Have you considered post lockdown, how to meet the demand?
With lockdown continuing to keep dental practices closed for routine treatment and check-ups, anxiety is building in patients and providers alike over the increasing demand for dental care.
Lockdown is putting financial pressure on dental practices, and with scandalous PPE shortages and volatility in stock availability, the ability to meet patient demand post lockdown is a big concern.
Post lockdown: how to meet the demand
Will there be a surge in demand for dental care after lockdown ends?
Evidence suggests that there will indeed be a surge in demand for dental care post lockdown. While practices will likely have to reduce patient capacity significantly to meet social distancing requirements, it is anticipated that the demand will rise quickly.
Patients that have been unable to access routine care for the past few weeks, or could not be referred to Urgent Dental Centres, are likely to have ongoing and escalating dental health problems requiring treatment.
But according to the research conducted by the British Dental Association, a third of all dental practices are likely to go bankrupt during lockdown, and over two-thirds are unlikely to survive the next quarter. How this will affect dental care provision in the ‘new normal’ remains to be seen.
How will dental practices reopen after lockdown?
When it comes to reopening, the safety and protection of staff and patients are imperative.
This means ensuring that your practice has ready access to adequate amounts of PPE as well as dental equipment, instruments, and items of stock.
PPE shortages have dominated headlines and continue to be an issue. Securing a reliable supply will be crucial to remain operational. You also need to consider how to store and dispose of PPE safely, and how to monitor levels to make sure that you do not run out.
Ensuring that adequate levels of stock are held on-site or across groups of practices is also vital. Keeping on top of stock rotation, expiry dates and product recalls is critical not just for patient care, but also for the financial viability of the practice. It becomes especially important if you are operating on a skeleton staff.
Make sure you have enough stock, PPE and access to reliable supply chains to be able to cope with the demand.
Do you need to carry out a stocktake?
Stock checks often take up considerable non-clinical time, so ensuring that you have a reliable system in place to manage stock without taking up valuable resources will help your resiliency and efficiency when you do open your doors again.
Streamlined stock monitoring with real-time reporting with a tool like StockAssist Medical will allow you to operate your practice smoothly with reduced staff numbers.
What happens next?
Will you be able to meet the demand when lockdown lifts? We are still waiting for clear guidance on what will happen post lockdown. But as dental practitioners and clinicians, you will need to ensure that you have procedures, policies and adequate stock levels in place to deal with the demand once the restrictions ease.
Are you ready to meet the demand?
Get in touch to discuss your stock preparedness and stock management solutions for reopening your practice after lockdown.
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