COVID-19 Office Closure Guidelines
The AAO recommends that its members follow all applicable federal, provincial, state and local authorities’ guidance concerning closure recommendations for non-emergency care. To that end, the AAO defines emergency orthodontic care as care that will relieve pain and/or infection, is trauma-related, or is critically necessary to prevent harm to the patient.
You’re closing. Now what? Consider these steps:
- Notify your employees: Access HR-related information that the AAO has compiled, which includes a variety of recommendations regarding the coronavirus and team members.
- Develop a process and assign responsibilities for notifying patients and re-scheduling appointments.
- Notify your patients:
- Notify any other key suppliers, especially those that may have pending or regularly scheduled shipments
- Reschedule appointments.
- If patients will be called by your team for re-scheduling, clearly state such information in your closure announcement so you are leading the charge, and patients aren’t all trying to call and re-schedule at once.
- Explore these tips for virtual appointments.
- Mitigate the long-term financial impact on your practice and utilize AAO financial resources related to COVID-19.
- Stay in touch. Keep your patients and team members informed with virtual meetings and social media.
- Explore these 5 free virtual meeting tools & educate yourself on cyber security measures for orthodontic offices during this time.
- Share AAO blog “My Orthodontist’s Office is Closed. What Does That Mean for my Treatment?” with your patients.
- Consider other fun ideas, like sending handwritten notes or calling patients to check in.
- Monitor the AAO’s COVID-19 Resource Center for updated information daily and keep an eye on recommendations and news from health agencies.
- Earn continuing education credit. Now is a great time to stay connected with the orthodontic community virtually. Explore our upcoming educational opportunities.
- Prepare for when you reopen. (see below)
Fostering Personal Connections with Patients during COVID-19 Office Closures
Maintaining strong relationships with your orthodontic patients even when you’re not seeing them at appointments may be helpful for their treatment compliance, motivation and mental health. Beyond treatment issues, you may wish to make your practice a source of support for the many challenges your patients and their families are now facing. Here are some ideas for phone contacts and social media content to help you get started. Read More >
Virtually Maintaining Patient Care
During this unprecedented time, it’s still important to remain connected with your patients. While virtual consults or visits will not replace the need for in-office treatment, you can utilize virtual appointments to remotely monitor patients in active treatment and identify potential emergencies. Here are some virtual visit workflows to help you get started. READ MORE >