As a dental professional, I have realized over the years that effective communication is the key to providing excellent service to patients as well as managing a successful business. It is crucial for dental offices to ensure proper communication with their patients while addressing their oral healthcare needs.
Miscommunication in a dentist's office can lead to missed appointments and upset patients. I have always emphasized the need for effective communication to prevent any misunderstandings and have adopted measures to improve how my teammates and staff communicate with one another. I also ensure that I frequently communicate with my patients effectively to help my dental practice run smoothly. Here are a few steps that have proved extremely beneficial in reducing miscommunication at my practice.
Both verbal and written communication between staff and patients should be useful and understandable, so that everyone understands what is happening at all times. In my practice, I consciously invest time in making my staff aware of what it takes to communicate with others effectively. My teammates understand the need to speak clearly and always maintain proper eye contact with patients to give them their undivided attention.
Clarifying instructions, verbally or through written notes will leave no room for error. This has mostly helped me to prevent misunderstandings and ensured all are on the same page at all times. Always make sure that instructions are clear, concise, and easy to understand. Making sure your instructions are clear and concise will improve your team’s productivity and will create a positive work environment.
Communication training has been a consistent practice at my dental office. The training involves educating my staff on how to understand specific notations as well as being clear when notes are being taken. When it comes to improving methods of communication between office staff and patients, I have made sure all my staff members can work in complete coordination.
While handwritten notes are still being used, automating communication makes it easier for patients. For example, sending a text or emailing to update or remind a patient of an existing appointment is very helpful. For my office, implementing newer technologies, like an automated call system, has worked quite well. Using the latest modes of communications helps transmit accurate information that the patients can refer back to when needed.
When it comes to communication, your patients may have varying preferences. Some patients prefer a phone call, while others will do better with a text. I have always believed in empowering my patients to choose the type of communication they wish to receive from my office. This gives them an opportunity to receive messages and updates in a way that is easiest for them to utilize. The same is true for every dental office. Some may work better with verbal instructions while others prefer to have things in print.
I firmly believe that effective communication is essential in a dental office to improve overall productivity. Everyone in the office should be encouraged to do whatever they can to communicate effectively and efficiently. Keeping this in mind, I have always stressed its importance to every staff member and made sure to provide them with all the needed support.
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