The goal of every dental office should be to make sure that each patient visit is as comfortable and pleasant as possible because building relationships with our patients is the secret to our success. People are more likely to schedule for their dental care and do what is best for their dental health when the recommendation comes from providers who they know, like and trust.
It is important that your office is clean. If you own your own building, it is up to you. If you rent the housekeeping provided by most building management does nothing more than run the vacuum and empty the trash. It is usually up to the Doctor and team to ensure that doorways are dusted, counters are wiped down and the coffee bar and other public areas are clean.
Take the time to sit in the reception area and view the office from a patient’s point of view. Occasionally dust and wipe down your work area and other common areas of your office, check the edge of your carpet, you know by where the carpet meets the wall, is it dusty?
Offer the patient amenities, bottled water (take care to note if patient account is flagged to NOT offer them plastic bottles as people who recycle can become offended if you don’t respect this wish). Provide a coffee bar, for waiting guests. Pens, Chap Stick, golf tees and nail files are other patient gift items available to give to patients to enhance a wow experience.
If a patient is upset about their visit for any reason, ask you Doctor or Office Manager if gift cards are available to give to the patient to ease the discomfort.
Monitor the reception area; take notice of any patient who is waiting a long time for their appointment, the admin team should regularly communicate with the clinical team to keep themselves informed if the team is running behind schedule. Offer these waiting patients, magazines, water or coffee, keep patients informed of how long it will be before they will be seen and apologize that the team is running behind.
Keep your voice low when discussing patient’s personal business such as monies due or recommended care when other patients are within ears shot of the conversation. Review your office HIPAA policy, on a regular basis, with your team.
The most important part of the patient’s dental appointment is how they feel when they leave the office. If everyone on the team keeps this in mind and treats each patient with care and respect your office will be a patient care comfort success!