“Knowledge is power,” and data is knowledge.
If that’s true (and we have little doubt), you can be confident that data-driven dental patient communication will deliver positive results.
It’s common to look for fresh ways to improve your dental patient relationships and overall patient experience. And speaking of data, it follows that the more you automate that process, the greater your outcomes.
More than tools
Let’s establish some common ground. The core driver of quality patient relationships has much to do with your intentions.
It’s easy to let data and supportive resources de-personalize the process. So, it’s necessary to guard against this.
Acquire and rely on technology but not to the exclusion of the personal touch.
Use the tools, but…
Keep the tools from replacing your emotional patient connection.
Now, what we’ve cleared the air on that let’s give some attention to how you can best use available relationship management resources.
We’ve come a long way.
Dental Products Report showcased the so-called evolution of dental patient-communication technology in a related article. They plotted the “generational” progress made within dentistry.
This is considered the “pre-automation” phase.
- One-on-one communication such as “handwritten postcard reminders” and “outbound phone call reminders.”
- Established a “personal touch” to patient communication.
- Required team energy for manual tasks that often delivered low ROI
Practice management software (PMS) opened new venues for patient communication.
- Launched automated communication (e.g., scheduled email and text/SMS messages)
- Improved front-office efficiency
A customizable solution for patient communication.
- The ability to (independently) integrate communication and workflows apart from PMS.
- Customizable capabilities such as branded reminders, personalized messages (e.g., birthdays, etc.), and scheduled surveys, etc.
- Real-time Interactive solutions using social media channels
And now (according to Dental Products Report), you have “fourth-generation” solutions available.
”Patient conversations have certainly come full circle. It’s fascinating (and almost ironic) to see technology helping dental practices get back to the kind of one-to-one communication that the profession has relied on for most of its history. Today, personalized means communicating with patients in the way that they want to be communicated with so that the practice’s communications are valued, relatable, and easy to respond to.”
Keep it personal
It’s common knowledge that good communication increases and sustains trust. In essence, you want to keep the channel open so that your patients can make the best (and informed) decision about their dental health.
Quality communication among your team(s) will naturally result in the same level of communication you provide your patients. It’s essential to start each day in alignment across all your practice or organization’s departments.
Your morning huddle sets the tone for the day’s team communication. Align your huddle agenda(s) around anticipating need.
- Patient identity and personal information
- Patient requirements
- Patient “flags” and concerns
- Patient solutions leading to positive outcomes
Your daily huddle primes your practice culture for good communication throughout your day’s schedule. There will be fewer “balls dropped” and more personal engagement around each patient’s experience.
Stimulate the communication “loop.”
The communication process follows a predictable loop. There’s an exchange of information followed by responsive listening followed by a recommended solution-oriented response.
Understanding is the common ground between the initial exchange and how well you listen. Patient relationships thrive on this communication loop.
- Practice empathetic listening. Before you dispense your expertise, determine the emotion, attitude, and goal(s) behind a patient’s concern or reason for their scheduled visit.
- Reflect their communication back to them. Active listening confirms that you’re tracking their feelings, emotions, and the general desire for the treatment outcome.
This brand of empathetic communication has a “contagious” impact across your team(s). Starting with you, the dentist, team members will more likely follow your lead in communication quality.
Athletic analogies are useful. They apply to the well-executed communication loop that can produce virtually flawless patient outcomes.
Perfection isn’t the standard here. But aiming for it will somewhat help assure that your communication lands effectively.
For example, work to ensure your handoffs are seamless.
- Keep the patient in the loop from chair to check-out.
- Use repetition to help assure that your patient understands the specifics of their case, recommended treatment, and all things related (insurance, financials, payment, follow-up, etc.)
Practical reflection on these communication basics can help establish effective communication. And effective communication creates loyal patient relationships.
Check out the following resources to gain insight into how you can improve your engagement-focused systems:
Choose the tools that improve patient communication success as a DSO, group practice, or solo private practice
The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on track during your morning huddles and overall practice or DSO goals.
- Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform
- Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups, and DSOs
Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!
Contact us for more information about data tracking that leads to profitability.
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