As more COVID-19 cases are reported across the United States, patients are becoming increasingly, and understandably, concerned. Sandy Pardue, one of the dental industry’s leading authorities on team training, organization systems, and office processes, has kindly shared her expertise on how to best communicate with patients who are concerned about their health and safety in places such as your dental practice.
Wonderist Agency understands how patient fears and concerns can effect your business and your ability to provide treatment. So we’re pass on Sandy’s expert advice for you to implement in your practice as you see fit.
Effective Verbal Skills for Addressing Patient Concerns About Infection Control
Relate to Your Patient’s Concerns
- “I understand your concerns, but I can assure you that you are safer here than in most doctor’s offices and hospitals.”
- “I can understand your concern, but I can assure you that we do everything possible to assure that our patients and staff are fully protected against all pathogens. Because of our high standards of infection control, I feel safer here than just about anywhere else!”
Put the Patient at Ease Through Education
- “We sterilize every instrument used in your mouth. Items that cannot be sterilized are disposable. We use hospital level disinfection in all areas in our office to destroy pathogens and our team is highly trained in these protocols.”
- “We practice all CDC and OSHA standards of infection control on a daily basis, and did so even prior to this virus. We treat everything to the highest standards for our patients’ and employees’ safety.”
- “We have a supply of masks, gloves, and protective eye wear. We clean everything with hospital level disinfectants as part of our standard protocol and we sterilize all of our instruments.”
- “We feel safe enough to continue to stay open and care for our patients, since we always practice disease prevention as advised by OSHA and the CDC.”
Offer an Infection Control Tour
- “I would be happy to give you a tour of our infection control techniques to put your mind at ease.”
- “I would be happy to give you a tour of our infection control protocols. We take pride in our high level of prevention the spread of disease.”
How To Best Communicate With Patients
- Train Your Team on Appropriate Responses
- Add Helpful and Accurate Information to Your Website
- Reach out on Social Media
What are symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
How can I prevent contracting the disease, or limit my risk of infection?
Standard hygiene practices, such as covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, avoiding contact with individuals who are unwell, and washing your hands regularly with soap and water, are recommended to help prevent infection and further spread. Additionally, avoiding travel to outbreak areas, staying away from crowds, and staying at least 6 feet away from anyone exhibiting symptoms can limit your risk.
What’s the mortality rate of COVID-19, and who is most at risk?
2.4-3.5%. Individuals over the age of 60, individuals with compromised immune systems or pre-existing conditions, and those with limited or no access to appropriate healthcare are most at risk.
What’s the incubation period for COVID-19?
On average, 5 days.
If I don’t have symptoms can I still be contagious?
Asymptomatic people typically have low levels of circulating virus, but it is possible to spread the COVID-19 virus to others.