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One Week Before Opening

Tips for marketing and communicating to patients one week before opening.

When you’re a week out from opening your practice back up to patients, use your marketing channels to communicate that to patients, and to address any questions or concerns they might have before their next appointment.

Use the templates on this page to build messaging on your key channels, such as:

  1. Website
  2. Social Media
  3. Patient Emails
  4. Promotional Items

Website

Add a pop up to your website homepage so patients don’t have to search your site for the latest news.

Pop-up message examples

Example text

Option 1: Emergency only

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and stay-at-home orders in the State of California, our office is currently closed except for emergency care. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, contact our office at _____. We are eager to re-open and provide you with dental care. We will contact you as soon as we learn it is recommended by local and state authorities to re-open!

Example text

Option 2: Opening date

We are eagerly preparing our practice to welcome patients back safely in the coming week. Here is a quick update about our practice hours and operations. As California begins to lift the stay at home order, we will start seeing patients for routine care, we anticipate resuming normal business hours on <date>.

If you have any urgent questions or concerns, please feel free to call <phone number> or email <email address> us. Doctor <name> and team members are available to help.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Example text

Option 3: Tell patients what to expect

Use option 2 and add from the information below so patients know what to expect:

  • 48 hours before your appointment we will send you a COVID-19 screening questionnaire. You will be asked these same questions again when you arrive at our office in a special “Patient Screening” location which will be clearly marked outside our office.
  • We will take and record your temperature upon arrival at our office as a part of the screening process.
  • Masks must always be worn by all persons for the entire visit. We will have you remove your mask for your procedure only.
  • We will ask you to text us when you arrive so that we may let you know when we are ready to see you at the screening area.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. This might mean you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment to ensure everyone’s safety. We appreciate your understanding.
  • We may ask that you wait in the car before/after your screening to control the patient traffic in our office.
  • We will do everything possible to make sure you feel safe and welcome in this new environment. 

Add an FAQ about COVID-19

Use the common questions and answers below to create a page that answers patients’ questions about how your practice is operating during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • When will you be open for non-urgent visits? We will resume normal business hours on . Over the last month and a half we’ve had to cancel and re-schedule many appointments, we are rescheduling many appointments and thank you for your patience.
  • Why did I receive new patient paperwork again? We are sending COVID-19 screening questions prior to every appointment. We may also ask each patient to update their health history forms.
  • Do I have to wear a mask at my appointment? Yes, masks must always be worn by all persons for the entire visit. We will have you remove your mask for your procedure only. The CDC also recommends people over age 2 wear cloth face masks when outside their homes; we understand this may be difficult for younger children and will consider that when you visit us.
  • Can I wait in my car for the appointment to start? Yes, you can text us when you arrive, we will limit the number of people in our reception area.
  • Will both parents/guardians be allowed to the appointment? We ask that only one parent, guardian or caregiver join the patient at their appointment. Please call our office to make special arrangements if needed.
  • What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19 a few days after my appointment? Because the incubation period can be a few days, it’s important you call our office to let us know.
  • Does your practice have the necessary protective wear to start seeing patients? Yes, to ensure the safety of our team and patients we are strictly following state and federal guidelines about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements and would not see patients unless we have the proper equipment.

If your website utilizes a chat option, consider adding the following topics to your responses:

  • Updated hours of operations
    Message option: We will resume normal business hours on <date>. To contact us for an appointment please email <email address>.

  • Teledentistry options if the patient has a non-urgent question/concern for the doctor
    Message option: During ‘stay in place’ orders Dr. <name> offered virtual appointment options. We are excited to continue to offer virtual appointments to answer patient questions or concerns.

  • Link to FAQ about new office safety protocols
    Message option: Our top priority is the health and safety of our patients and staff, to learn more about the changes we’ve made to protocols and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) please visit our COVID-19 FAQs <link>

Social Media

Use your practice’s Facebook and Instagram channels to post an update that lets patients know you will be opening soon and what they can expect.

Customize the examples below, or follow these tips for creating a social media graphic:

  • If you have photos of the staff or smiling patients, use those in a graphic.
  • Keep the text on the photo to a minimum.
  • Use your brand colors and potentially logo in the post

Facebook Examples

Post type 1: Record a video from the doctor using the script below

Hi everyone, I’m excited to be in the office, preparing to welcome you back. As Stay-In-Place orders are lifted in <your county>) we’ve been busy making changes to our protocols to ensure the safety of our patients and teams. Some of these changes include touchless temperature checks, sneeze guards between the staff and patients, upgraded HEPA filters, and the option to check-in from your car.

We know these next few weeks may look a little different, but we are eager to start caring for your oral health again. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or email us. We’ll continue to provide updated information on our social channels and website. Thank you!”

Post type 2: Share new protocols

We’re excited to start welcoming patients back to the practice next week! We’ve been busy putting many new safety protocols in place, in addition to the strict infection control measures we’ve always taken.

We’re always here to answer your questions, so leave us a comment.

  New COVID-19 screening questions before your appointment. 

 We will take and record your temperature upon arrival at our office as a part of the screening process.

  Masks must always be worn by all persons for the entire visit.

  We no longer offer magazines, books, games, and toys in the reception area  We will further minimize paperwork in our office and conduct as much business as possible through our digital patient management system.

  Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients.

  We will do everything possible to make sure you feel safe and welcome in this new environment!

  To minimize the number of people in our reception area, we ask that those who are able to call our office when you arrive for your appointment. <phone number>

Post type 3: Let them know you're open!

<Date>. We opened our doors for regular business hours! We’re thrilled to welcome patients back to our practice. To ensure your safety and health of everyone in the practice, we’ve implmented extra precautions and protocols. Have a question? Check out our COVID-19 FAQs. <link>  or give us a call <phone number>.

Instagram Examples

Example post text

Post type 1: Share new protocols

We’re welcoming patients back next week and we’ve been busy training our staff and implementing new saftey protocols. Here are a few ways we’re ensuring everyone’s health and saftey:

  COVID-19 screening questions before your appointment 

 We will take and record your temperature upon arrival at our office as a part of the screening process.

  Masks must always be worn by all persons for the entire visit.

  We no longer offer magazines, books, games, and toys in the reception area  We will further minimize paperwork in our office and conduct as much business as possible through our digital patient management system.

  Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients.

  We will do everything possible to make sure you feel safe and welcome in this new environment!

  Give us a ring when you arrive and we’ll check you in! Thanks for helping us social distance as we welcome patients back to the practice. Click the link in our bio to call us directly.

Example post text

Post type 2: Let them know you’re open!

<date>. We reopened our doors for regular business hours! We’re thrilled to welcome patients back to our practice, you’ll notice many changes we’ve made to ensure everyone’s safety. To learn more click the link in our bio.

#dentist #sacramentodentist #dentalhygiene #dentalvisit #smile

Patient Emails

One week ahead of your open date, think about your email strategy. Consider turning on your 2-day confirmation emails and texts via your confirmation system (Demandforce, Yapi, Lighthouse 360, Weave, etc.)

Use the templates below to craft patient emails:

Email 1

Patients with appointments rescheduled due to the COVID-19 closure/ Patients with an upcoming appointment

Download Email

Email 2

Day of Opening email to all patients.

Download Email

Promotional Items

Consider creating and ordering promotional items, such as masks for the reception area, or branded pens with your practice logo, website and phone number that patients can use and keep.

You might also consider:

  • Goodie bag that includes crayons and coloring book, for pediatric and orthodontic practices that primarily see children
  • Hygiene kits available for patients to pick up (curbside delivery), even if they don’t have an appointment
  • A “Welcome cack/We’re in this together” flyer