Now that we have entered the second phase of British Columbia reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, getting back to caring for your patients quickly and safely is top of mind. While there is lots of information being shared, there are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking to reopen your practice.
Below are five ways you can reopen your practice quickly and safely while making the transition as easy and stress-free as possible!
Ensure You Have Sufficient Personal Protective Equipment
This is one of the most important factors in keeping your patients and your staff safe. Since physical distancing is nearly impossible for dental services, having enough PPE for your staff is critical. Depending on how many patients you are able to care for, make sure to order enough masks, gowns, gloves and face shields. Make sure that your PPE is properly stored and cared for to maintain the integrity of the items, and safely sanitize or reuse where appropriate.
Hire Staff Quickly to Match Demand
When most dental practices closed their doors, staff were likely laid off which means you may be starting from scratch when you begin to reopen. Since you may only be able to take on a limited number of patients at a time, hiring back full-time staff may not be the best option for your business. Through OpenTemp, you’re able to hire temporary dental staff on demand and create a flexible team that can adjust to meet your needs on a weekly or daily basis. It also eliminates the time consuming and costly process of interviewing, hiring, and onboarding - OpenTemp matches you with staff that arrive prepared and ready to get to work!
Invest in Cleaning Staff
Just as you trust dental care to a team of professionals, keeping your space clean and sanitized should be trusted to an experienced janitorial worker. Not only will this save your team time during the day, but you can trust that any harsh chemicals will be used safely and correctly. While your staff may be familiar with the usual level of cleaning and sanitizing required, extra precautions will need to be taken that can consume a fair bit of time and effort. With your staff free to care for your patients, your whole practice will run more smoothly!
Display Appropriate Signage
Signage on hand-washing, safety precautions, and transmission information should be displayed prominently throughout your office and entryway. Having this signage visible can help limit physical contact and conversations between staff, keeping everyone in your practice safe. Ideally, signage should include graphics and visuals that clearly represent any information patients should know. It is also important to consider the first languages of any of your patients, as it may be wise to have multiple languages included on the signs to ensure all of your patients are appropriately informed. Sample signage has been provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control, which can be found here.
Stay in Touch with Patients
Proactively communicating with your patients is one of the best ways to get your practice booked quickly while helping to ease the transition back into operations. By keeping in touch with your patients, you can keep them informed of any new safety requirements, reassure patients of the extra safety precautions you are taking, and begin booking services based on priority and availability. We wrote all about the best ways to keep in touch with your patients during the pandemic, which you can read here (link to blog post on staying in touch)!
In addition to these steps, it is important to monitor and follow provincial guidance from reputable sources (link to blog post on resources when live). You can use the list below as a starting point for keeping yourself and your staff up to date with the latest information and operating requirements: