LEADERSHIP FOR REOPENING REFERRERS
DR. ACE GOERIG, Owner and Co-Founder
As general dentistry begins reopening over the next month or so, they are going to face new challenges … challenges that you have weathered by staying open through the pandemic. Learn how to strengthen referral relationships by sharing your knowledge with GPs.
General dentists are itching to reopen their practices. I don’t blame them. While endo has remained open (albeit with reduced productivity), GP practices have been largely and completely shut down for nearly two months. That’s a big financial hit.
As they come back to work, they are going to face a huge number of challenges … many of which you’ve figured out to take care of emergency patients during the pandemic. They are going to have a lot of questions about PPE and infection control because dental treatment is aerosolizing. How can they minimize that clinically? What PPE does the doctor or hygienist need? What about a chairside assistant, or the front desk? Do they need air filtration? Where can they get N95 masks or face shields? Do they really need them? If they can’t find them, how do they adapt to what they can find?
What about patients? How do they manage the front desk while maintaining physical distancing? Do patients need to be masked in the reception area? What about all the things patients touch? Pens, magazines, registration forms, doorknobs, the bathroom!
This is all stuff you have sorted out, and the biggest friend you can be to your referrers right now is to prep them. Share with them what you do. Offer your office manager to have zoom meetings with their office manager to go through changes that need to be made. Encourage them to order their PPE as soon as possible, and share your list of resources that you’ve tracked down all over the internet. Help them understand what their staff and their patients will need to feel safe in the practice.
Remember that our website has a list of vital resources doctors need, including resources that would be helpful to your referrers.
It’s a simple thing to share what you know—and the goodwill is irreplaceable. Plus, the faster you help them get back to business, the faster they’ll be helping you through their referrals.