Effective patient care strategies for dentists
According to research, a dentist’s “soft skills” directly affect how much patients value the services they receive, how much they trust them, and how well their treatment goes. Here are some simple strategies and tips outlined for enhancing communication with your patients.
. Give your patients the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their oral health. It is up to you to convey your objectives and qualified assessments of your patients’ oral health so that you and your patient can choose the most appropriate treatment options.
. The first rule of patient care is:
Patient satisfaction equals perception minus expectations.
Your patient will not be satisfied if they feel that the level of care provided falls short of what they had hoped for or anticipated. If you want to keep your patients satisfied, you must take into account their perception and expectations, both of which are mental states.
. Good patient care at its most basic level entails paying attention to, listening to, comprehending, and meeting the needs of your patients. Your clinical and oral health knowledge may be exceptional, but few of us receive training in the “soft skills” of patient communication.
. Patients prefer to be handled as people, not just as numbers. Because the patient is your work, never consider them an interruption to your work. Never argue with a patient, either. Always, at least in their own eyes, the patient is correct. Pay attention to your patient, agree with them when you can, and try to make them happy.
. One of the most significant, undervalued, or even poorly understood aspects of a dental visit is the dental examination. Although for most patients this is a routine procedure and the only time they will have to interact with you directly, for many it may be the highlight of their visit. It is an opportunity to explain to your patients what an examination entails.
. We’re all prone to making mistakes. Say so if you made a mistake. Comments made carelessly or incorrectly by you, the staff, or the patient can be detrimental and escalate a situation. Even when the problem is minor, defensiveness and blame heighten emotions and make resolution challenging.