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8 Steps to Get Your Medical Practice Back on Track After the COVID-19 Pandemic

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What a wild couple of months it has been! We are all eager to get back to business and a sense of normalcy. With that being said, it is imperative to understand that we have all endured this experience together and this should not be ignored as we start to open up our practices. Every individual will have their own set of specific concerns and, although they may differ, our common denominator is COVID-19.

As we navigate new territory, there are a lot of variables that need to be addressed. How do we market to our audience still reeling in their emotions from the madness? What challenges do we face as we get ready to re-open up our practices? How do we address staff and patient concerns? How do we navigate our own offices and ensure all protocols are being maintained? How do we make sure our PPP loans get forgiven? 

We hope you find the following information helpful.

1 . Marketing

The way we communicate to our audience after all they’ve been through will be extremely important in re-establishing your reputation with them. Are you a money-hungry practice who just wants to increase revenue or are you a practice who is concerned for all patients and staff?

  • E-blasts

    • Keep patients updated with an opening schedule
    • Convey safety procedures – Make patients comfortable by addressing the changes your practice has made in regards to patient and staff safety
    • Be sympathetic and acknowledge what we’ve all just been through
    • Be careful with your messaging when posting new before/after images
  • Website Pop-Up

    • Change verbiage on the pop-up to convey guidelines, safety procedures and virtual offerings
    • You can still have a call to action where patients can join your email list to learn more about what you are doing to keep everyone safe
  • Update Listings

    • Make sure to update any COVID-19 banners or disclaimers you may have put up
      • Yelp
      • Google
      • Realself
  • Team Member Scripts

    • All the information being disseminated to your patients should be consistent
    • Make sure your staff has a script of FAQ’s and are ready to answer any questions patients may have about what your practice is doing to stay safe

2 . Preparing for Reopening

We are all eager to get back to work and to provide high-quality service to our patients, but it is important to move slowly and not have expectations as we are all navigating new territory. Keep in mind that we need to adhere to local and state regulations as much as federal regulations.

  • Navigating Patient Backlog – Everyone will want that first surgery/appointment spot!

    • Decide and be clear with staff about which cases need to be addressed first
  • Instructional Videos

    • As most of us have implemented telemedicine – now is a great time to optimize this service and offer it to all patients, but especially to those not comfortable enough to visit the office yet
    • Shoot videos from the patients perspective that illustrate what the process is like for the following:
      • Virtual Consult
      • Intake
      • Pre-Op
      • Post-Op
  • Supply Chain – It is no surprise that PPE is still hard to find

    • Source and order PPE from wherever you can
    • Order drugs and ration them accordingly
    • Keep in mind that for many N95’s and Propofol are still on backorder
  • Testing – Keep in mind not all tests are created equal 

    • Will you be testing your patients pre- and post-op?
      • What lab/type of test will you be using?
      • Who will be conducting these tests or will you suggest patients be tested at their local hospital?
      • How accurate are the tests?
      • What is the turnaround time on results?
      • What will you do if a patient is positive?
    • Pre-Op Tests
      • Testing patients prior to surgery is an effective way to keep everyone safe
      • Some doctors have had success with administering 2 tests about 3 days apart then required the patient to self-quarantine for 2 weeks prior to surgery
  •  Procedures that require the patient to not wear a mask

    • Create new SOP’s to adjust how you position yourself when performing these procedures
    • Test the patient!! Most patients will be happy and relieved to be able to receive a test

3 . Bring Back Staff

Everyone is excited to get back to work, especially if your practice had to lay off any staff members. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when you get to this phase. Take things slow and be mindful of their concerns.

  • Safety

    • Ensure that social distancing protocols can be followed in the office
    • Make sure to provide PPE and have enough on hand for surgeries
    • Make sure to provide a waiver to avoid liability
    • Screen staff each day they come in for work
    • Scrubs are not to be worn outside of the practice
  • What to do if a staff member does not feel safe coming back

    • Work together to come up with a plan that will make them feel safe and secure
    • Be cognizant of local, state, federal and medical regulations
    • Consult with a local employment attorney
  • First Point of Contact – Must be educated in all SOP’s & guidelines

    • Create a bullet point script for staff to follow – this ensures cohesive information is being given to patients 
    • Stay up to date – laws are changing every day 


