The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have had a shocking impact on the way dental practices work. Over the last months, the Dentex Team responded quickly to adapt and develop crucial elements such as new clinical protocols and safety measures, PPE supplies, mask fit testing, risk assessments, virtual consultations, diary scheduling, new patient journey, and patient communications. We wanted to ensure our practices felt confident when their staff, patients and families were able to return to their practices.
As a result, on the 8th of June, 46 practices were ready to reopen and, by the end of June, 99% of them were welcoming their patients again. Having gone through a major crisis, we recently asked our partners for their feedback on the support we provided over lockdown. We also requested suggestions from them on how we can improve or what they might need next.
The findings below are a collation of the results and a demonstration of how Dentex works to continuously provide the support our practices need and helping them to cope with any adversities that may come.
How was Dentex support compared to other dental corporates?
Collaboration and communication are at the core of everything we do at Dentex; they were key to getting our business back on track. During lockdown, we organised various chat groups and weekly meetings for partners to discuss the constantly changing landscape and to share information and insights across our network of practices. Together, we aimed to find the best solutionsand to define the best path towards a new way of practising dentistry.
According to one of our partners, “being part of Dentex helped with the flow of information for the new protocols and with keeping up to speed with the latest Covid-19 developments. The Dentex Compliance team have been fantastic in deciphering all the various official information bulletins. In this way, we could understand what we were supposed to do to keep everyone as safe as possible, whilst trying to maximise our ability to work. The Procurement team have been fantastic in sourcing all of our new additional PPE when nobody in the industry could.”
What did we do well?
Generally, the feedback about Dentex’s operational support was positive; our quick response and strong commitment to find solutions in regard to new protocols, PPE procurement, digital tools, and open communication were highly mentioned.
We sought to collaboratively ensure the financial viability of Dentex throughout this very difficult period and have taken onboard the issues our practices felt most importance going forward, e.g. support in reshaping the business where necessary, keeping up-to-date with protocols, and help and advice in an ever-changing environment. As a result, Dentex received constructive feedback, as seen in the word cloud below, built from the most common words used by our Partners.
What are the practices’ main concerns going forward?
No one can predict what will happen in the next few months; there is still much speculation about how dentistry and society will operate. Among Dentex’s dental practices, the most common concerns are related to fallow time, new spikes of COVID-19 and further phases of lockdown, footfall, profitability and growth, economic recession, and, of course, the continued safety of staff and patients.
At Dentex, we feel prepared for what may come. We now have robust processes and procedures in place to help us cope with a variety of scenarios. With lockdowns continuing to be localised, we must continue to strive to understand what we can do for each individual practice based on their circumstances.
Generally, many businesses have been affected by the impacts of COVID-19. We have been successful in quickly getting many of our practices back to 80% of private revenue compared to prior years. This is down to the strength of our collaboration across the group and ability to collectively respond to a rapidly changing environment.
We are more confident now in how we should tackle issues relating to future restrictions
, and have greater insight and scientific understanding on which to base our decisions. We will continue to look for innovative and practical ways to grow our business as a group.