Our Practice Manager, Rachel Dilley, sat down with Dental Town UK Magazine this month to talk all about our work on patient care. Read the full interview below or click here to read at Dental Town UK.
It is essential to understand that patient care is the lifeblood of any practice. It does not matter what unique treatments you provide, the location of your practice or how well it is branded. If your patient care is not up to an exceptional standard, you won’t be as successful as you can be.
Having exemplary patient care has more of an impact on your branding, your sales and your employee satisfaction than any other factor within your practice. You don’t have to be an expert, or spend a lot of money on these things, but with great patient care it will all work for you.
The first step in providing the best patient care you can is to start with your employees. At Town Hall Dental I feel blessed to have the team that we have who are motivated and ready to work as a family.
Some of the best feedback we get from our patients is that they feel welcomed and cared for by every member of our team. Receiving quality treatment from your dentist is expected, but to have someone make you feel welcome from the second you walk through the door or make the first phone call can be the difference between a good or great experience.
When you’re recruiting or training staff, their attitude to caring for patients should be at the forefront of your mind.
It’s important to look outside of the treatments to the little things that make your patient’s time with you memorable. If you are treating an older patient, ask if they have a plan for how they are getting home.
At Town Hall Dental, we have a partnership with a local taxi firm that provides transportation for anybody who does not have their own car. For our elderly visitors and those with disabilities, this can make a dramatic difference and provide a lasting impact on them.
Often, when trying to improve your practice you may choose to look at what other practices are doing. While this can be a wonderful way of finding things you’re missing out on, don’t feel like you must stay within the industry to find inspiration.
If you look at the hotel industry, or spas and health centres, there can be all manner of things they do that your practice can benefit from.
A key part of our patient promise and patient care policy is making sure that we provide a unique ‹Patient Journey›. From the moment patient makes their first appointment with us, to the moment their leave, we want them to feel the difference between Town Hall Dental and a more typical practice that they may be used to.
The ‹Patient Journey› has inspired many within other dental practices and as a result our care coordinators now lecture across the country to other dentists and treatment coordinators, working together to raise standards of care throughout the industry. Our model of the ‹Patient Journey› is now being replicated in practices throughout the UK.
Our attitude to patient care expands beyond just visitors to our practice. We work with numerous charities providing free dental treatments and our care policy is just as applicable to these as it is within our walls. Our outreach team work closely with BASH (Brighouse and Surrounding Homeless) to provide free dental care for those sleeping rough to treat dental pain.
Often these patients would not have any other avenue to seek care, and we recognise it is a crucial step in finding work and a new job. We also work with Overgate Hospice, a local hospice providing palliative care for residents in Calderdale.
Any patient at Overgate is entitled to free treatments from Town Hall Dental, with the same high standard of care that all our patients receive.
While your staff are the primary drivers of a great patient experience, every part of the practice contributes to it. The cleanliness of your waiting room, your branding, your website, everything is a signifier of how your patients are treated.
Being recognised for how you treat your patients is being recognised for how you look at all aspects of your practice. Thankfully, if you can get to the level where this all illustrates how much you care, you won’t need to worry about marketing as people will want to come to you.