The patient is unaware of the extent you go to provide a safe, modern and comfortable environment for their dental care.
Take a new patient, or a potential patient, on a tour of your practice. Introduce the patient reception area, the administrative offices and the clinic area and all you have done to ensure your patients have a comfortable visit. The host of your tour must be an enthusiastic team member (or the doctor) with a great attitude about your practice and about dentistry
At a team meeting, discuss all of the points that you would like to introduce to the new patient during a tour of the office. What do you do and what do you have available that is a benefit to the patient’s safety, state of mind, and comfort – make a big deal out of those things, it is what differentiates you from other practices. Think about providing things that appeal to different genders and age groups.
“Welcome Mrs. Jones, my name is Kim; it is nice to meet you! Please follow while I give you a tour of the office on our way back to the clinical area. You’ve been in our reception area, feel free to keep your coat here, we have never had one walk away but we on occasion get some coats that like to stay with us. The television has patient education on it with treatment descriptions and before and after pictures. You’ll see procedures that you have maybe heard about but not really known what they are – if you ever have any questions about anything, just ask any of us.
We invite you to enjoy coffee, tea, or water while you are here in the reception area. Many of our patients like to arrive early for their appointments and enjoy their favorite beverage and a relaxing moment. We have a favorite recipe book you can look through, please take copies of any recipes, and we encourage our patients to contribute recipes as well! Here you’ll see pictures of us at our latest outing and doing community service work. This is our book of really nice notes and letters from our patients – we love to get those and some of our patients surprise us with special treats.
This is our administrative area. Mary, whom you met earlier, is great at helping patients with scheduling and helping you understand your insurance benefits and how to pay for necessary treatment. We like to make sure there are no surprises for you regarding treatment or the costs of treatment.”
If you have a consultation room, seat the patient there for an initial review of the medical/dental history then –explain all the certifications and diplomas the doctor or team has framed in the consult room then proceed to the clinical area.
“Now we are entering the clinical zone, we are very proud of our sterilization area and the modern technology we utilize. You can be assured you will be treated with clean instruments and in an environment that has been sterilized. We like to make sure you are comfortable during any procedure and we have a menu of amenities available during your visit for your comfort and distraction. Please feel free to let us know if any of these interest you. The eye pillows are really nice!!”
You have a unique opportunity at the first patient visit to impress them with the special touches you provide your patients. It sets the stage for what you expect from your patients as well. This makes your practice special, helps you have patients you enjoy caring for, and reassures the patient that they have made a great choice for their dental care.