Effective Communication will Show You Care

A recent survey by the practice management firm Solutionreach indicated nearly one-third of patients consider switching dentists because they do not feel they are having great experiences. One of the main concerns expressed by patients is that they do not feel cared for by dentists and their teams, and a lot of that has to do with ineffective communication.

Come on in

As Amen Amare once said, “Lack of communication leads to lack of trust that leaves room for doubt.” That lack of trust can also lead to bigger issues. Research has shown that the best way to decrease malpractice claims is to spend a few extra minutes communicating with patients. Therefore, making the effort to connect with patients pays dividends.

How can you and your team make your communication more effective? Start by greeting patients by name. As Dale Carnegie once noted, there is nothing sweeter than the sound of our own name. When you greet patients by name, you immediately make people feel welcome.

Practices that are really committed to knowing their patients make notes about points of interest they learn during visits—such as upcoming vacations, family events, notable accomplishments, and hobbies. Use the notes to personalize your conversations.

Communicating Heads

Finally, realize that effective communication means a lot more than talking. It can be hard to shift the focus from diagnosing and relaying findings to listening, but you will greatly improve your communication skills by talking less and listening more. Challenge yourself to ask more questions and then listen intently to what is said.

Effective communication involves tailoring your conversation to the patient in the chair and emphasizing listening as much as talking. Making that effort is one of the best ways to show patients that you care.

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