The Week That Was: July 6-10

Do these numbers match your experience?

COVID-19 has, no doubt, impacted the profession. But to what extent? Earlier this week on an ADA webinar, several reports were given based on a survey of @ 4,000 dentists. You can get lost in the numbers but I wanted to share a few and ask if they reflect your experience in Missouri. The first had to do with maximum capacity of patients in a day. The national average pre-COVID was 32. With new cleaning protocols in place, that maximum has slipped to 23.6. But the reported average of patients actually seen is 20.5. Have you experienced the same decline in production capability?

The report states that 97% of dental practices nationwide are open and patient volume has returned to 70% of pre-COVID levels. I dove into the Missouri specific numbers for comparison.

  • 72% of MO practices report a patient volume of 76% or higher.
  • 56% of practices reported total collections of 76% or higher.
  • 91.9% of practices say they are paying staff fully.
  • As for PPE, 50% of practices report having a 2 week or more supply on hand.

So what say you? Seems mostly positive that patient volume is returning; patients are able to pay; you, in turn, are able to pay your staff, and at least half of you are ahead in the hunt for adequate PPE. As the virus story continues to unfold, what are your biggest concerns? We’d love to hear them so the MDA can respond effectively to help you succeed. And if you like numbers, click here for the full report.

One last final revealing number to share. It reflects an 86% increase in member traffic to the ADA site over this same period a year ago. That tells me that when fear and confusion strike, members expect assistance and rightfully so. It also tells me the Tripartite stepped up to deliver answers. Membership may at times feel like an optional luxury, but can you image what it would be like to go it alone during this pandemic? And the resources keep coming. Just this week the ADA released their Patient Return Resource Center, a customizable suite of tools to help your patient base acclimate to resuming dental visits.

Shred, Secret Santa and Students

The variety of activities in any given week at the MDA can range from routine to bizarre. This week saw the shred truck come and eat all the good work that the staff had done in spring cleaning to remove old files and better organize space for growth. On Wednesday the MDA and MDIS staff gathered for the sacred drawing of Secret Santa names. Over the next month we will secretly encourage our co-workers through the giving of affordable but thoughtful gifts. Then in August we will have lunch and reveal if our suspicions of who drew our name were correct. And lastly in a more normal outing, Stacey and Jerri are in St. Louis today providing lunch and support for the ATSU D4s as they take board exams. We’ve already transferred 100% of them from student to formal membership so they are set to begin their careers with organized dentistry in their corner.

MOMOM’s Future?

Normally this time of year I’m scrambling on all fronts to finish preparations for our beloved MOMOM clinic. Instead it’s eerily quiet in that regard. I will miss seeing all the patients and wonderful volunteers. Now I know how kids feel who can’t go to camp this summer. But today I was on a webinar hosted by America’s Dentists Care Foundation with input from several national veterans of mobile clinics. All manner of issues were raised as we explored what safety measures and other adjustments need to occur in order to provide the type of experience patients and volunteers have come to expect from Missions of Mercy. It’s too early to be definitive, but rest assured we’ll be in touch, and we will need your smiling face and awesome skills at future clinics.

Quote of the Week

Roses are red, Violets are blue, I’m your Secret Santa, and this gift is for you!

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