Committing to the “Perfect Patient Appointment”
It goes without saying that we all want our patients to enjoy a positive experience with every visit, because “word of mouth” strengthens our practices. But what does it take to achieve that?
From the first contact (practice web site and/or telephone call), to payment for the completion of services, the patient must be made to feel welcome and valued, have their questions answered, and be served as though they are our only patient for the day. Not only does this require a total team commitment to customer service excellence, but also necessitates clear job descriptions and alignment to the practice vision.
The facility should be pleasant and inviting, and reflect the quality of the practice. Equipment should be well maintained, up-to-date, and functional. Operatories should be neat and efficient. Systems should be well organized. Paint, wallpaper, flooring, and artwork should be clean and attractive.
The doctor must have strong leadership skills, a clear vision for the practice, and a commitment to remaining current in clinical skills through continuing education. Additionally, he or she should work “on” the practice as well as “in” the practice to assure excellence in practice management and clinical systems.
Taking ten to fifteen minutes each morning to discuss the day’s schedule is crucial to achieving that “perfect patient appointment”. Understanding who is being seen and why, addressing any special needs or concerns, and identifying the necessary items to provide and complete the patient’s services are critical.
These four elements aren’t the only ingredients for achieving that perfect patient experience, but they are certainly key. The bottom line is to focus on one satisfied patient at a time, and build our practices with raving fans!
Tags: dental employers dental staff patient satisfaction practice management