I am very big on Dental Office Communication, as you well know.
I am not only talking about the communication on the phone and in person with our Patients but with each other in the Dental Office.
I am definitely seeing a pattern of poor communication skills in Dental Offices among the people who work there. The outcome is confusion not only with our patients but also with the people working together in the Dental Office.
Everyone is doing their job but are they working together and does everyone in the Dental Office know what is happening around them? Everything that happens in your Dental Office affects everyone that works there so everyone must know what is going on at all times.
The best way for this to happen right from the start at the beginning of the day is to use the Early Morning Huddle.
I get interesting feedback about the huddle. Some Offices have even stopped doing them because they thought it was becoming a waste of time. The Morning Huddle needs to be well defined and have a purpose. The purpose is to outline and discuss the day with your Team. This is a great opportunity to go over details about patients and treatment that everyone needs to know. I believe the Huddle sets up the day and the goal of why everyone is at work that day. It gives direction and motivation for the day to run smoothly and efficiently. This is the time to sort out anything and avoid any hiccups for the day.
Without a Huddle everyone is just in a Muddle!
When the lifeline (phone) to your business starts ringing you want to make sure that the person answering the call is NOT the only person that knows about that call. The Telephone Log Book is the best way to immediately record the conversation with the caller, as well as the outcome. Everyone who answers the phone has access to this information. I have seen a really successful Dental Office that talks openly about the calls that come in. There is discussion about the calls where the people answering the calls are actually helping each other.
The information recorded on the patient’s appointment details is also important in being a great communicator. It means that the Dentist or Hygienist knows why the new patient in their schedule has called and made an appointment. There is no need to ask the patient what their Dental Problem is… the Dentist already knows because it has been recorded where it is most useful. Questions can now be asked specific to the patient’s needs. The patient feels good because the team member who took their call listened and the patient knows this information has been given to the Dentist.
The Patient Handover is another key ingredient to being an efficient communicator in the Dental Office. Depending on how the Handover is structured, the purpose of the handover is to ensure the patient is clear about any treatment they need and they are hearing the same information from everyone. If patients start to hear different things concerning their treatment then they become confused, start to feel less confident, and may not go ahead with their treatment.
The first step to finding out how effectively you are communicating with each other is to make sure you are:
- Having a Morning Huddle
- Completing a Telephone Log Book
- Transferring important details to the Appointment Notes
- Everyone is saying the same thing during all of the Patient Handovers
The next step is to look at how well you are communicating at each of these stages.
Do you want your day to be confused or well planned and efficient?
This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Dental Office, impacting immediately on your Patients’ Dental Phone Experiences, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.
At present I have availability for three new private clients. For more information on how I can improve your Dental Office’s Phone Numbers contact me, Jayne Bandy at jayne@theDPE.com