Category: Author: David Hall
We’re calling this week 9 from the start of the hit dental practices took from the COVID-19 pandemic shut-down. A week ago we were close to normal for appointment requests initiated by patients, at 98% of normal. This past week there is a little tapering off of that level, and we’re at 90% of normal.
Here is the graph:
Analysis of the Data
While practices in many states are open or on the verge of opening, that isn’t true universally. Our practices in New York tell us that their re-open date keeps getting pushed back and is now set at June 1. So we wouldn’t expect to be back to 100% yet. Also, last week we suspect that the requests were inflated by some latent need that had built up over the seven weeks of coronavirus shut-down.
Additionally, our executive team attended another webinar sponsored by the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute. Some of the data shared there show a variation in responses from patients and dentists. While some dentists are fully back to work and some patients are fully willing to come back to the dental office, others are being held back by some fears. Given this, we are a little surprised that the appointment requests are as strong as they are.
One thing we aren’t sure of is if there are a larger percentage of patients filling out the online appointment request forms as opposed to calling the office for an appointment, given that some practices may not be tending their phones on a full schedule. We have access to telephone data, though it’s quite a bit more work for us to tabulate that, and we haven’t done that yet.
We’ll continue to follow this data.