Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): A dental practice management emergency preparedness plan

COVID-19 emergency preparedness plan, page 6

10. Write your scripts now

Do you have existing written scripts if the doctor is out, the practice is closed, or your hours become limited? You also need scripts for patients who call or text to ask if it's safe to come into the practice, how you are protecting them, and if they should postpone their appointments. Don't rely on team members (some of whom may be temps) to know what to say to your patients. Write it down ahead of time and review it with the team.

11. Expect many patients to either reject or delay treatment

This is due to both COVID-19 infection fears and economic uncertainty around stock market declines and talk of recession. If we look back in history to the 2008-2009 recession, we should expect to start seeing some of the same behavior patients exhibited then. People were scared. Some people have a lot less money (even if only on paper). People are paralyzed. We are expecting to see a drop in larger and more expensive cases and some decline even in routine dental care. We do not expect to see a drop in procedures such as root canals, but we may see some patients opting to extract a tooth rather than undergo the root canal and crown procedure. While one may think this would lead to an implant, it may not if financial considerations are preventing a patient from undergoing the more beneficial treatment.

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