes in how dentistry must be done along with changes with your team members.
If this is your situation, please do not despair – you are not alone. I have helped many dentists navigate these waters already. I want to encourage you with a question, what if you could create a new way to practice dentistry – what would that look like?
I ask that question since it helps you think outside of the box. Maybe due to team member changes or lack of PPE, you are not able to move from op to op and see hygiene patients like you did before covid 19. This is a great time to think creatively and differently about your schedule.
Some practices are needing to get creative with their availability to see hygiene patients, doing same day dentistry, or mixing it all up. On certain days there may be no hygiene or switching mornings and/or /afternoons for hygiene appointments.
One client of mine always felt rushed to move from one operatory to the other and being creative with blocking the schedule, he is much happier now. He has gotten used to Monday and Wednesday morning there is no hygiene, only his schedule. During those afternoons, there are hygiene patients. Then he switches that with Tuesday and Thursday mornings accordingly. This has helped him in several ways. He is not using as much PPE with his schedule blocked in this manner, and he is able to see and take care of hygiene patients.
Another way for some creativity in your practice is making wise choices with insurance participation. During the closing of offices for non-emergent care, I have helped many practices make great business decisions regarding insurance networks. I think insurance participation is neither good nor bad, it just needs to be a part of your business plan. There are great business reasons to be in and out of network with insurance companies. You need to understand your financials and your profitability. Understanding how all of this relates to one another is crucial to making the best decision for you and your practice.