In 2020, when the first signs of Covid-19 began to appear; no one would have guessed the extent and severity of the problem and the issues that were coming our way. The world has transformed so much in the past two years. A little while after the virus expanded, the world paused. Everything either slowed down or ceased. But as we always do; we accommodated the situations and got over the turmoil by seeking alternatives to the traditional life.
The past two years have witnessed several transitions in almost every sector. Education shifted to an online mode, Offices adopted working from home, groceries and necessities were delivered at the doorstep and so on. Medical health provisions have also undergone changes in order to adjust with the circumstances. Dentistry has seen wide changes in practices too.
How do you pivot your dental practice to succeed and maintain your functionality at the times of Covid- 19? Here are a few tips to do so-
A] Adopt Telemedicine
Technology has served as a huge boon during the times of Covid-19. We all are well aware of how the world has digitised today. Anything and everything can be availed and experienced sitting right at your home. During Covid- 19, 78 percent of patients according to estimates reported wanting a non-contact treatment. To continue and succeed in your dental practice, you need to be updated and well-acquainted with the recent developments. Many dental health practitioners are rendering online dental services to their patients. This practice has been termed as telemedicine. By adopting telemedicine, you can manage appointments with your patients. This provides great convenience not only to you but also to your patients. It ensures no infection is transmitted since there is no physical connection. Also, this will keep your practice running.
B] Sign Up with Digital Health Companies
There are several digital health companies where your business can be marketed to reach a large audience. Such companies serve as a platform where patients can locate dental services most suitable for them. The companies also design dental membership plans on behalf of you which make dental health services more approachable. All of this is very beneficial to pivoting your dental practice.
C] Keep Down Expenses
Since you will be providing an online service and will be receiving minimal in-clinic patients, it is a wise idea to scale down your expenses on aspects that are no longer required. You can reduce your staff and keep only limited assistants. Your expenditure will be reduced and if you don’t receive patients for a while, you won’t have to get funds out of your own pocket to pay the incentives of your team. But do so with prior intimation to your team so they have sufficient time to look for another job. If you use dental equipment on lease, you can return them and save on your monthly outgoing capital. You can also temporarily shut down your clinic to save up on additional expenses like electricity bills etc. Keeping your expenses low and generating greater revenue is a prominent way to pivot your dental practice.
D] Improve Your Work Culture
Culture has been defined by the Webster dictionary as “The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterise an institution or organisation”. Your work culture reflects positively on your services and compels the patients to trust you better. Your patients are not as oblivious as you think. Their loyalty to you depends on how you interact with them. They desire reciprocal treatment. When they recognize you pay heed to every requirement of theirs and provide them personalised care, they are more likely to stick to your services. Your work culture can determine your behaviour with the patients; hence it determines the success of your dental practice.
E] Maintain Consistent Outreach
One in five adults in the U.S. is said to neglect their health. Maintaining a consistent outreach through emails, messages, and social media campaigns can be a good opportunity to reengage with the patients and get them to follow health care regimens. You can follow up with your patients since it implies a level of commitment and dedication from your end. This greatly affects patient retention rates.
F] Pricing Options
None of us is ignorant of the fact that the pandemic was harsh on so many people. Many lost their jobs and health insurance. You as a practician can offer direct pay pricing options which can let them avail of your services. Curating affordable membership plans is another great way to serve your patients.
You do not have to stick to your provisions. If you desire to expand your services, this is the right time to do so! Paying attention to the shifting dynamics amongst your patient population and making changes that align with those shifts is always a good idea. Covid-19 has become the cause of psychological dysfunction [mild or severe] in a majority of the population. At such a time, incorporating mental health services into your practice by offering behaviour health programs can boost your practice to a great extent. There are several other ways that you can ponder upon. Remember, the only way your practice stops is when you stop thinking.