Pandemic Recovery Guide

Initial Team Meeting


Doctor: If you do not currently have a practice vision or the pandemic has caused you to re-think your vision, this is a good time to write one or edit your existing vision. The practice vision is a tool that guides the team through obstacles. The COVID-19 crisis certainly qualifies as an obstacle. You will need to refer to this vision during this initial meeting and repeatedly over the weeks ahead. (Reach out to Burkhart’s Practice Support Team for examples).

Team: Assign pre-work to each staff member in the form of viewing COVID-19 related webinars or reading resource materials. This will create an opportunity for a more productive meeting and more informed staff members. Your staff members will be fielding safety questions from patients; they’ll need to confidently address patient concerns. Reviewing these materials should also support any concerns team members may have as well. NOTE: Be prepared to reimburse team members for the time spent on assigned activities.

Suggested homework:
A. ADA: Return to Work Tool Kit (text document)
B. Burkhart Pandemic Recovery Guide (multiple resources for dentists/team members)
C. ADA: Respiratory Protection in the Era of COVID-19 (60 min.)
D. ADA: Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit Q&A (60 min.)
E. There may be local orders from your Health Authority or Dental Association


3-Hour Agenda


Icebreaker (15 min.)

Icebreakers set a tone for open, active communication throughout the meeting, rather than creating a “lecture-style” meeting that allows the staff to stay in a passive mode. Select just one or two icebreakers, depending on the number of staff members, to keep this to just 15 minutes.

Examples of icebreaker questions include:

  1. What hobby did you pick back up during your time off?
  2. Name a patient you most missed while we were closed and why.

Ensure everyone takes part by moving around the room or tossing a ball to the 1st person, they toss it to the next, etc.)


Practice Vision (5 min.)

  1. Read your Practice Vision aloud to the team. Provide them with copies so they can read along and reflect on it.
  2. Share that a vision statement helps the entire team during times of change; this is especially applicable during this global pandemic.
  3. Review how changes you are making to reduce the risk of COVID-19 fit within your practice vision. Changes made at this time should support the future vision of the practice. Take time to reflect on the future.
  4. Display the vision statement in a staff-only area of the practice, such as the breakroom.


COVID-19 Safety Measures (30 min.)

  1. Discuss your commitment to safety for your staff members. Let them know the guidance you are following as you initiate new protocols. This may be a combination of recommendations from the CDC, ADA, OSHA, your state dental association, or public health authority. Remind your staff your goal is to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, and acknowledge that while the risk is lessened, it is not possible to eliminate it. Remind your team this is a dynamic situation and you may need to update protocols initiated at this time, as new information emerges. Encourage everyone to continue to be flexible and ready to change.
  2. Review engineering controls that are in place. This could include acrylic barriers at the front desk, air purifiers, extraoral suction, higher-grade masks, etc.
  3. Review your new protocols and enhancements to infection control. Provide a written summary of these new protocols.


Activities (45 min.)

A team meeting that extends over one hour is more productive when staff members are able to move around and then regroup for a final Q&A session.

  1. Walk through the new protocols by allowing one person to be the “patient.” The front desk team member will review how their confirmations and scheduling protocols have changed – how they will be greeted at the front and sent to the op. The clinical team member will take over and walk through protocol changes they need to be aware of, such as not shaking hands, new PPE protocol, etc. Encourage the “patient” to ask as many questions as possible, so the team learns how to address patient concerns.
  2. Have the team watch the OSHA Seal Check Video (5 min) if you are using N95 or KN95 masks.
  3. Show everyone your staff screening log and why it is necessary to make sure staff are healthy when they arrive to care for patients.
  4. Provide time for clinical team members to set up their ops and become familiar with new masks and equipment. Take time to practice proper donning and doffing PPE sequences.


Paperwork (5 min.)

  1. Keep track of everyone who attended your training on a sign-in sheet with signatures (make sure everyone sanitizes their hands after signing), to keep for OSHA reference.
  2. Check with your malpractice carrier to see if there are any staff waivers that need to be signed prior to treating patients.
  3. If you received a PPP loan, and haven’t received a signed re-hire offer back from a team member, collect those signed documents at this time and add them to each employee’s personnel file and your PPP loan forgiveness file. (See more details from the Treasury Department. FAQ #40.)


Q&A (30 min.)

Regroup and offer time for staff members to ask questions.



Download this resource Re-Opening Team Meeting Agenda as a PDF.