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You are free to take ’em or leave ’em.

I know many Dental Owners right now are extremely anxious about what to do, open or close, see patients or cancel them…. and so on.

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Keeping health risk to a minimum, NBS Training will be available online from Friday morning 20 March with our first ever Virtual Coffee Morning @ 09.30am
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To join me and receive the ZOOM Link ping me a quick email:   tracy.stuart@nbstraining.co.uk

As there is no clear lead being taken by any of the Government bodies regarding dentists and their Teams, I wanted to share my thoughts with you on keeping you, your Teams, your families and your patients’ safe in this uncertain time.

In fact while I was with one of my clients and their Team recently, my Team spoke with the BDA, the GDC, the PHA and the NHS Clinical Commissioning body to get some clarity on all of this for you.

Truth is the information that is coming through is pretty generic and nothing specific for the dental profession at all.  Their extensive list of Do’s and Don’ts for Healthcare providers seems to have omitted Dentistry – a fact we pointed out (we are due a call back regarding this asap too)

Anyway this is what I’ve made of the information we’ve gathered:

  • Apply common sense to the Triage aspect and add in additional checks for your Front of House Team to be used for existing appointments as well as new bookings.

Contact all patients with booked appointments by phone (24 hours before appointment) and explain that due to the current outbreak and your wish to maintain a safer environment for both your patients and your team, Government guidelines require you to ask the following questions:

  1. Have you or anyone in your household recently returned from an overseas trip?
  2. Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus and seen them within the last 2 weeks?
  3. Has anyone in your household been confirmed as having the Coronavirus?
  4. Are you self-isolating at the moment?
  5. Do you have symptoms of a fever, cough or sore throat?

If you are satisfied with the answers then tell them you look forward to seeing them but should anything change to let you know immediately. (Under the circumstances I don’t recommend making a cancellation charge for short notice but I would only share this with those who call!)

I don’t honestly believe anyone will mind you asking these simple questions.  In fact it will reassure them and also confirm you will be open when they get there!

  • If a patient says they may be infected then just politely suggest that on this occasion it is best to re-arrange their appointment in order to maintain a safer environment for others. Then re-arrange the appointment for a minimum of a month ahead which will give them time to be clear of any infection and recover.
  • Although Dentists and their Teams are not clinical experts in disease, a good rule of thumb will be to take each case on its merits.
  • Some patients may wish to postpone regular Check-ups as they consider them non-essential. However it is important that the Team are sufficiently skilled to be able to re-schedule during the same call and thereby saving you incurring costs chasing people to come back when the panic is over!
  • Any high risk patients such as the elderly may be tempted to cancel their Check-up at this time, however so long as they are well in themselves and the Practice is operating normally I would urge you to encourage them to come in.  Several of my clients have already seen elderly patients and detected bacterial infections in sinuses etc that without corrective medication would have made this person more susceptible to the Coronavirus itself as their immune was already unwittingly compromised.
  • If you think your Team are being put at risk then don’t do it.  Truth is I think the Government are struggling, this is unprecedented and they really don’t know which way to turn or what to advise. As everything feels like its spiralling out of control I urge you to work SMART and make those decisions we haven’t had answers for yet.  Just base those decisions on what you believe to be right and in the best interests of you all.  Don’t wait to be told.  Step forward and take control.

On another note, if you are very much business as usual and finding yourselves twiddling your thumbs as your patients have cancelled, or you are just seeing emergencies, then turn this to your advantage!

Make this your time and focus on developing your Team by honing their skills to perfection. When this all returns to normal, training will be the last thing you are trying to find diary space for!

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Join me this Friday 20 March @ 09.30am with our first ever Virtual Coffee Morning

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To  receive the ZOOM Link ping me a quick email:   tracy.stuart@nbstraining.co.uk

No need to leave the safety of your internet or your favourite chair – anyone wanting to explore this training option fast-up give me a call on 01438 217944 and let’s get you and your Team moving ahead.

Bring your own biscuits!

Tracy