The pandemic isn’t going to last forever. But, the fact is, it’s likely not going to completely go away any time soon. That doesn’t mean businesses are going to be closed for the next coming months, though. In fact, many practices are still open for emergencies. Others are opening back up to full-swing in the coming weeks. And all practices will reopen at some point soon. That means precautions will have to be put in place in order to ensure you, your team, and your patients are safe.

Everyone on your team is going to interact with patients, but your front office staff members are going to be front and center with all your patients. They’ll talk to almost every patient who comes through your practice doors. In light of that, friend of Dental Hub 360, Dr. Glenn Vo, recently surveyed practice leaders about what steps they are taking to ensure the safety of front desk staff. So, this week, we wanted to share the results of his survey with you. After all, learning from each other is an important part of building a strong dental community.

Of course, it's important for all practices to keep abreast of advice from relevant authorities, such as the ADA and it's guidance, including its interim mask and face shield guidance, too. But it's always good to hear what other practice leaders are doing, so we decided to also share what your colleagues are doing specifically for front office team members.

Face Masks

Face masks are becoming standard attire across the world and many practices are ensuring their front desk staff is no different. Virtually every practice surveyed will outfit their front desk staff with face masks. 

But face masks are not just for when your team members are in the office. Many practices are encouraging them to wear masks at all times when they're in public to protect themselves from catching Covid-19 and bringing it into your practice. Some practice owners also want to ensure team members are not seen by patients or others in the community without a mask when they are moving around town. That way, they don't risk others seeing your practice as inconsiderate of others or a risky place to visit.

Plexiglass Shield

A plexiglass shield is an extra step some practices are taking to protect front office staff from infection.

This isn’t a fool-proof strategy, but it’s better than nothing and, combined with a face mask, can offer added protection. That’s why many practice owners are installing a plexiglass shield on the counter and still requiring their front office staff to wear masks.

A simple transparent barrier between patients and front office team members can go a long way to making everyone safer. And going the extra mile for your front office team members can pay off for your practice in the long run, too. It will make them more loyal, increase their morale, and, most importantly, keep them extra safe.

Social Distancing

Many practice leaders have implemented the advice from the ADA and CDC and require social distancing at their practices. Practices surveyed indicated they are building social distancing policies into their practices and following local and national guidance to do the same. Some are setting down pieces of tape that are six feet apart.

They are closing waiting rooms that cannot ensure social distancing, instead asking patients to wait in their cars. They are requiring most patients to come alone to their appointments. And they are putting up signs reminding patients of social distancing guidelines.

What are you doing to ensure your front office team members are safe?

One of the best things we can do to make better decisions is to learn from officials and others' experiences. Together, that advice and support will help you make better decisions for you, your team members, and your patients. What are you doing in your practice?

If you're interested in more content like this, join the Trapped in an OP Facebook group today where dental professionals from around the world encourage, support, and advise each other!

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