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For dental service organizations (DSOs), creating a positive patient experience is crucial to their success. Patients are more likely to return for future appointments, recommend the practice to others, and provide positive online reviews if they have a pleasant experience. In fact, 86% of patients are willing to pay more for a better patient experience. This blog will explore the art of creating an optimal dental patient experience, highlighting the key factors that contribute to a positive patient experience.
86% of patients are willing to pay more for a better patient experience.
Establishing Strong Communication Channels
Communication is key to building trust with patients, and a lack of communication can lead to anxiety and mistrust. To establish strong communication channels, dental practices must invest in high-quality tools and systems. This includes a patient portal, which allows patients to communicate with their dentist, schedule appointments, and access their health records. In addition, practices should invest in staff training to ensure all team members are skilled in communication, empathetic and responsive. According to a survey by the National Research Corporation, 80% of patients rated communication with their dental providers as "excellent" when staff was empathetic and supportive.
Implementing Cutting-Edge Technology
The dental industry has come a long way in the last few decades, and the use of technology has played a big role. Practices that invest in cutting-edge technology, such as digital x-rays and intraoral cameras, can improve the patient experience. For instance, digital x-rays provide a quicker and more accurate diagnosis, reducing patient wait times, and radiation exposure. In addition, intraoral cameras allow patients to see what the dentist sees and better understand their dental conditions. According to a survey by the American Dental Association, 95% of patients said they preferred digital x-rays over traditional x-rays, while 80% of patients found intraoral cameras helpful in understanding their dental health.
Creating a Comfortable and Calming Environment
Dental procedures can be stressful and anxiety-inducing for many patients. As such, it is essential that dental practices create a comfortable and calming environment for their patients. This can be achieved through several factors, including the use of soothing colors, aromatherapy, and comfortable furniture. Additionally, providing noise-canceling headphones or calming music can help patients feel more relaxed during their procedures. According to a study by the Journal of Advanced Nursing, patients who received aromatherapy treatment before their dental procedure experienced reduced anxiety and greater comfort levels.
Providing Convenient and Accessible Services
In today's fast-paced world, convenience is everything, and dental practices must make it easy for patients to access their services. Offering extended hours and weekend appointments, online scheduling and patient portals are key to creating a positive patient experience. Practices must also be accessible to all patients, including those with disabilities, by providing ramps, handrails, and accessible restrooms. A survey by the National Research Corporation found that 97% of patients reported that easy access to care was important to them.
Offering Exceptional Customer Service
At the end of the day, providing exceptional customer service is the foundation of a positive patient experience. Patients want to feel valued and heard, and practices must invest in their customer service skills to create long-term loyalty. This means taking the time to listen to patient concerns and addressing them promptly, providing transparency in billing, and resolving issues in a timely and efficient manner. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, customers who had a positive experience with a company were five times more likely to recommend it to others.
Creating an optimal dental patient experience requires a multifaceted approach, involving cutting-edge technology, strong communication channels, a comfortable and calming environment, convenient and accessible services.