4 . Regulate Flow of Patients 

Start slow and push telemedicine for consults and follow-ups

  • Waiting Rooms

    • Some states are not allowing waiting rooms
    • If your state does allow a waiting room – make sure to implement safety protocols to ensure safe social distancing
    • Think about implementing a no children/family members allowed rule
    • Have patients and guests wait outside or in their car
  • Scheduling

    • Start with screening each patient
    • Take payment over the phone
    • Start with one injector at a time
    • Stagger appointments
    • Account for cleaning time after each patient
  • Start with Small Procedures

    • Procedures that are not in or around the mouth/nose area are ideal
    • PPE and drugs are on backorder
      • Start with procedures that do not require too many supplies
      • Make sure nothing goes to waste
  • Checking-In

    • Implement new SOP’s on patient check-in
    • Communicating with patients over the phone will help cut back risks associated with face to face interactions
      • Text or call to check-in
      • Have patient wait in their car until you are ready for them
      • Text or call to call the patient into their procedure room
  • Follow-Ups
    • Can be done over the phone/video chat


5 . Protection

It is our responsibility to keep everyone safe as we are conducting our opening procedures. This means having enough PPE on hand as well as communicating with our patients about face coverings. Treat everyone as if they have the virus.

  • Patients

    • Communicate what you expect from them upon their arrival
    • Think about sourcing branded face masks to give out to patients (we have a great contact if you need!) nspire happiness masks for medical marketing blog
  • Staff

    • Goggles and visors should be worn while performing any procedures
    • Have a face shield of some sort to offer to staff
    • Source respiratory masks for staff
    • Always, always, always wear protective gear 


6 . Challenges 

We are currently facing one of the biggest challenges any of us have ever had to encounter so we must assume there will be challenges to face as we open up our practices.

  • Is testing available?
  • Are you able to implement technology to allow for remote check-ins and follow-ups?
  • Sourcing enough PPE
  • Writing new protocols
    • OSHA has a wonderful PDF with guidelines here
  • Making staff comfortable enough to return to work
  • Not forcing anyone who is NOT comfortable to return to work
  • Staff and patient compliance


7 . Legal 

If it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist. Preparing for the worst-case scenario as we begin to open our offices will make navigating these trying times much easier and hopefully help avoid any legal issues.

  • Make sure you, your staff, and your patients are aware of the new protocols

    • Have your staff sign a waiver when they return to work
    • Have a conversation with the patient to address their concerns
    • Educate patient about what you are doing to keep everyone safe
    • Put as much information as you can on a consent form and have the patient sign
      • Remember that larger procedures may decrease patients immune response to any virus 
  • Virtual Consultations

    • Make sure what you are doing is HIPPA-compliant 
    • Ensure your medical malpractice insurance covers virtual visits 
    • Be aware of state laws
    • Treat them as if they were in office consultations
    • Chart these interactions properly
    • Do not treat them like a Facetime call
  • Patient Falls Ill

    • If a patient is diagnosed with COVID-19 through a family member
      • Patient post-op care MUST proceed
      • Cannot dump a patient for this reason
  • Always consult with your attorney to navigate any grey areas!

8 . Miscellaneous

Now is a good time to revisit outside services, including janitorial and package deliveries as well as in-office patient perks.

  • Set protocols for any services like cleaning crew or deliveries

    • Wear gloves at all times
    • Wear masks at all times
    • Whatever you deem necessary for your practice
  • Patient Perks

    • If you do decide to have a waiting room:
      • Remove objects that tend to be touched often (i.e. coffee, snacks, water, brochures, reading material)
  • PPP Loans

    • Open a dedicated account for these funds
      • This will make it easier to track where the money is going 
      • Easier preparation for loan forgiveness
      • Realign pay periods to ensure you use at least 75% on payroll


Overall, our industry will figure out how to get back to normal through patience, knowledge, and perseverance. We must understand that, in order to continue to slow the spread, we must educate ourselves, our staff, and our patients. Every practice will need to set clear expectations for every visit and remember that we are all in this together. 

Learn more about how COVID-19 can drive innovation for your medical practice.

Watch the 3 part webinar series that our Founder & President, Risa Luksa, presented for the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) to help support the medical community.

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