Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus Protection for Your Team and Patients

With the current Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to protect yourself, your team, and your patients. This is also an important time to communicate to your patients the plan for your office. Are you temporarily closing? Are you remaining open? And if you are staying open, you need to reassure them that your office is a safe place to visit.

Here are some things I will be doing in my office during this time, and that I suggest you do as well:
  • Encourage patients and staff to wash their hands frequently. Have hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout the office to make it more convenient for staff and patients to use.
  • If you use iPads or tablets for patient paperwork, be sure to sanitize them with a disinfectant wipe between each patient. It's important for patients to see you do this, as it will reassure them that you office is taking necessary precautions to protect their health.
  • I also like to wipe down my office's computer keyboards, each computer mouse, and the telephones frequently. This is something I normally do on a regular basis anyway because these are areas the entire team tends to touch.
  • Disinfect the front desk, countertops, and commonly touched surfaces frequently.
  • Consider removing magazines and newspapers from the lobby as these tend to be handled by many people and could be contaminated. Also, if you have toys in your lobby for children, consider removing them during this time.
  • Using Dentrix Communication Manager, you can create email newsletters. This is a good way to communicate with your patients. You can communicate with them if your office is open, closed, or is changing office hours.
  • Email newsletters are also a good way to reassure your patients that your office takes their health and safety seriously. Explain to them that your team will (as always) be using universal precautions such as wearing gloves and masks, as well as being diligent with hand washing and the disinfecting of common areas.
  • For your patients' confidence, have your clinical staff open sterilization packs in front of the patient in the operatory. This will help to reassure the patient that everything in your office is clean and sterile.
  • And finally, if a team member isn't feeling well, make them stay home! Don't risk the health of other team members or your patients.
For additional resources during this time, see the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources For Your Practice article on the Dentrix Magazine online site.

Stay healthy and safe! If you have questions, email me at

Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at

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