AAOMS Tips for Patient Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic
September 10, 2021
By now, you have updated your website and sent your patients an email with updates on your office information, services, hours, etc. These reminders can help guide future patient communications during this healthcare crisis:
Update your status messages
Continue to check the daily updates to the federal and state guidance to determine your status as an essential service and, if there is a change, update your messages accordingly:
- Website: Updates services and hours of operation. Refrain from using the word “closed” if your office will continue to see emergencies. Be sure patients know that you are open for emergencies, available for their questions and they can reach out if they are in any pain.
- Emergency services: If your practice will see emergent patients (refer to ADA guidance to establish office protocol), and let patients know that staff will follow current CDC infection prevention guidance. Also consider offering telehealth/dentistry services if possible. Staff should be trained on all changes in treatment and how to address both emergent and non-emergent appointments.
Be sure to follow up to all new patient inquiries, canceled and/or non-emergent appointments and verify their phone and email contact information is correct. Once your office resumes all treatment, they will help fill the schedule.
Stay informed and educate patients
- Keep both your staff and patients informed regarding COVID-19 and the services you will continue to offer. Send a weekly update e-newsletter, update your website and post to your social media accounts (review the AAOMS Social Media Guide for helpful tips). Example messages:
- We care about you and your health. Please read the following information from the CDC on how to stay healthy: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
- If you experience any of the following symptoms, please contact our office as these could indicate the need for emergency treatment: (then personalize with guidance from the the ADA’s What Constitutes a Dental Emergency and AAOMS’s state-by-state recommendations for guidance).