The concept of trust is important specifically in the world of healthcare because in most occurrences, there are levels of uncertainty and risk for the vulnerable patient who is reliant on the competency of their healthcare professional.
Dental practices today may have more of an issue maintaining trust and lasting patient relations than ever before. Through our technology-driven world and social media influence, patients may be subject to the whirlwind of gossip where the shocking and indignant stories rise to the top; therefore, lessening their trust in their dentists.
One negative review can stick like glue, swaying patient trust before the relationship even begins. Some referring dentists can be $100,000 worth of production per year to an endodontist due to the volume of their referrals. The last thing your endodontic practice can afford is losing one of your main referrals due to a bad review or negative experience from a patient. Dental EMR allows a quick and convenient way to promote your practice’s reputation online and manage reviews to avoid the stigma of an over-hyped Google Review.
Building trust is critical for the patient experience. Unfortunately, trust can be fragile and evanescent. It can be either eroded or heightened in an instant. It is important that the endodontist and dental providers understand the individual and what aspects of trust are important to them. For example, a patient might be concerned on why this practice is the best choice for them and their family. In that case, it is up to the practice to assess what aspects are important to them.
In the dentist-patient relationship, trust is established in many ways. One of the ways trust is built is the assurance that their personal information will be kept confidential. With Dental EMR’s secure, cloud-based endodontic practice management software, a patient’s appointment times, dental records, and referrals are kept private and secure.
Another factor of trust is that recommended procedures are in the patient’s best interest, not the practice. The dental professional wants to ensure they are expressing the care and benefit factor rather than a sales pitch.
Building trust with your patient also coincides with valuing and respecting their time. When they take time out of their day then spend most of it sitting and waiting, it disrespects their time and damages that vital patient value.
An important thing to think about when looking to improve dentist-patient relationships is looking at your process and how you can advance it. What little changes could your practice make that could remove frustrations for your patients? Could you shorten the time between arrival and being seen? Could you speed up the pre-appointment paperwork? Maintaining thorough communication with patients is also a significant way of sustaining trust. And fortunately for dentists and endodontists, Dental EMR is the most convenient software to improve a countless number of these aspects. Dental EMR provides a simple mechanism to remind patients of their appointments, rather than an unnecessary phone call from the receptionist. It also provides more convenience and easy management for the practices themselves; therefore, allowing for more focus on patient care.
Good communication doesn’t just involve the communication about upcoming appointments and overdue x-rays, but also the active listening and remembering of the personal lives of your patients. Building a personal connection goes just as far with your patients as a professional one. Rather than asking, “What are you majoring in at school?” for the fourth visit in a row, “How’s business school going?” will make a patient feel special and considered; therefore, establishing more trust.
Communication is a science and an art that requires substantial skill. It is not just about what we saw, but how we say it. How we say something results in how it is interpreted. It is how we behave, the way we listen, and how we relate.
That personal connection and quality time spent with your patient will create a certain trust and also a more enjoyable experience. When a patient gets the sense they are just a dollar sign in the eyes of the dentist, he or she will withdraw his faith in them.
Client feedback is also one of the imperative ways to not only gain trust, but also maintain it. There is something so humbling about wanting genuine feedback, whether it is positive or negative. This will show your client that you care about the quality of your work and if they are satisfied or not and that you are committed to meeting and exceeding expectations. It also shows that you are open to learning and growing as a professional and a practice as a whole.
One of the most pressing issues that dentist should closely attend to is the issue of patient involvement in the treatment decision-making process. Offering more thorough explanations, details about costs, and specified consultations will likely lead to a greater willingness to participate. Some reasons why patients put off going through with certain treatments may include high costs and the amount of time it may take to do it. Given this, it is important to always be clear and straightforward with your patients about what exactly the treatment or procedure entails. If you fail to do this, patients will be left feeling blindsided, disrespected, and taken advantage of. Dentists should always act with fairness and truthfulness, and in the patient’s best interest.
Dental EMR is focused on their customers by keeping the behind the scene processes simple and convenient. By allowing dental practices to store records accessibly and efficiently, it allows the physicians to spend more quality time on customer satisfaction. The e-prescriptions and e-payments accessible through Dental EMR not only assist physicians, but also make things simpler and quicker for the patients, all while also keeping things secure and confidential. The goal is to free up the physician’s time so they can free up their customer’s time.
At the end of the day, knowing how to create that trust starts with word of mouth, which comes from treating patients how you would want them to treat you if roles were reversed. And although dentists are still highly respected and widely trusted by the majority of the populace, there is still much work that can be done to instill a greater sense of trust into their patients and to improve the patient-dentist relationship. Moreover, to ensure a successful relationship, continuity of satisfaction, and customer retention, dentists need to focus on building a strong sense of trust that infiltrates all aspects of dentist-patient interactions and ensure that at the end of the day, the patient is being valued.