Creating patients for life who are committed to your practice and their oral health is a goal of almost every office manager. Having patient relationships that span years, and even generations, can make delivering dentistry more personal and enjoyable. AADOM’s 2014 Office Manager of the Year Lisa Marie Spradley shares how she enhances patient experience in a way that builds the foundation for strong, long-term patient relationships.
Lisa Marie has been in dentistry for almost twenty years. “What I love most about being an office manager is being able to impact a person’s life — to help give them their smile back. It is so incredibly rewarding to help others. Creating great patient relationships takes effort— a team effort. Here are a few ways we’ve found to make our patients feel welcome and appreciated:
Have your I’s dotted and T’s crossed. It’s important to provide patients with complete information. The office team must be experts – not in clinical dentistry, but in every other aspect of the patient experience including scheduling, post-treatment care and financing. The team needs to be “buttoned up” and able to help patients in the moment they need help or have questions.
Realize dentistry is never one-sizefits-all. It’s important to focus on the patient, really listen to them so you can individualize the experience and treatment based upon their specific needs. This makes patient’s feel heard and cared for.
Be a problem-solver. Patients need to know you are their advocate. If there is something preventing them from getting the treatment they need and want, help them find solutions. Is time an issue? Maybe offer a Saturday appointment. Is cost a concern? Make sure you work hard to maximize their insurance benefits and have multiple payment options, including CareCredit, available.
Always appreciate and thank patients. Patients have many choices – and they can choose another dental practice instead of yours. Use every opportunity to say the words: “Thank you. We appreciate having you as a patient.”
This is a system in your practice that you should review with your responsible team members occasionally. I read this article and thought it would be appropriate to bring up and make sure you are dialed in on in your practice as it can provide growth for your practice.
By Lisa Marie Spradley