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Laura Hatch of Front Office Rocks gives tips and training for your office for a grand reopening. This is part two of our series “The Strategy for a Grand Re-Opening”

Laura Hatch is the CEO of Front Office Rocks/ Team Training

Being married to a dentist, she found herself managing a new startup in Baltimore and then again in Southern California. After seeing the same problems and need for continual training for the front office, she decided to create a team training that could be done anywhere.

After opening up in 2008 in one of the most challenging markets in the country, she has learned a lot about start-ups in challenging environments. The key is to have a great attitude first and foremost. The way it was may not happen quickly, but you can prepare. It’s a graduated system to get going.

First of all, you want to check in with your team. Who’s coming back, and who can’t come back due to issues with kids. Start with your schedule and look at our high-risk patients likely to cancel, also look for small business owners or people who have high travel jobs that will get back to work quickly. Look for those who have needed to come in and are ready. You also need to be mindful of who is eligible for their insurance. With many people losing their jobs, they may not be able to come in for treatment due to cost.

How do you approach team members that are hesitant? What was your culture before? You may choose not to invite some people back because other more qualified and high impact people will be available to hire.

What advice do you have for startups? If you were a recent startup, keep running with what you’ve got. You were probably already working on social media, technology, and acquiring new patients.

What should we do about new laws and regulations? We don’t know how those will look currently, but we do not it will be a slow open. Lengthen the appointments to reconnect with patients, address new safety precautions, and give the patient assurances of their safety. In the front, we are not sure what changes will be necessary, and we will need to refresh ourselves on the operations and safety measures.

Be mindful that some patients may be very scared. Turn off the news in your offices and keep the environment positive.

Communication, team building, and anti-drama training is a great place to put your time. Another great training is productive scheduling and case acceptance. The last thing is to go over things that were giving you headaches before the closure to correct the issue before opening.

How should we handle the modules? Have the team watch the same videos on their own, then set up a meeting on how to implement it in your practice.

What about a curbside waiting room? It is a reception area, not a waiting room. There should be an adaptation based on the patient unless you prefer otherwise.

What about high-risk patients having a designated time? That can be a great idea. We need to look at how we can adapt to accommodate as many people as possible. It doesn’t matter what anyone else does, just do what works for you and your team.

How should we keep the training momentum going after we reopen? New hires need one hour minimum training per day. For current team members, it is one hour a week on any kind of training skills. The recommended time is either first thing in the morning or right after lunch so that it doesn’t interrupt production. You can also do it during a huddle or during cancellations. Team meeting times are a great time to apply the information as well. If you don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen. Just get the person away from the production area. Doctors need to lead by example.

How do I keep my team motivated? Ask your team what they want to work on to improve. Her next event will be in June in Indianapolis that will be live-streamed.

Go to www.frontofficerocks.com/laura to reach out to her team for information and don’t forget about the Nifty Deal

What do you suggest to help get through this time? Use this to come out of it as a better person.