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As states are reopening, dental practices need to consider the long-term impacts and implications of COVID-19 has on their businesses. The truth is that the dental industry isn’t going back to the “old” normal, especially patient sentiment around hygiene has changed dramatically during the pandemic.
In the foreseeable future, people will be balancing the short-term fear of exposure against the long-term gain of maintaining oral health. Some may be reluctant to visit dental offices for preventive care and this can, in turn, lead to higher demand in dental emergency procedures.
With the many uncertainties, how can dental practices maintain revenues and attract new patients?
Diversification is the name of the game if you want to stay relevant and profitable during and after the COVID-19 crisis. It’s time to be creative, cross-utilize your resources, adapt to new patient demands, and innovate. Here’s how:
Did you know that as much as 30% of ER cases are related to oral health? Who can better help triage those patients and reduce the workload of healthcare workers during this critical time than dental professionals?
You can partner with healthcare providers in your community, which will allow you to not only build goodwill while offering much-needed services but also reach more potential patients.
Virtual consultation, or teledentistry, can help you enhance the cost-effectiveness of such partnerships by making your services more accessible. With the aid of cloud dental software, you can integrate the workflows and manage all the patient data in one place efficiently and securely.
Expand Into Healthcare Services
Leverage your staff, facilities, infrastructure, and client base to offer services such as COVID testing (here's another blog post that goes deeper into this topic with tips and "how to"s) and flu shots by partnering with qualified healthcare practitioners. This gives you the opportunity to foster goodwill in the community while generating income in the interim to improve cash flow.
For example, offer COVID testing or flu shots by having a nurse practitioner come to your dental office a few times a week. You can use your dental practice management software to announce the service to your patients via text and email, enable online booking, handle billing, and automate workflows.
In fact, your cloud dental software can be instrumental in helping you create revenue streams in the healthcare sector. For example, tab32 allows you to customize consent forms for various basic healthcare services and handle patient data securely on the same HIPAA-compliant platform without additional overhead.
Offering teledentistry (click to learn about this topic in more detail) is a great way to capture more patients that need emergency dental services due to the lapse in preventive care -- especially when people are wary of visiting a dental office or too busy getting back to work for an appointment.
Emergency services and teledentistry will become increasingly important and in many cases, they are complementary to each other. Offering both will allow you to serve more patients cost-efficiently while reducing the number of people coming into your office so you can minimize exposure to the virus.
The good news is that adding teledentistry to your practice doesn’t have to be complicated. With tab32’s Teledent module, you can leverage all the great features our platform has to offer -- such as dental EHR, practice management software, and patient communication capabilities -- and use them to support your teledentistry services.
No doubt, we’re going through a trying time. As dental professionals, it’s important to become creative and innovative so we can serve our patients more effectively while setting ourselves up to not only survive but also thrive in the post-COVID world.
Thankfully, today’s healthcare technology platforms offer many robust features that allow you to pivot quickly to meet market demands without adding substantial costs. Request a demo to see how our practice management platform and teledentistry module can help you diversify your offering and generate more revenues.