Preparing for the future

Kirsty Hague provides insight into what dental practice owners and their teams can do during the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ to prepare for the future and offers the profession ongoing support.

Kirsty Hague is the Company Secretary at Hague Dental, which offers bespoke turnkey services that adhere to the highest standards. Kirsty’s education and experience enables her to work effectively in a number of areas, including marketing, sales, ergonomics and interior design.

A personal message from the Hague Dental team

Our love and support go out to you during what is an unprecedented and testing time for everyone.

Above everything else, we wish good health for you and your loved ones and can only hope that we come out of this period quickly and safely and with enough pent up demand to keep us all busy for a long time to come.

At our side, our teams are working safely and effectively to cover emergencies, ensuring we keep our practices and hospitals running where it is absolutely necessary. In other instances, we continue to offer remote technical support as always, so please call for any queries you may have.

The engineers are on their usual mobile numbers and Jim and Kirsty are on the main line 0800 298 5003, should you have any concerns or advice.

Reach out anytime, we’re here to help you as always.

We are living through unprecedented, difficult times. For many dental professionals, work has very much slowed down, offering only emergency care in some circumstances.

Others are working beyond the remit of their usual day-to-day efforts, such as putting their clinical skills to use to help the NHS in the fight against COVID-19 or offering the vulnerable in their community much-needed support in many ways.

Whatever you are doing, we know that emotions are running high, and we are available to support the dental profession as much as we can during this time. But do always remember that we will all get back on track in due course, so please don’t despair.

Meanwhile, if you are so inclined, there are a few things you can do to occupy your mind during these times to help in the future…

Data mining

In a nutshell, data mining is the practice of examining large pre-existing databases in order to create new information. When done properly, it generates valuable insights by identifying patterns that can be used to help achieve business goals.

This kind of knowledge base can be used really effectively in dentistry. For example, you can learn about the financial health of your practice by running a few reports. For this, your software is invaluable, as many offer all sorts of data mining options to help you and your team better understand your business.

You want to:

  1. Find the data
  2. Understand the data
  3. Act upon the data.

Supposing you want to find out how many patients are between 55 and 75 (the Baby Boomers) to target your marketing. For some practices, this is a great cohort because they are the first generation to expect to keep their natural teeth for life and under normal circumstances have money to spend. They might want implants going forward or aesthetic treatment. You can see how this data can then be used moving forward.

It’s not just about identifying dental need; for example, you may also be able to tally how many recommendations a person has made. With this information, you could send out a ‘thank you’ note for one successful referraland escalate how you thank that person as more referrals come in (always bearing in mind GDC expectations, of course). This kind of acknowledgement helps to build your future patient base.

These are just a couple of ideas – check out your software to see what it can do. If you are not sure about anything, give your supplier a call. For example, at Hague Dental we are readily available to help our clients with any queries they might have, even now.

Software savvy

Of course, not everyone is entirely comfortable using computers and software. Mostly we can do what we can do, and there are possibly some very handy tools we have never used or even heard about!

For those practices that already have bespoke dental practice software, it is a good time to check you have the latest updates installed and to learn how to use more of its facilities and to grow in confidence.

Why not have a team meeting via Zoom or some other video conferencing app to share all your knowledge?

There is also a wealth of material online, and you might find videos especially helpful – check out YouTube, you never know what you might find.

Again, if you want to take things a step further, the Hague Dental team is available to offer guidance over the phone and through video chat.

Prep practice equipment

To ensure your equipment remains in good working order for when you get back to work, shut everything down as you would if you were going on holiday. Check the manufacturers’ instructions for shut down or visit their websites for guidance – those documents are you first port of call.

The Hague team can also help further support is available at Plus,if you have any concerns or questions about what to do, the technical team is still available for remote support and essential emergency jobs in exceptional circumstances.

Once you have shut down your equipment properly to ensure it will be in good working order when you are ready to get up and running again, why not take a tour of the practice and have a good look at what you have in there? If you can’t leave home, try to visualise the practice – you’ll be surprised by how much detail you can recall when you concentrate.

Whether you are on the premises or working from memory, think about how each piece of equipment functions and how it benefits the practice and patients. Next, think about how it fits in with your goals.

If it all already meets your future needs and wants, then that is great. If not, why not spend some of the time you may have on your hands researching what aspirational equipment you would like in the practice to help you achieve you career dreams?

For all you techy dentists out there, it is great fun to do and will help to create a long-term plan to put you on track for bigger and better things once we are on the other side of this terrible situation.

Here to help

We will get back to normality in due course, and patients do still need us, so whatever you choose to do is a bit like pressing the reset button on a practice and considering what you might like to work more effectively for you when you start back up.

As I’m sitting at home writing this, Ican see things I really want to change and improve, and it’s worth doing the same for your practice.

If you see niggly things you don’t like or wish they could be improved, feel free chat to us about it when you are ready. We are available throughout this crisis – email, visit or call 0800 298 500.

Reach out anytime, we would be delighted to hear from you and will support you in any way we can.