I wrote yesterday that the Corona Pandemic was the ultimate “Black Swan” and although no one was prepared to deal with it having digital technology in place can help. How?
A primary protocol for control of the disease is to avoid other people, stay home and if possible work from home or telecommute. In order to be able to telecommute you must have digital data available on a network. If you have a complete digital paperless system you can telecommute. If you still have elements of your practice on paper you cannot telecommute.
Of course it is not possible to clean teeth or place a restoration via telecommuting (at least it is not possible yet). However there are quite a number of things that can be done from home using your digital network. You can:
- Review the schedule and contact patients to cancel or reschedule.
- Contact individual patients in the middle of treatment or with active disease and make a plan to get them through the crisis. At least reassure them you know they are there and may need your help and you will be there if needed.
- Follow up on accounts receivable both patient and insurance balances. Collect the money you are owed, you may need it.
- Create new treatment plans and remove or deactivate old treatment plans.
- Do general account maintenance and remove or deactivate unneeded accounts. This includes inactive patients, old or redundant insurance plans and ex-employees.
- Update your security protocols with new passwords and eliminate passwords for ex-employees.
- Run reports and spend some time evaluating your business effectiveness. Reports could include, collections percentage, recall percentage, treatments performed, time needed to complete treatment, write off and adjustments and many more.
- Send general information announcements to all patients via text or e-mail.
What about doing basic clinical tasks, is it possible to do that via telecommuting? Yes, more to come.