You’ve picked out your new office carpet and wall coverings. Your staff is excited about all the extra space in your new dental practice location. As you prepare to move, remember all of the practical tasks that must be accomplished. Here are four tips to stay focused on the important considerations during your dental office relocation.
Get Your Credentials and Notifications in Order
If you’re moving your practice to a new state, you should already have met your licensing obligations to comply with that state’s dental board. Check the dental practice laws to learn which documents you must post in your office in the new state.
You won’t have to apply for a new license if you stay in the same state, but it’s a good time to go through your credentials and organize them into a cohesive file. Your state board of dentistry will need to be informed of your new address shortly after you move even if you stay within the same state.
Other change-of-address notifications to provide include:
- Your attorney and accountant
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency
- U.S. Postal Service
- Electronic claims processors
- Insurance companies
- Payroll processing company
- Professional dental associations
- Dental equipment suppliers
Depending on the municipality or county where you move, you’ll need to obtain special licensing to operate your dental practice. You may need to produce proof of your schooling, methods, test scores, and other credentials. Ensure you have your paperwork in order so you can start treating patients with no delay.
Start Alerting Your Customers Several Months in Advance
To retain your patients after a dental office relocation, announce your move well in advance of settling into the new office. The sooner your patients hear the news, the easier they accept and adapt to the changes.
Experts recommend that you start to notify patients at least two months in advance of your move. Place a large map with directions on an easel in your waiting room, or have an interactive map on a monitor near your reception desk.
There are many other ways to get the word out to your current patients. Include a flyer with all of the pertinent information in the bills you mail to patients. Use the following additional media to spread the message:
- Targeted emails
- Social media posts
- Newspaper and TV ads
- Local cable, radio, and news-shows
- Postcards and invitations
Some people don’t pay attention to easels, emails, or bills. Post an announcement and map at the old location (with the landlord’s and new tenant’s permission) for any confused patients who don’t realize you’ve moved.
Your staff should talk up the new location to patients long before and long after it seems necessary. If your phone number doesn’t change after the move, an old patient may show up at your former office knowing nothing about the move. During your office-visit reminder calls both before and after the move, be sure all patients scheduled for treatment after the move are given information on where to find you.
Since Google and other search engines prioritize local businesses in their results, make sure your address and contact information are correct online. Revise any websites, blogs, and other pages where you have an internet presence.
Sort and Secure Patient Data for More Efficiency
A dental office relocation provides an ideal opportunity to check the security and status of your patient records. Before the move, you and staff should double-check that all patient files are electronically backed up on the cloud or at an offsite location.
To keep track of patient records in a large practice during a move, check your post-move schedule and note all the patients you’ll be seeing those first few weeks. Pull their charts and review their records. If you’re afraid the files may be difficult to locate immediately after the move, set these charts in a separate box to be placed in your office.
If you or staff have been unhappy with your charting and filing system, reorganize and sort charts to be more efficient. Patients may be sorted by age, condition, or insurance provider. To save space in the new office, inactive patient files can be culled after data is backed up and secured.
Develop and Share New Office Plans
Minimize set-up time in the new office by creating detailed floor plans. Your plans must show exactly where each piece of equipment goes.
Your plans should be shared as early as possible with the companies installing water, power, and other utilities to your office and patient rooms. If there are any conflicts with your needs and the limitations of the building, you can resolve them before your official move.
Have a professional moving company relocate your sensitive dental furnishings, and make sure they have a copy of the floor plan on moving day. Leave a few copies of the floor plan at the new location in case someone’s copy is misplaced. Your office and treatment rooms will be set up much faster when everyone knows where things should go right from the start.
Trust your dental office relocation to the professionals at Bekins Van Lines, Inc. We have the experience and moving equipment to safely transport your specialty equipment and other office furnishings, and we offer convenient interim storage while your new office is being prepared.