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Christina Villarreal, Patient Experience Manager of Dental Associates, a DSO in Wisconsin, reports that case acceptance does indeed increase when patient experiences are exceptional. There are definite reasons why.  

 

The Importance of Trust

We all know from personal experience that we want to have complete trust in our health care providers and know that their recommendations are in our best interest. We want to know that what they recommend is what they would recommend to their own mother or father. 

It’s extremely important to build relationships and trust with patients so that when you do present the treatment plan, they feel confident that you genuinely care about them. Without trust in your competence and respect for them, without needed assurances that treatment is in their best interest, doubts can create an internal resistance to spending the money or going through the experience of treatment. 

 

How to Build Trust with Dental Patients

Trust is built as each member of the practice team demonstrates their competence, confidence, concern, and consideration for each patient. This may take time and frequency of contact but will grow.

How do you build this trust?  

  • Through hospitality and exceptional attention to their needs such as a warm welcome, remembering their name and expressed interests, empathy, and comfort measures
  • Through every conversation and interaction where you practice being “present” to provide your focused attention
  • Through the “extra mile” you will walk to provide information they seek 
  • Through the thoroughness of your diagnostic work ups and explanation of findings
  • Through discussion of treatment options and consideration of factors they need to weigh
  • Through understanding why they are in denial, fear, or mistrust dental treatment, and then choosing to patiently guide them until they are “ready” to move forward with treatment
  • Through helping them understand their benefits plan and payment options
  • To working out a compatible appointment schedule and how they will pay for your services
  • By providing an aesthetic and relaxing environment throughout your practice facility

Each of these things add to the patient having a great experience. When the patient experiences all these things, the patient experience you provide stands out, head and shoulders above most dental practices.

 

The Importance of Great Dental Experiences

The patient experience needs to be consistently great from getting to know you on the internet, to speaking with you on the phone, to scheduling, to reception, to what happens in the operatory, to being escorted back to the front desk, and follow-up. It must be consistently pleasant throughout each visit and every time they visit, too.

There is nothing worse than seeing a poor review comment, for example, one that says, “I love my dentist. I love my hygienist, but I can never get through on the phone, and when I do, the staff at the front desk isn’t friendly.” It’s those types of things that cause a patient to go somewhere else. I work with our teams, and I let them know that a patient wants their entire experience, their entire journey to be awesome. 

When you deliver exceptional patient experience at all touch points, the patient's feelings of trust and safety with everyone in the office develops. When this trust is deep, the patient can comfortably discuss treatment and make decisions.

At Dental Associates, we want everyone to provide amazing care, and our teams know this is our priority. This knowledge is the result of continuous communication from top leadership. Sustaining and improving exceptional patient experiences requires continuous observation, problem solving, training, and challenging our employees to remember patients come first. It’s the spirit of high engagement we create that leads to happiness for everyone involved. 

I’ve seen this many times. When patients have wonderful experiences, they come back and bring their friends. They write great online reviews. They trust you have their best interest in mind and accept more dental treatment. 

 

More Patient Experience Resources

You will find additional motivating videos featuring Christina Villarreal and other dental industry experts in our Patient Prism blog. Click here to access our numerous “Patient Experience” videos and their associated blog articles.

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