During the COVID-19 mandatory shutdown in March, like many of you I had some emotional low points. I was generally able to keep my spirits high while confined to my home, but my thoughts would drift to concern for my furloughed employees and my patients who had emergent needs that couldn’t be treated. At my lowest, I wondered if my business could survive a prolonged shutdown. I have spoken to several of you who shared those gravest of concerns: could COVID-19 be an extinction-level event for private practice?
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Practices began to reopen. Initial concerns about dangerous aerosols and negative pressure rooms gave way to science and reason. By the early summer, we were able to get back to treating patients without dramatically different workflows. The full coronavirus tale has yet to be told at this point, but we can sense a happy ending.
For those of you who read our Principles of Practice Management e-newsletter,* you know that I’ve been musing about making significant changes to my practice. I’ve shared my ideas about dropping underperforming PPOs and rebuilding my team. These were all ideas that had been floating around in my head for the past few years, and now the current environment seems like an ideal time to finally execute them.
We can fall into the trap of doing business the same way we did it yesterday, rather than make the positive changes that will lead to less stress and more happiness. But we all just lived through a brush with business death, and, like any near-death experience, it should be as liberating as it was scary.
What would your evolved practice look like? Would you finally cut down a day to spend more time with your family? Would you finally decide to jump into digital impression technology? If you’d had to permanently close your doors, what would your biggest regrets have been? Now, get out a pen and paper and draw up a plan for your practice, reborn.
Chris Salierno, DDS