As we transition out of lockdown and the re-opening plans are in motion, many of us are excited to finally see our friends and family. However, the re-opening plans are also brewing up feelings of anxiety and lack of trust in some. These feelings aren’t unwarranted, as people may become too relaxed with social distancing protocols and increase the risk of a second outbreak of COVID-19.
It wouldn’t be surprising for people to be paranoid about people and surfaces outside of their homes. Even more overwhelming is when patients visit health care facilities, where it is considered high-risk – especially in dental offices. Patients may find it hard to trust that they are safe in such an enclosed space, which is why your communication is essential during this time.
Establishing consistent communication between you and the patients is the first step to building more trust during the pandemic. This can be done through our Paradigm Clinical and Paradigm Mobile dental management software, as well as through your social media.
The thought of being in a closed space with very little distance from each other and droplet/aerosol-generating procedures is enough for patients to hold off on visiting. However, to demystify their concerns, you can send out newsletters to your patients regularly to keep them updated. This can be easily done using our Newsletter Module, as you can quickly pull up a specific patient list to send a bulk email. Let them know of any new preventative measures put in place to protect the patients, such as plexiglass partitions, new HEPA filters per operatory, etc.
To give your patients peace of mind, you can also send a newsletter that gives a detailed walkthrough of what happens before, during and after a patient’s appointment. You can include details such as sanitization procedures, PPE handling and how you ensure there will be no cross-contamination. This way, patients can be confident that the dental office is safe for them to visit and trust that the office is doing everything they can to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transfer.
In a rare chance that there was potential exposure at the office, you will also be able to use the Newsletter Module to pull up a list of patients who visited during that time to inform them.
Sending Text Messages
Fortunately, those who had their appointments cancelled are likely to re-book an appointment to continue with their treatment plan. For patients who are coming in for their appointment, you can send them reminders with emphasis on your proactive approach to minimizing the risk of spread. Here are some examples:
- When sending appointment reminders:
Hi John, your appointment is on Sat, Jun 20 @ 2:00PM. Due to COVID-19m, kindly wait outside until we will text you to come in. Please bring a mask with you on that day. Thank you!
- When asking the patient to come in for their appointment:
Hi John, we are ready to see you now. To minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread, please come in with your face mask on. Sanitize your hands when you enter the office. We will also be taking your temperature. See you soon!
This is a great way to remind patients of the proper hygiene protocols and also sets up an expectation for their appointment. In turn, this shows patients that you’re concerned about the smallest details to keep everyone safe and build an image of confidence and trust.
To make your workflow more efficient, you can use My Contact Pro to set up templates and send reminders out automatically.
Social Media Presence
Having an active social media presence can help your office build repertoire with patients and potential leads. The enthusiasm and empathy shown on the page can influence how the clinic is perceived and can yield positive results.
Things you can post about if it aligns with your office persona:
- Introduction to your staff members
- A behind-the-scenes look at how the office is adhering to their protocols
- Consistent updates on the clinic and new directives from the governing boards
- Any changes in services or operation times
- Reminders of new procedures when patients check-in
The bottom line is that having consistent communication with your patients help build your relationships with them. In turn, this nurtures a growing trust in the clinic and gives patients the confidence to come back during this pandemic.
If you would like to learn more about how you can elevate your patient communication with our modules, contact us today!