The Four Fundamentals of Patient Care: Part I

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You may have heard the phrase, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!” I am blessed to work with dental teams nationwide to help them cultivate a happier, healthier and higher performing culture while delivering care with more focus and passion; however, the care part can often be vague and confusing. To better customize workshops to meet the practice’s needs, I send teams surveys for feedback on where they feel they excel and where they would like to grow. Most team members score themselves high at delivering excellent care—yet when I observe the team, I often find the opposite to be true. I have found this disconnect often stems from a difference of opinion or understanding about the meaning of care, which is why it is important for leadership (Doctor/Practice Administrator/Team Leads) to be on the same page and clearly define and model what it means to deliver exceptional care in their office.

Here is the first of four fundamentals that show our patients how much we care.

  1. Know Them!Getting to know your patients on a meaningful level is critical for delivering exceptional care. It starts with being aware of the patient’s needs and desires and being willing to do something to help them meet them. Caring is more than just being considerate, courteous or polite—it means being truly concerned for the well-being of “other.” It means taking time to have a conversation with our patient. Here are some examples of questions that can help us get to know our patients better:
  • How do you feel about coming to see a dentist?
  • What has been your past experience?
  • What are your goals and desires for your oral health?
  • What do you like most about your smile?
  • What would you change if you could change your smile by simply waving a magic wand?
  • What questions do you have about today’s appointment?
  • What can I do to make today’s experience better?

We can show we truly care when presenting treatment by:

  • Speaking slowly and clearly
  • Presenting information in bite-size pieces
  • Stopping data dumping
  • Comforting them if they have concerns or fears
  • Communicating on their level
  • Being an advocate instead of a sales person
  • Thanking them for being a patient

Check back soon to discover fundamentals 2-4 in a future post.

I hope you’re planning to attend Carestream Dental’s Global Oral Health Summit in November in Orlando, Fla. If you are, come see me! I would love to hear your ideas on this topic. I would also like to learn about what’s working well for you in your practice. If you haven’t already registered for the Summit, I am pleased to offer you some incentive to do it today. Here’s $200 off your registration! Just enter BLOG when you register.

I can’t wait to see you at the Summit.