June 23, 2015
by Kahaliah Richards
Ensure patient confidence with this post-hygiene system...
EVERY DENTIST HAS experienced it: a choppy hygiene report that createschaos, patient confusion and a ripple effect of schedule delays. When it becomes chronic, it has a deleterious effect on your entire operation. How to fix this common but potentially dire problem? As with just about every aspect of practice development, consistent process is key.
An average hygiene-recall check should take roughly 3 to 5 minutesof the doctor’s time. It’s thus crucial for the hygienist to smoothly transferto the dentist the information she has gathered from the patient in the previous 45 minutes or so.
The optimal system is one I’ve developed called “Prompting the Doctor.” It’s a concrete, repeatable way for hygienist and dentist to communicateclearly in the patient’s presence. Establishing this kind of succinct dialogue will naturally make the patient more secure about his or her treatment andengender a strong bond of trust with you and your staff.
Prompting the Doctor consists of 4 steps. The first step begins when thedentist enters the hygiene operatory. The hygienist should state the patient’sname immediately — and once the gloves are on, casually drop in some personal information: “Doctor, Mrs. Smith just returned from two weeks in Mexico.”
Brief and subtle as this is, it helps establish an immediate rapport and quickly puts the patient at ease in the doctor’s presence.
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