• Melisa Lazarevic


It has been a difficult time for all of us dental professionals when COVID-19 hit, not knowing what the future holds. For a few months I’m sure everyone was wondering what’s everything going to be like, are the new protocols going to cost you even more for your practice, are we even going to have a position to return to? Luckily RCDSO and CDHO released detailed guidelines and we were able to return to work and our patients.

We can all agree it is a different environment and the process of us and our patients getting acquainted with the new protocols is still going. I’m happy to notice that patients are very understanding and patient. The changes have affected everyone, but receptionists are more so affected than the providers. Some of the challenges we are facing are:

· Performing time consuming tasks i.e. explaining protocols and doing pre-screening for each patient

· Making those phone calls and talking more than ever and doing it with a mask on

· Ensuring protocols are being followed in the reception

Here are some effective solutions for the time consuming tasks:


Thanks to the option of automation, each patient can answer all the questions that the pre-screening contains in a form that they receive in a text or e-mail as well as our protocols upon arrival. Few days before the appointment, your patient can receive a message with their appointment details and the request to fill out the form prior to their appointment date. This is a real time saver, because this needs to get communicated across with each patient and the automated message/e-mail saves us from doing that. For more information, click here.


If the screening is done over the phone, you can make up a template in your chart to fill out while you are going through the questions with the patient and add any notes if needed. A template will contain each question with an option to choose an answer accordingly and if there’s a ‘Yes’ among those questions, the rest of the options can be set up to explain that the patient has been advised to reach his MD and is not to be scheduled. This can be customized to your needs.


Make the pre-screening form accessible on your website and ask patients to download, fill them out and forward in an e-mail or a text, that way a patient can do it at their convenience.

It all depends on your preferences and what you think would be more suitable based on the demographics of patients. As our technology progresses, more and more patients are turning to quicker and easier methods of communication which is slowly excluding phone calls. Using a dental booking software would be the best and the most efficient method. Find out about other ways Autoreach can help you with your daily tasks.

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