Henry Schein presents view on the future of dentistry
MELVILLE, N.Y., U.S.: During the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, which took place online for the first time this year, Henry Schein virtually hosted a global media event on Feb. 25. At its Managing Through Crisis for a Stronger Tomorrow press conference, the company’s leadership presented key lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and provided a look into the future as dentistry emerges from this world crisis.
As presented by Henry Schein’s chairman of the board and CEO, Stanley M. Bergman, a key lesson learned in 2020 is that people are seeking moral leadership from business leaders because the role of businesses has very much changed during the pandemic. According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual survey conducted among over 33,000 adults from 28 countries, the global infodemic has led to a significant decline in trust in governments, non-governmental associations (NGOs) and the media. However, the survey also showed that businesses are considered the most trusted entities, as they are seen as both competent and ethical, outscoring governments on competency. Bergman outlined that businesses are approaching the level of ethics of that of NGOs and have gained this trust by proactively developing vaccines in record time, by bringing personal protective equipment (PPE) to the market and by finding new ways to work. The survey showed that the pandemic has magnified the other’s expectations of businesses beyond making profits and reinforced their responsibility to address environmental and societal issues.
Working together as the effects of the pandemic remain
It is expected that vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 will reduce the spread of the virus, but it is clear as well that it will not immediately eliminate the need to wear a mask and to abide by social distancing requirements. Therefore, it is likely that mental health challenges will remain for years and that the overall economic and social dislocation will be with us for a long time as well.
Therefore, Bergman pointed out that public–private partnerships need to work actively throughout the globe to ensure a reliable infrastructure and stable supply chain to deal with the shortage of PPE. These partnerships will become more important than ever before in advocating for appropriate PPE for dental and medical teams and to make sure best practices are understood as they emerge. According to Bergman, there is a key opportunity to “hasten the integration of oral health and systemic wellness by incorporating basic, easy-to-use, rapid point-of-care diagnostic testing into the dental practice.” Dentists are highly qualified to administer tests and vaccines and are trusted by the public and more specifically their patients. Thus, involving dental professionals in vaccination will most likely increase the vaccination acceptance rate. “Including dental practices in basic prevention and wellness treatment will be an important factor to reduce the cost of care, improve patients’ outcomes and assist in becoming a healthier society,” Bergman stated.
Bergman expects that the pandemic will bring an evolution of healthcare, driving strategic goals in the future in such areas as telemedicine, telehealth, digital communications, new products and services for PPE, infection control, testing and management.
Henry Schein One—connected into the future
Bergman finished his presentation by reaffirming Henry Schein’s commitment to both satisfy its customers’ needs and to continue providing the same human experience its customers are used to. Personal contacts, care and empathy are still the goal and hallmark of Henry Schein, but more emphasis will be given to delivering these through high-tech and more personalized and interactive means of communication, now and in the future, and through Henry Schein One in particular. The goal of this initiative is to provide a comprehensive practice management program to Henry Schein’s customers―product purchasing, and equipment sales and services―in order to offer seamless access to the company’s products, including surgical, endodontic and orthodontic products. According to the company, the "One Schein" initiative will enable customers to benefit from the ability to enrich patients’ treatments and outcomes and simplify business operations, in addition to having the ability to drive practice efficiency and success.