Dental Office COVID Guidelines to Re-Open
Dental offices have dealt with a lot due to COVID and need some re-opening guidelines.
Just like other industries, it will not be the dental business as usual, at least not at the beginning. Dental Patients will understandably be fearful of the dentist office waiting area where they may perceive they are not safe. Your team members may feel the same way about COVID and your dentist office exposure. Hence, you must take steps to increase trust in your dental practice and front office dental staff to make things save.
It will become necessary to screen patients before they walk through the front door. A patient questionnaire should be sent to them before their appointment. Ask them several pertinent questions such as:
- Have you traveled outside or inside the US in the past 30 days?
- Have you spent time in an airplane or airport? Bus or public transportation?
- Has anyone in your family been sick or not feeling well? Any symptoms such as coughing, sore throat or fever?
IMPORTANT. We will need a great communicator at the front desk who can explain to the patient what a respiratory illness is.
- Have you been exposed to anyone who has had the virus? Family or friend?
- When was the last time you were at a social gathering of 10 or more people?Have you been in a long-term care facility in the last two weeks?
If the patient says, “YES” to any of the above questions, you will want this person to self-quarantine themselves for 14 days before we will see them in our practice and be cleared by their medical professional. This will involve a CoVid-19 Test. If the patient asks about where to go to get a Coronavirus test, you can send them to https://microgendx.com/ The patient can order a Coronavirus test and should get results in 24hours.
IMPORTANT: You want to do everything you can to protect your staff, you don’t want someone who is going to be threat to the people who work for you in the practice. In order to protect patients from each other, as well as your team, patients must be instructed to ask patience if they have been practicing Social Distancing? Please explain how? If the patient says NO, it is not safe to have them in the office.
Dental Office COVID Guidelines
- Honor the reception room furniture that has been spaced 6 feet apart in case someone sits there.
- Phone or text when they are in the parking lot.
- A gloved Dental Assistant or Team Member will meet them at the front door.
- Only one patient at a time. If family members come, ask them to wait in the car.
- All doors will be opened by the assistant or team member, TOUCH NOTHING.
- The patient will not be seated in the reception room; our goal is for it to become a pass-through room with no one stopping there. Get patients in and out without touching anything.
- Take their temperature at the front door using a touchless thermometer.
- Once in your office, ask again if anything has changed from the questionnaire they completed.
- Have them put on a surgical gown, head cap, shoe covers and mask and walk them directly into the operatory because disease bugs are not transmitted through fabric.
- The patient will wash their hands and gargle with a solution of 1% hydrogen peroxide before and after the appointment.
- Clinical staff and doctor must be wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at all times.
- Patients may schedule future visits in the operatory, payments can be made at the frontdesk or online.
- The clinical team will need to signal everyone else when a patient is being dismissed to minimize patient interactions through the office.
- Disinfect everything a patient has touched, this includes, door handles, pens, credit card machines or anything at the front desk.
- You can’t just buy a N-95 mask. A level 1-2-3 mask is designed to protect the patient from you. The N-95 mask is designed to protect the doctor from the patient.
- The N-95 mask is very difficult to breathe through, it’s like breathing through a plastic bag. It is designed to filter 95% of all particulate. You need to breathe through it, not around it like other masks.
Each practice will choose their own protocols, these are simply suggestions. If you have any questions or are interested in our dental practice management consulting, please contact our office at 952-432-3322.