In March, when the pandemic closed dental practices, EDP hit the ground running to ensure functionality and efficiency in a COVID-19 world. That included researching safe care, procuring PPE, investigating technologies to reduce patient wait times and creating comprehensive guidelines. EDP also accelerated tele-dentistry access so patients could speak to dentists virtually.
"Dental care is vital for overall health, and we’re committed to ensuring our dental practices have the support and guidance they need to confidently deliver care,” said Adam Burr, DDS, chief dental officer for EDP. “We’ve done the heavy lifting to develop step-by-step guidelines that our more than 100 dental practices and 1,000 team members follow. The guidance covers education and training on COVID-19, workflow and operations, necessary equipment and patient and staff considerations, among other issues. It required a lot of flexibility and ingenuity, but our team executed it flawlessly."
Among the guideline recommendations:
- Minimize waiting room time by having patients deliver their forms online and call the office when they arrive to be alerted when the room is ready.
- Follow PPE requirements to ensure compliance in every state. For example, dentists, hygienists and other staff wear FDA-approved high-efficiency respirators covered by a surgical mask while treating patients, HEPA filters have been added as well as gowns to minimize contamination risk. During aerosolized procedures, they also wear face shields.
- Schedule at least 10-minute slots between patients to ensure thorough disinfection and cleaning of rooms.
- EDP consistently monitors and follows the latest guidelines of CDC, OSHA and State Boards of Health
"Staff at many offices were understandably anxious about coming back, but once they reviewed and implemented the guidelines, they said they felt very confident they could deliver care safely,” said Dr. Burr. “All of these preparations helped ensure our practices’ quick re-entry to patient care, ahead of industry averages."
Elite Dental Partners is a leading Dental Service Organization (DSO), providing administrative services and support to over 100 dental practices throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.elitedentalpartners.com.