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Patient Communication: A Crucial CrossroadsBy Sally McKenzie, CEO
With so many demands on the busy dental team to stay on schedule and get patients into the chair, through their appointment, and on their way, it’s easy to understand why doctor and staff may be somewhat reluctant to spend any more time than what they feel is absolutely necessary on seemingly non-pressing issues, particularly those dealing with patient communications.
After all, most dental teams believe they are thorough and that they tell patients everything they need to know. If the patient asks questions, the staff answers them without hesitation, so why belabor this point? Unfortunately, in the busyness of the typical day, employees don’t communicate as well as they would like to think they do. Worse yet, they don’t even realize there is a problem, which can cost practices dearly in patient retention.
The fact is that patients want more information than they are typically given. They also want information that they are reluctant to ask for. And here’s the tricky part, it’s up to you to make sure patients get the information that you probably don’t even know they want. The good news: Your efforts will make a huge difference in patient opinion of the doctor and the practice, as patients who have their questions answered are far more satisfied with their care and the dental staff than those who don’t. And, in actuality, addressing this often overlooked patient need is much easier than teams realize.
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