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The dental industry is likely to face a slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic due to how most procedures are performed. This is a critical time for dental professionals -- it’s important to rethink your business model and become innovative in how you serve your patients and community.
The good news is that you can cross-utilize your staff, equipment, reputation, and client base to offer COVID-19 testing so you can maintain healthy cash flow and ride out the slow time.
Offering COVID-19 testing at your dental office is a gesture of goodwill to the community. It helps you build brand awareness, reach potential patients, stay top of mind, foster relationships with existing patients, and drive traffic to your office.
This is an opportunity to get patients back to your office sooner while offering a service that’s in high demand. Not to mention, COVID-19 testing is a billable healthcare service that can increase your revenue!
COVID-19 testing is out of the scope of practice for dentists, so you need to partner with physicians or healthcare providers to stay compliant.
While administering the test may not be a hurdle (after all, you’re doing root canals!), you need to consider many moving parts when offering COVID-19 testing at your dental practice, such as:
Here’s are some key pointers on incorporating COVID-19 testing into your dental practice:
If you have been using cloud dental software to run your practice, you’re in a good place! You can leverage the many features to launch a COVID-19 testing service and manage the associated workflows cost-efficiently.
For example, you can use the patient communication features (e.g., 2-way texting, mass email, secure email) to promote the service to your existing patients, use the billing functionalities to process claims efficiently, as well as set up automated workflows to ensure that all the paperwork are done properly and your staff is following up at the right time so nothing falls through the cracks.
There are many tests available on the market and their reliability varies. To improve the accuracy of your service and avoid potential liabilities, you can conduct double testing -- layer one test on top of another -- which balances specificity and sensitivity to yield more accurate results. Also, you should invest not only in the test kits but also in training to ensure that the tests are done right.
Clearly communicate the contractual relationships between patients, physician partners, and employees in your patient consent form. If you’re not using a test designed for diagnostic purposes, don’t provide your patients with a diagnosis.
You can leverage the online form feature in your practice management software to ensure that patients have read and signed all the paperwork before heading into your office. This can help minimize wait time, reduce the number of patients in the office space, and streamline workflow.
Adding COVID-19 testing to your dental practice not only allows you to offer great convenience to your patients but also help you add a billable service to maintain healthy cash flow.
To take advantage of this opportunity, collaborate with the right physician partner or healthcare provider, such as Flossbar, to get up and running quickly while staying compliant.