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Lisa Marie Spradley, FAADOM, is the "Front Desk Lady" and has worked in the dental front office for nearly 20 years and understands the struggle to put the patient’s needs first while still taking care of the business of the front office. As a speaker and consultant, she trains the dental team to focus on the patient which leads to more production and increases in-office referrals. She is a lifetime member, Fellow and Ambassador of the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM). Learn more about her at www.frontdesklady.com and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confirming appointments, reviewing treatment plans, and discussing financial options are great ways to communicate with our patients. Is it really necessary to take it any further than that? It’s not like we’re trying to make friends with them, right? I mean really, why would we want to do that? We already have enough friends. Patients might start coming around and calling us more often if we started building relationships with them. Who has time for that? Communication is overrated!
We spend most of the waking hours of our day in the office as it is. We are constantly in contact with the patients who call or come in to see us. Some of us may see our team and patients more than we do our family and friends! If we form relationships with the patients, we might have to spend more time in the practice. Who wants more production? That would just lead to more collections, and that’s just an excuse to get a bonus. Is a bonus really worth spending more time in the office communicating with the patients?
So you’re thinking about sending out a newsletter to your patients. Are you planning on telling them what’s going on in the practice and introducing a new team member or associate? Why? Patients don’t really care about how we are trying to improve their visits to our office. Is the practice having a spring promotion, fall special, or a holiday giveaway that you want to include in the newsletter? Beware of that type of communication! It could lead to more production, and we already discussed what happens after that!
And another thing, now you are going to have to print another report. Honestly, we are FAR too busy to have to go into the “Patient Master” report in Eaglesoft, pull a list of patients who have visited the practice within a specific time frame, and then narrow down specifics like active, inactive, and other pertinent search criteria. Do we really want to do all of this HARD work just to communicate with our patients? Besides â¦ no one reads any more, do they? I mean honestly, I don’t even know why I am writing this article. It’s not like you’re actually reading it! Communication really is overrated!
On the off chance that you are still reading this and if you are determined to build relationships, make friends, and communicate with your patients because you believe that your practice should be a part of the community, then just ignore everything that I have written. Obviously you like having lots of friends, don’t mind a little hard work, and enjoy making a difference in your patient’s lives.