To maintain a healthy practice, dentists must understand what causes poor patient satisfaction levels. Here are a few ways dentists unintentionally sabotage their practices.
1. They aren’t happy with the new technology
Electronic health records (EHR) and Digital X-rays are designed to help dentists provide high-quality care while streamlining the patient experience. However, all software platforms are not created equal. Using websites like Practo, MEDLINE, etc is good for the patient as well as doctors. But, Frustration with an EHR system and problems incorporating new technology into patient care can lead to low levels of patient satisfaction. Dentists must choose user-friendly systems and take the necessary time to become proficient in them. Also, if you are using a new advancement, get your patient excited about the same, tell them how it is better than the technology you previously used.
2. Ineffective communication after appointments
The patient’s overall experience begins with the moment they enter your clinic. Being mechanical and robotic is not gonna take you anywhere, this is a two-way street and your patient satisfaction is important. You have to communicate with the patients as some of them might not be an extrovert, but if they don’t like something at your practice they might not come back as simple as that. If communication is poor before and after appointments, patients don’t feel like they’re a priority. Patient retention rates can be improved by making a confirmation call or sending reminders before appointments.
Requesting feedback presents a valuable opportunity for dentists to learn what they’re doing well and what needs improvement. Keeping a 10 min follow-up with the patient is always a good idea.
3. They don’t make patients feel heard
Giving patients a platform to discuss the pros and cons of their experiences with the dentist can boost loyalty, but only if their feedback has results before their next visit. When the staff doesn’t acknowledge online reviews or use feedback to make positive changes, people feel ignored. Patients’ time is valuable. Opting to share their thoughts and opinions with a dental practice is a voluntary move made to help the dentist better serve them. Ignoring their critiques is a sign of disrespect that can have a negative impact on patient retention rates.
4. They don’t show a good bedside manner
You might be the best dentist, but it takes more than an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan to achieve a high level of patient satisfaction. Whether patients are receiving preventive care or being treated for a serious condition, they deserve compassion and respect from their dentist. If patients’ questions are met with a pedantic response or they’re kept in the dark about their health, they probably won’t be eager to return.
Patients see and read you even when you think they don’t, I had a senior dentist working with me who would judge patients based on their mannerisms, dressing sense, and how they talked. Ultimately, it so happened the patients allotted to her would either not come back or request to change dentists. We never, ever, ever judge a book by its cover
Retention rates are a clear indicator of patient satisfaction. Dentists who lack a high volume of repeat patients need to realize they might be the problem and should look for ways to change for the better.