Skip to main content


Resource Library

How to make productive use of a practice interruption

April 15, 2020 3462

For any small business owner, navigating unexpected change can create stress and anxiety. While many aspects of the COVID-19 situation cannot be controlled, practice owners still have choices when it comes to how they use their downtime. Here are some recommendations to help your practice be productive until normal patient-flow resumes.

Get your records in order.

  • Take time to update or create your employee manual. CDA Practice Support provides two time-saving solutions designed for California dentists. Log in to use an online employee manual generator or download a customizable template.
  • Request a complete toolkit from CDA Endorsed Program HR for Health to help your practice and staff during the pandemic. Text CDACOVID to 44222.
  • Download the latest versions of patient forms. Practice Support provides informed consent forms for 17 procedures in nine languages, as well as a full online library of forms for health history, records authorization and much more.
  • Check in with your staff, business partners and referral sources to confirm their availability and contact information so it is current if the need arises.

Take part in remote education.

  • Catch up on C.E. by taking courses remotely through CDA Brightbox. The online learning platform offers access to live webinars, interactive web-based courses and audio recordings from past CDA Presents conventions.
  • Learn more about your office’s software. Use tutorials to better understand billing and patient scheduling programs.

Evaluate patient-facing communications.

  • Create email and document templates for communications with patients, such as allowing PHI communication via email and messaging with referral sources. Refer to the Practice Support Resource Library for templates and guidance.
  • Review your website to confirm that all links are working and information is accurate. Are the dental team members’ photos and names current? Does the website reflect your office’s present situation and availability? If you’re looking to optimize your site, CDA Endorsed Program WEO Media provides free marketing assessments to CDA members.
  • Check your outgoing message or answering service to ensure that patients are receiving clear instructions on how to reach you in the event of a dental emergency. Also check any automated text or email messaging for appointment confirmations, reminders, etc.
  • Have you posted social distancing guidelines and how to access emergency care during this time at the entrance of your dental practice? Check with your county health department to verify whether businesses in your county are required to post social distancing protocols and act accordingly.

Anticipate return-patient scheduling.

  • Review charts to determine who is overdue for routine care and who has missed appointments, so you can immediately begin filling the schedule when the office’s reopening date is anticipated.
  • Review charts and schedules and prioritize scheduling patients who are mid-treatment.
  • Start planning staff training in advance of reopening. If there are processes or protocols that need improvement, you may now have the time to strategize your training approach. Take the opportunity to reevaluate issues caused by haste in the past ― such as incomplete documentation or treatment templates ― and make them right.

Take care of your total health and well-being.

  • Practice self-care and be attentive to your mental health. Take a walk or ride a bike, keeping in mind the COVID-19 orders and advisories for your state, county and city.
  • Indulge in a pursuit you previously lacked the time to enjoy: Binge-watch a favorite series, read a novel from a favorite author or your book club, create music playlists or watch tutorial videos about your hobbies or areas of interest.
  • Refer to CDA’s wellness resources for additional tools to support your total well-being, manage stress and stay connected.
Comments are only visible to subscribers.