Increasing Case Acceptance with Better Dental Office Organization
Case acceptance is the key to a thriving dental practice. More importantly, it’s the first step to giving your patients the care they need to enjoy better health. You might get advice from a thousand different places about how to get your patients to sign onto their treatment plan so you can get to work.
Unfortunately, the constant push to improve case acceptance rates can sometimes make us lose sight of the bigger picture: running the kind of practice that will help our patients trust us with their dental care.
Let’s look at three simple principles that will help your office run as smoothly as possible while improving case acceptance.
Build Trust by Being Well-Organized
Case acceptance is a direct reflection on how capable you are at earning your patients’ trust. When you present a treatment plan, you’re asking your patient to trust that you’re recommending the right treatment and not taking advantage of them. It’s a lot to ask when many patients have a limited understanding of their treatment needs or the value of your care.
Scrambling for materials, not having the instruments you need, or floundering during your case presentation because of disorganized diagnostics can all shake your patients’ trust in you.
Ensuring punctual appointments is crucial, as making patients wait can lead to doubt when presenting treatment plans, especially higher-cost ones. Respect for their time fosters trust and confidence. Timeliness positively impacts the patient-provider relationship, increasing the likelihood of treatment plan acceptance. When appointments start promptly, patients are more receptive and engaged during the consultation, enhancing the overall experience. This patient-centered approach minimizes hesitation and encourages informed decision-making.
Running a well-organized office (link: https://www.zensupplies.com/blog/systems-that-work-how-to-create-routines-your-dental-office-staff-will-dependably-follow/) helps patients feel confident in their choice to trust you with their care. Knowing where things are when you need them at all times helps to:
-Improve your sense of authority.
-Help patients see that you have everything under control.
-Make you appear competent.
Beyond looking like you’re on top of things, good organization makes the patient’s experience better.
Good Organization Leads to Better Patient Experiences
Many patients dread the idea of time in the dental chair. One sure way to improve your case acceptance rates is to make each procedure as fast and comfortable as possible without sacrificing the quality of your outcomes.
Every experience your patient has in your office sets their expectations for how things will probably go next time. If you can perform fillings faster than expected without any unexpected hiccups, your patient will remember how impressed they were with how organized your team was (more on how to trian dental assistants communicate more effectively) and how smoothly their procedure went. That means next time you recommend treatment, they won’t feel the usual dread and they’ll feel more confident scheduling and completing that treatment.
Building a reputation for providing fast, stress-free care means patients won’t feel overwhelmed by the idea of getting the care they need. It also helps ensure they’ll tell their friends and loved ones about you!
Decreasing Stress in Your Team Makes Your Office a Welcoming Place
Beyond helping procedures go quickly and smoothly, running an organized practice (more on how to organize your dental practice ) will also help you create a positive environment for your staff and your patients. A well-organized, well-stocked dental practice tends to run more smoothly. The fewer speedbumps your staff has to deal with day to day, the less stressed they’ll probably be at work.
That translates directly to a better experience for your patients.
Modernizing Your Office Makes It Easier to Stay Organized and Boosts Case Acceptance
Dental offices with up-to-date technology have significant advantages when it comes to case acceptance. Let’s look at three areas where updating your office can have the biggest impact on case acceptance.
1. Digital Diagnostics for Convincing Case Presentations
The vast majority of dental practices now use digital x-rays, which can add tremendous versatility and detail over traditional x-rays. However, if you stop at x-rays, you’re missing some of the most convincing and affordable pieces of technology in your diagnostic arsenal.
Intraoral cameras should be a go-to at every appointment. It can be hard for patients to understand their treatment needs when they can’t see what we’re seeing. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and a close-up, high-resolution image of cracks, caries, recession, and any other visible damage will do more for your case presentation than your words alone.
Have a consistent, reliable method in place to organize your diagnostic images as they’re being added to your patient’s file. Many times, your dental software will have a system built in, but you may need to customize it to suit your flow and presentation style.
The important thing is that you can show the patient what they need to see without searching for what you need. The more streamlined and organized your case presentation is, the more convincing it will be.
2. Update How You Communicate with Patients
Good communication is key to building a great relationship with your patients. Modernizing how you communicate with your patients can significantly improve compliance when it comes to recall appointments and following up on needed treatments.
There are tons of services for HIPAA compliant texting to remind patients of upcoming appointments and follow up with them about further treatment needs.
Building your digital footprint with effective social media strategies is another way to stay at the forefront of your patients’ minds so they’re more likely to follow up on recommended treatments.
3. Automate to Eliminate Paper Clutter and Mistakes
Automating tasks is a great way to minimize excess paper in your office and avoid disruptions to how your practice runs. Even the most technologically advanced practices often still rely on pen and paper for everything from equipment maintenance checklists to ordering materials.
Every extra piece of paper adds clutter, adds to mental burden for your staff, and makes mistakes more likely. While automation isn’t fool proof, it can drastically cut down on stress and decrease the potential for system breakdowns.
Automation can cut down on stress and prevent problems that can shake your patients’ faith in your practice and your skills as a healthcare professional.
Software that can track your inventory, automatically replenish when needed, and coordinate between the various suppliers you work with can significantly improve the efficiency of your office (link: https://www.zensupplies.com/blog/5-reasons-why-dental-practices-need-an-inventory-management-and-procurement-software/), freeing you to focus fully on your patients, which is the best way to earn their trust.
4. Train your dental team to present a treatment plan.
In an ideal scenario, the responsibility of presenting treatment plans doesn’t solely rest with the doctors themselves; rather, it involves a collaborative effort from various team members, including dental assistants. It’s not uncommon for instances to arise where the doctor briefly steps out of the room, prompting patients to turn to the dental assistant for insights. In this pivotal moment, the dental assistant’s role becomes paramount, as they have the opportunity to provide a thoughtful and informed perspective.
For instance, if a patient queries, “What do you think?” the dental assistant’s response holds substantial weight. They might eloquently convey, “Mrs. Jones, your inquiry is valued. Our doctor possesses extensive expertise in this particular procedure, having successfully completed numerous instances of ‘procedure X.’ In fact, only last week, we performed the very same procedure with excellent results.” This not only reassures the patient of the doctor’s proficiency but also underscores the dental assistant’s own insights, establishing a harmonious bridge of trust and knowledge between the patient and the dental team.