Some periodontal practices work diligently to improve the patient experience, but the majority tend to think of it as an afterthought. The patient experience isn’t just about the quality of care the patient receives. Rather, it’s more about their overall impression and interactions with your practice, from the moment they call to schedule an appointment until they’re back in their general dentist’s chair for a follow-up.
In an upcoming blog article, I’ll discuss the specific roles the patient plays in building your referral business with dental professionals. But for now I want to dial in on some specific things you might be doing that can negatively impact patient perceptions and what you can do to fix them:
Your staff plays a major role in how your patients feel about your practice. They’re the first ones to greet the patient to make them feel welcome and comfortable which sets the tone for their visit.
When you’re adding team members to your practice, a stunning resume can go a long way. If you’re lucky to find someone who was top of their class, has experience in a Periodontal office, and is excellent with patients, why wouldn’t you hire them?
Believe it or not, skills aren’t always the biggest hiring qualifier that you should look at. Instead, you also need to prioritize how well the candidate will fit within your existing office ecosystem.
For example, are you using modern technology or software in your practice (like PANDA Perio)? If so, your hires will need to be technologically savvy with basic computer skills, or at least willing and able to learn. Is your practice focused on education with the goal of growth? If so, you probably won’t want to hire someone set in their ways with several years of experience and has worked in five other offices in the last year because all they care about is a paycheck.
They key is to ask them...
Change can be downright scary, especially in industries like Periodontics where things tend to relatively stay the same (including the office furniture!). If you’re like most practices, the mere mention of changing something is enough to send staff members into a frenzy. You can rest assured they’ll have an opinion about it, even they are not comfortable enough to tell you what it is.
As the Periodontist, you’re ultimately in charge of deciding when change is necessary. But the reality is that you still need to earn staff buy-in if whatever it is you’re changing is to be effective.
Whether you’re changing the scheduling process or something that saves you numerous hours per week like adding PANDA Perio to your operations, you can put the following tips into practice to get your staff prepared, and maybe even excited:
Moving right into a major change without warning is setting your staff up for...
The job of today’s Periodontist looks strikingly different than it did just a decade ago. It’s becoming tougher to stand out in the market, especially since many dental practices are opting to keep periodontal cases in-house.
As a Periodontist, you know this is a bad idea (we covered this in a previous blog post). But even if dentists weren’t treating their own patients, you still need to prove yourself as a viable option in your community.
Why would a referrer send a patient to you vs. another practice? Take a look at a few of the most competitive points that can seal your success:
As a Periodontal practice, your reputation will be the single most important factor in your success.
Patients don’t want to choose a provider that doesn’t come recommended by others. In addition, referring doctors will not want to send their patients to you because their patients’ experience is ultimately an extension of their practice. If...
There’s one thing that affects your practice’s success the most, and it has nothing to do with marketing, referrals, or even patient satisfaction.
Rather, it’s the effectiveness of your internal culture.
It would be foolish to assume that putting five to fifteen people together in an office would never result in any type of conflict. And when there’s conflict, the patient experience ultimately suffers.
Practice owners must understand how to mitigate their effects quickly to avoid any delays in your achievements.
Take a look at our three best practices for improving employee relations to maintain a professional, productive environment:
Doctors have a lot of knowledge, but very little time to share it. When you do take time to train or work with your staff, you view it as an investment.
And, as a general rule, you expect an ROI on that investment.
But this investment becomes a...
The need to take control of clinical documentation and fine-tune communication across all clinical channels is easily solved with professional strategies offered by PANDA Perio clinical software.
Created from the ground up, by a team of leading Periodontists and an experienced software engineer. PANDA Perio has saved clinics countless hours in writing treatment letters and enabled staff toward more professional communication.
Learn how these five strategies have streamlined treatment planning and empowered staff to help dental practices grow by as much as 300%.
PANDA Perio’s exclusive Instanotes® guide staff to quickly complete accurate notes in a quick click-through process. No need to repeat or transcribe the details later after the appointment. It’s streamlined to save time eliminating the need to type.
We recently sent out a survey to Periodontists and PANDA Perio users to gain insights on the industry. Our goal at PANDA has always been to provide real, actionable advice you can use in your practice, but we also use this information to make our software even better.
If you haven’t yet taken the survey, you can do so here.
Your responses will give you personalized results that you can apply to your unique practice. But here’s a little preview on what you can expect:
Whether you’re brand new to the Periodontal field or you’ve been treating patients for 20 years or longer, the value of preparation never changes.
Because of the many moving parts the Periodontist faces each day, it’s important to have a system in place so that no task or detail falls through the cracks. When you can be prepared for every patient, phone call, and meeting, you can avoid backlogs or having to redo work.
As a practice owner, it’s important to realize that your practice’s success doesn’t just hinge on your ability to treat patients. Even the most skilled Periodontists can find themselves struggling to bring in patients and improve referral relationships.
Much of your success depends on having an engaged, professional staff that can contribute to the patient experience, referral relations, and other aspects of your practice. But for staff to be successful in their roles, they must be able to overcome any barriers that get in between them, and a job well done.
Take a look at four of the biggest issues that prevent staff from living up to their potential and how you can help them overcome these obstacles:
This is a tough pill to swallow because it requires the practice owner to take responsibility for the staff’s failures. However, success starts at the top and isn’t possible without strong leadership.
One of the biggest ways...
If you’re the only Periodontist in your area, then you may be fortunate to earn referral traffic from local dentists simply because you’re in business. But this isn’t the reality for most Periodontists.
Most often, there are several other periodontal practices in your city. Many dentists who refer to Periodontists will send their patients to the practice across the street for simplicity’s sake. After all, Periodontists are all the same, right?
We know that’s not true, but it’s not easy to communicate this with referring dental practices.
So, what makes you special enough to convince dentists to send their patients a few extra miles for treatment?
If you’re not already prioritizing these factors to earn more referrals, you should be:
More than 99% of the time, referrals aren’t going to happen on their own. Rather, Periodontists must be proactively building and nurturing relationships with...
Periodontists and general dentists share a common goal: to provide patients with effective dental treatment.
Though methodologies and approaches are different for each party, they share a common clientele that often requires the services of both.
However, many dentists prefer to treat periodontal patients in-house rather than referring out. That can make it seem as though the two are battling for business rather than working toward a common goal.
Being the specialist, Periodontists are in a better position to show how they can work with dentists rather than against them.
The most important thing you can do when working with dentists is to stress the importance of working for the patient's overall health, not just the practice or specialty. It’s easy to say we care about the patient’s best interest and this is why we approach the care the way we do. It’s a universal understanding. But the...