Engaging with Your Patients After a Closure

During the time of the Covid19 shutdown measures, dental practices have had to make some big adjustments to their care services. As the forecast for businesses reopening shifts day-to-day, you might be starting to plan what your outreach might look like to re-engage with patients and make sure they get the care they need post-closure. Intiveo can help. Here are a few things to consider when preparing your patient communication plan.

What messages does *everyone* need?

Whether you decide to re-open all at once, or with modified hours and procedures, you should let all of the patients on your roster know the expected plan. Provide any dates of interest, modified hours, and restrictions on procedures, if you have them. Being transparent with these details will help patients plan for missed appointments and prioritize arranging upcoming care. Having this information clearly outlined also helps your staff stay aligned on the game plan. 

How can you segment additional groups for more direct outreach?

For groups of patients that need more specific action to be taken, plan on splitting into different segments. For example:

  • – Those who have missed appointments during the closure

  • – Those who had upcoming appointments already on the books 

  • – Those who had needed recall appointments that had not yet made appointments

Email each of these groups separately to inform them of how they should plan on proceeding with their dental care over the coming weeks and months. Customize your messaging with the details to help them easily re-book. Provide a point of contact in your office, to reach out to if there are urgent cases that need to be addressed swiftly. 

Does your practice plan to implement any virus mitigation measures in the near future, and how will this be communicated to patients?

When you do re-open, will you be taking any special precautions to limit the risk to your staff and patients? What does this entail? These are details that should be communicated to any patients that have upcoming appointments, so they are prepared for their visit. Sending new process reminders via text message is a great way to make sure that your patients are equipped with the information they need to follow your protocols. 

Click here to see an example of how one practice is using text messages to screen patients before they enter the practice for care, with templates for your own messaging.