This article is sponsored content brought to you by Amalgamate.
By Dr Roslyn Franklin (Director, Amalgamate)
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an instant impact on dental practice, like so many other professions and industries, and that impact will be felt for months and years to come. Around Australia practices are needing to deal with a wide range of immediate changes and challenges, figuring out in very short order how they can continue to provide services to patients, protect staff and patients equally, and continue to operate a viable business.
Dentistry is far from alone in having to deal with many of these challenges. Like many industries though, dental practices are finding that it is possible to operate in the strange circumstances we find ourselves, albeit in ways we might not have imagined even a few weeks ago. Dentistry has some natural advantages too. Infection prevention and control have always been an integral part of our profession, and so on that front we are particularly well placed to deliver a service that by its very nature requires person-to-person contact.
All dental practices operate within practice, industry and legal guidelines and standards, which provide a minimum level of operational protection normally, though there are aspects of the current situation which go well beyond the circumstances these were prepared for. Some practices have been better placed than others to deal with the immediate challenges. Those with formal protocols and procedures and training in infection control and are accredited will have found these will have provided additional protection, surety and efficiency for both the practice and for patients.
While all of this can feel overwhelming, and the situation is challenging from both a practice and business perspective, there is always some level of opportunity too. Practices have some time now to spend in the business, and with a lower workload there is the opportunity for catching up and proactively looking at manuals and documentation, infection control training and accreditation. These will have value in both the short and longer term.
Infection control is a constantly evolving topic and this pandemic has certainly brought it to the forefront. But it is easy to get overwhelmed with the explosion of information available online and through social media. Start with the ‘Managing COVID-19 Guidelines’ from the Australian Dental Association which are freely available. The Dental Board of Australia expects all dental practitioners to follow these guidelines.
It’s very likely that there will be a long tail in the recovery from COVID-19, and its likely not everything will go back to how it was before. Practices that are successful in navigating the current situation and which thrive into the longer term will be the ones which adapt fastest and prepare best for the future.
If you’re not sure what you have, what you need, or how to proceed through this current time in a cost (and time) effective way, you can visit www.amalgamate.com.au to get a comprehensive overview on the packages on offer. Or simply make contact and we’ll help you work out where you now are and the best way to move forward.
I offer a free consult, so I urge you to take advantage of this unprecedented downtime and take that vital first step toward re-positioning yourself as a leader in the field.