Help is at hand
Ben Flewett delivers a webinar of real, practical value.
Dental professionals are being inundated with webinars at the moment. But one of the best so far is from Ben Flewett, managing director of Software of Excellence. They make up part of a series the company is producing to help practice owners through the COVID-19 crisis. The webinar covers all the key touchpoints, with practical suggestions on what dentists can do to help their teams, their patients and their businesses at this challenging time.
Risk versus fear
The webinar starts by covering the juxtaposition between ‘risk’ and ‘fear’ that the current crisis highlights. Ben covered this by proposing that we mitigate risk by introducing and following processes. Fear on the other hand, he said, although very real to the individual, can be irrational and paradoxically can have both positive and negative outcomes. With both factors considered, it is clear that we will enter a new world when lockdown ends. Practices need to prepare for it.
It’s good to talk
Ben stressed that keeping in regular contact with your team, which although not compulsory if staff have been furloughed, will help with people’s mental health. Especially those feeling particularly isolated at this time.
It’s important to acknowledge that this is a time of great uncertainty. Whilst dentists cannot give any guarantees about when life and work will return to normal, they can share with their teams their plans for the future. This in itself will give confidence and security.
It’s crucial that teams are aware of their own mental health at a time like this. For everyone, curtailing travel and basic freedoms is difficult to manage. But for some, particularly those who live alone, this can be catastrophic.
For those practices that have furloughed team members it’s important that they understand that this is a decision taken to try and protect the long-term future of the business, enabling it to ‘hibernate’ until the crisis comes to an end. Whilst furloughed staff cannot work, they can undertake personal learning. Access to dental software learning via the Academy of Excellence is free of charge during the lockdown. Anyone interested in registering can do so via the coronavirus hub at softwareofexcellence.co.uk/covid19-updates.
Keep in touch
Patient communication is more important than ever at a time like this. Managing the ‘fear factor’ for patients can begin straight away. Ben suggests a range of practical actions to take assuring patients that when the practice re-opens their safety is a top priority. These include:
- Set up ‘shielding clinics’ – consider introducing specific clinic times for elderly or vulnerable patients
- Stagger appointments – reduce the number of people who are in the waiting room at any one time. Staggered appointments are easy to manage via your dental software
- Go contactless – by completing pre-appointment forms on their own mobile devices via Patient Portal and submitting electronically, patients can avoid touching paper forms and pens. Contactless arrival and contactless departure payments, both achievable using Exact V13 dental software, will help reduce the cross contamination risk
- Follow ups – practices should make follow-ups after 14 days to check patients who attend the practice don’t show any symptoms of the virus. Follow up communications can be managed using Campaign+, with automated COVID-19 patient communications now available.
Ben stressed that in order to help the industry as best they can, SOE is offering the Campaign+ communications and Contactless Practice solutions free of charge to Software of Excellence customers until 1 September.
Business bounce back
Of course, in the midst of this crisis it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But this instruction provided positive, practical ideas and reassurance that businesses can recover. Ben discussed the importance of planning a full diary from day one. He suggests managing the schedule effectively and ensuring that you fill the diary with the right type of appointments.
Dental software can help enormously in this regard, by providing the modules that can help to easily schedule restorative appointments and fill small gaps with check-ups, both of which will be in high demand once normality returns.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses and individuals in ways we never could have imagined, even a month ago. To help the profession emerge stronger from the challenge, dental software specialist Software of Excellence is committed to providing help, advice and access to practical solutions. Many of which are free of charge for a certain period.
Ben’s key message was clear; communicating with your team and your patients at this time is more important than ever. But accepting help from companies that understand your business is vital too. Software of Excellence is offering free bounce back reviews with their consultants, who can help you plan your recovery and prepare for re-opening.
To book, visit softwareofexcellence.co.uk/bounceback and complete the form.
Visit Software of Excellence’s COVID-19 hub for a list of upcoming webinars as well as help and resources softwareofexcellence.co.uk/covid19-updates.