Acquiring the skills to run a dental office successfully includes knowing how to effectively leave a lasting impression with patients. Let’s go over ten key factors to keep your practice ahead of the game.
Tips for Running a Dental Office
1. Office Appeal
A patient’s first impression is made when they enter your office. By creating a comfortable, clean and calm mode, patients will feel relaxed. How do you knock off the perfect waiting room? Include as much natural lighting as possible, soft-colored furniture, and remember to accommodate space for kids with visually appealing, kid-friendly decor. An aquarium, TV featuring cartoons, fun chairs and toys, will help keep kids occupied and relaxed.
2. Safety Measures
Strict sanitary guidelines and social distancing have become vital factors for building patient trust and loyalty in the post-COVID era. Spacing out appointments will reduce congestion, allow for better social distancing, and keep patients at ease. Exam rooms should also be thoroughly disinfected and feel welcoming to assure patients that you prioritize their safety.
3. Go Digital
Did you know that 65% of patients prefer completing intake forms, including Dental consent forms, before the visit? There’s a huge advantage to embracing digital software that enables patients to fill out forms remotely. To run a successful dental practice, think low investment and high ROI. Establishing a solid patient intake experience is the second factor we’ll cover. Paperless consent forms and systems have become mainstream post-COVID, and are expected from patients.
Long wait times with filling out paper forms is a major turn off for patients, especially with young and middle-aged clients. Allowing patients to complete Paperless Dental Forms, scan IDs/insurance cards, and E-sign from home, puts your practice at the forefront, and gives patients a positive impression before they step into your office.
4. Lasting Impression
Patients develop a lasting impression based on their overall experience, and quickly pick up vibes from doctors based on body language, attentiveness, and confidence level. A successful dental practice prioritizes making patients feel that they come first. Use emotional intelligence to assure patients that you’re concerned with their well-being and best interests.
5. Maintain Rapport
Maintaining rapport by explaining procedures and checking on patients’ comfort level throughout procedures establishes trust and prevents avoidable misunderstandings. Keep patients at ease with a continuous communication channel that includes talking about activities outside the office. When patients feel that you’re reputable both inside and outside of dentistry, along with being involved in community service, they’ll find it easier to connect.
6. Staff Roles
Establishing clearly defined roles/processes for dental assistants and team members avoids confusion at the chair and gives patients a smoother experience. Staying on the cutting edge by ensuring that team members are proficient with advanced tools used for treatments and procedures, is important to all clients.
Have staff reassure patients about steps you’ve taken to provide the very best, so they understand that patient care is your priority. To run a dental office that establishes patient loyalty, be sure that staff can demonstrate confidence from the front desk to the exam room.
7. Go the Extra Mile
Express concern for providing each patient with the personalized care they need. Take time to ensure things are done correctly the first time around to prevent avoidable mistakes. Going the extra mile for patients by showing them a visual of their diagnosis while explaining, builds better understanding and trust.
8. Solid Communication Channel
Dentists who are well versed in how to run a successful dental office, know that solid doctor-patient communication lies at the core of a positive patient experience. Patients are looking for a dentist that demonstrates understanding, eye contact and emotional intelligence.
Patients love talking about their own stories; Listening and responding with compassion will win them over. Engage patients in the conversation so they feel like “we’re in this together," and provide resources for them to better understand their condition/treatment, via in-office iPad resources, brochures, blogs, social media, and website information.
Making sure patients sign the treatment plan, and are given a copy, results in better follow through rates. A study shows that 65% of patients prefer in-person conversations for their treatment plan rather than via phone or email. From this, it’s clear that face-to-face communication is a definite plus for patients.
9. Staff Training
Knowledgeable, proficient, and courteous team members boost your patient’s experience multifold, and make it easier to run a dental office. Investing in proper staff training and technology keeps your office operations flowing smoothly, and accelerates productivity.
Embrace tools that speed up documentation and collection processes to maximize efficiency. Competence in properly explaining treatment plans and answering patients’ questions affects follow through rates of patients.
10. Competent Front Desk
Front desk receptionists play a primary role in displaying professionalism to clients over the phone and in-person. Most negative patient reviews arise from front desk miscommunications. To avoid this, select suitable, courteous team members who demonstrate competence in handling difficult situations. Team effort plays a significant part in building a successful dental practice.
Mastering the skill of leaving patients with a positive impression of your office, is key to running a successful dental practice. By incorporating the ten principles discussed in this article, you’ll see patient satisfaction and profit skyrocket. By prioritizing patient care, your practice will flourish.