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The best way to understand the importance of your patients’ experience with your practice is to put yourself in their shoes.
Your ability to communicate with patients impacts their perception of your practice.
Even though people are doing more from their computers, phones and tablets, a phone call is still likely to be the first communication with your practice. Follow these tips to make the right connection.
The quantity of dentistry can never outweigh quality. The goal of effective time management is to achieve a workable balance between quality and quantity.
Your office décor communicates your attitude towards patients, your philosophy of dental practice, and maybe even a little about your interests outside of the practice.
The patient's first visit to your practice sets the tone for the future of the relationship. A positive initial experience translates to a positive, long-term relationship.
Request the necessary insurance data and a photo identification when you provide the patient with the standard new patient forms.
If time allows, take patients on a tour of the practice before they are escorted back to the operatory.
You and the members of your staff should try to strengthen the personal connection with the patient at each visit, but their first visit to your office is especially important. Follow these steps to introduce them to your practice.
Most practices have policies that explain the methods of payment accepted.
Despite the best of intentions, patients sometimes have legitimate reasons to cancel appointments.
Informed consent is the basis for every treatment you propose to and perform on patients. Dentists must obtain informed consent from each patient or from the patient's legal guardian or decision-maker.
Appropriate referrals to other providers are occasionally necessary in order to do what’s best for your patients.
General office policies about staff expectations and behaviors can play an important role in managing patients. You can also create policies for the patient's use of mobile devices while at your office.
The success of any dental practice is directly related to patients’ acceptance of the dentists’ treatment recommendations.
Ideally, patients who need more extensive treatment should return to the practice within one week for an appointment to discuss treatment options.
The dentist must be available for patients of record anytime an emergency occurs, no matter when that might be.
You are partners with the patient in their post-treatment care. It’s important for you to make sure that the patient understands their role and responsibilities following each appointment.
Most practice management software systems allow you to track appointments.
Patient records are a vital part of your practice. Follow the record keeping format you establish stringently and always keep in mind that what you write in the record could be read aloud in a court of law. After all, the patient record is a legal document.
Many practices confirm patient appointments via text, email or phone at least one day in advance of the scheduled treatment. Talk with your staff about what method and timeframe works best for your patient base.
The New Patient Experience
Ginny Hegarty explains why a successful dental practice focuses on the entire patient experience.