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Vexing Questions About Vaccinations


Dear Sharyn

We are getting patients who want to know the vaccination status of our team – especially the hygienists. When we tell them that we can’t disclose that information, some of them cancel their appointments. We don’t want to lose patients over this issue. How can we handle this situation?

N.C.  Florida

Dear N.C.

When we ask someone something, there is often a question behind the question that is the real question. Let me clarify that mouthful. If you asked someone for the time, they would probably tell you the literal hour and minute. But your real question – in fact the reason you asked- is to determine if you’re running on time or late. So, a stranger would give you the time, but a real friend would answer the question behind the question too. When patients ask about your vaccination status, their real question is: Will I be safe in your office? This is the question you CAN answer.

Here is what it would sound like: “I totally understand your concern about being safe in our office. Here are all the things we’re doing to make sure our patients remain healthy…  Dental offices in general, are actually extremely safe because of these measures. In fact, I don’t know of any cases of transmission stemming from dental offices anywhere in the US. You will be in good hands when you’re in our office.”

By responding this way, you are able to reassure the patient without violating any privacy laws.

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Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

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