How To Improve Patient Experience?

Even if you’ve got it almost figured out, you know there are more things you can do today to improve your patient experience. The “less is more” rule applies to many things in life. But when it comes to creating a welcoming environment for your patients, we are not sure this is the case. We want them to feel cared for and comfortable after all.

The more we can do to make it happen, the more chances we have that we’ll just hit the spot!

We have all heard, “Hire for Attitude – Train for Skills.”  This is essential for your patient’s first impression or front office team!   In the book “The Patient Experience”, you are taught four lessons from Disney to Dentistry. Excellent Dentistry is only part of the equation for a Great Dental Practice.   You have to create your Patient Experience.

“The Patient Experience” will teach you the four lessons that combine a Culture of Excellence, which designs your Patient Experience!    It reviews hiring individuals who understand their roles and, naturally, want to create exceptional experiences for every guest. Hire your front office team with the understanding that they are responsible for creating extraordinary patient experiences with each patient!

Visualize the impact of the patient experience: 

Think about your worst first impression.  

You walk in as a new patient. The receptionist, who sees you, picks up the phone to make an outgoing call. She watches you walk up to her desk. After she leaves a voicemail, she says, “Yes?”. She scrambles to find you in the schedule, handing you a stack of papers. “When you are finished with these, bring them back”, she says.

Her desk is so cluttered with papers, a cell phone, food, and beverages that you worry your paperwork may be scanned into the wrong chart.  When you sit in the waiting room, the blinds are uneven, magazines are everywhere, the hand sanitizer is empty, and a dirty Kleenex is on the floor. 

To make matters worse, while in the waiting room, you listened to this receptionist speak poorly to a team member about the last patient and jump on her phone to check her social while crunching her snack at the desk.  

Results:  It creates a bad feeling that questions whether you will receive the best care and can trust this doctor.  

Now, think about your best first impression. 

You walked into a bright, tidy office, where you were greeted by a receptionist, who smiled, looked you in the eye, and said, “Welcome,” and called you by name because she knew you were next on her schedule. 

She stated, “I was looking forward to meeting you today!”  She offers you coffee, spring water, or sparkling water and welcomes you to sit in our guest area, where a warm fireplace awaits you.  At this time, she brings out an iPad with your registration ready, sits next to you, and says, “Your name, you have made a great decision picking Dr. ____, he/she is a brilliant doctor, and I would trust no one else with my family’s care!”

She explained the documents needed and asked if you had any questions or needed assistance.  She states, “While you are completing these, Mary, your assistant for today, who you are going to love, she is the best, will be coming out to welcome you!  If you are not finished with your forms, it is okay; you can take the iPad back with you!” 

As you complete your forms, you notice the smell of fresh, calming lavender and spa music piped into the office.  When Mary comes out to greet you, she is quiet and respectful.  She comes up to you with a warm heart, welcomes you, introduces herself, and walks with you to the clinical area.    

Results:  You already feel valued and “cared” for and trust your decision.  

The bottom line is that it is about the experience you want to offer your patients.

What sets you apart from the rest?  Have you developed a culture that wants patients to feel welcomed, valued, and cared for?   Instilling in each team member that they are the face and voice of your practice is so important!  Disney trains their team that when they walk out of the “backroom,” they are on stage,  the team leaves all their stresses of the world behind them, and they are in character.  “Be Our Guest!”  What do you do in your practice to set your stage, to train your team to be the face and voice of your practice each moment they are on stage?  

Would you like to dive deeper into this topic? See what route would be best for you and your practice! Sign up for our weekly “What’s DAT About?” webinar! We host it every Friday at 8 am PST. If Fridays don’t work for you, let’s chat at a better time- schedule a call with us today!

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