Business During COVID-19:
Johnson Family Dentistry
Mar 24, 2021
What is Johnson Family Dentistry?
Johnson Family Dentistry has been serving the city of Devils Lake, ND since 1977. Dr. Kirsten Andrews took over the practice from her father, who started Johnson Family Dentistry in 2007. In 2016, Dr. Andrews built a brand-new office for her practice to expand her reach and capacity. Today, Dr. Andrews and her associate, Dr. Webster, pride themselves on the utilization of advanced technologies to provide better care and service for their patients.
When the Coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, the dentists in the community of Devils Lake came together and decided to shut down for 6 weeks – including Johnson Family Dentistry. While the clinic remained open for dental emergencies, the six weeks were a long and frightening time for Dr. Andrews and her team. Her biggest struggle was managing all the unknowns that came along with the shutdown – Johnson Family Dentistry’s financial status, patients, and staff - and remaining calm throughout the process.
“Shutting down our office for those six weeks was terrifying as a small business owner. My mind was racing with questions. What do I do with my staff? How do I keep track of our financial status? How do I communicate and serve my patients? How do I keep from panicking?”
Johnson Family Dentistry's Creative Solutions:
In order to reduce stress and make good use of her time, Dr. Andrews worked with her consulting company, Spear Practice Solutions, that she has been working with for three years. They were able to help her manage her finances and set up practices to optimize their operations when they were open again. Her practice also donated masks, gloves, and other PPE equipment to their local clinic throughout this time.
Fortunately, Johnson Family Dentistry was able to re-open after those six weeks and resume operations – but not without some changes. Dr. Andrews implemented many new practices in order to ensure the safety of both her patients and her staff, including installing Plexiglas across her front desk, asking patients to remain in their car to limit the amount of people in the waiting room, and requiring masks. Each patient’s temperature was taken upon entering the building and they were asked to rinse with a mouthwash prior to their appointment.
In addition, Dr. Andrews installed HEPA Filters throughout the office and an ADS suction in each hygiene room that would help eliminate aerosols that are emitted into the air throughout dental cleanings and procedures.
After re-opening, Dr. Andrews was filled with gratitude in the way the community and her patients responded.
“The community of Devils Lake has been so flexible and understanding about the different things they have to do in order for us to stay open. Whether it is taking their temperature, rinsing, or limiting our waiting room, they have been so supportive of us and willing to take any steps necessary to help us stay open and stay safe. I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Advice for Other Small Business Owners:
Dr. Andrews encouraged other small business owners who may be facing challenges or unknowns to work together and be open and transparent.
“The most important thing you can do during times of uncertainty is vow to not go through it alone. It can be tempting to close in, but you have to rely on the people and resources around you to get you through it. Ask questions and be transparent with your team about what is going on. You have to use times of uncertainty to work together if you want to come out the other side.”