THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Stroppy patients - it's about to get worse



Some patients are already getting stroppy about:

  • waiting outside the practice;

  • waiting lists for appointments;

  • waiting to catch up with the oral care promised by the dental plan membership;

  • waiting to have minor treatment delivered because you don't have the time to fix problems immediately when they are diagnosed;

  • waiting for you to take off those masks and engage with them again.

It's going to get worse from Monday, when the fact that they can visit hospitality, leisure and entertainment venues that don't have your SOPs and PPE is going to accentuate the difference.


As always, it will be the Front of House team who bear the brunt of that feedback - and so you had better make sure they are ready with appropriate responses when the grumbles escalate.


Don't assume that patients understand the difference between a pizzeria and perio when it comes to safety. You and I are all over AGPs and fallow time - the patients not so much.


Especially so when we are engaging with patients suffering from "the unfalsifiable hypothesis of demographic immunity".


A.K.A. - "I'm over 50, I've had both my jabs and so I cannot catch Covid-19."


My advice?


Get an email newsletter (and social media posts) out to your patients, explaining which of your safety measures will continue from 17th May ongoing and why.


The best way to deal with an objection is to anticipate it.


Post Script


It could be a long time before your working conditions change. Dental nurses are leaving the profession because they cannot tolerate their working conditions. Evidence around the need for current SOPs and PPE is the subject of much debate. Other countries appear to be moving faster.


Left to their own devices, how confident are you that the regulators and going to be chasing a speedy return to a new normal?


Independent professionals and their trade associations need to lobby for an urgent review.



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