The importance of patient education for your dental practice ... when, where, and why

September 17, 2014

When you assess the day-to-day activities in your dental office, you soon realize that a lot of time is spent communicating with patients and building relationships between them and your staff. An easy way to add structure and simplicity to this ongoing patient communication is to implement a patient education software system into your every day practice. By streamlining your communication efforts and focusing on educating your patients, you can ultimately help better your practice’s retention rate, profitability and reputation.

Forget fear and stop stress

Many people put off visiting the dentist for one reason – to avoid the anxiety that accompanies the appointment. Patient education software can alleviate much of that anxiety by helping a patient better understand the treatment recommendation. Rather than focusing on an idea the patient conjured about how the treatment might happen, a patient can see exactly what a procedure entails.

Introduce patient education videos in the waiting room to help calm patients’ nerves and show that you have their best interest in mind. This subtly gains their trust before they even sit in the dental chair. By showing these videos early on, you ease the patient into the treatment plan without overwhelming them, all the while showcasing the kinds of procedures that your practice specializes in.

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Build relationships

The relationships we build with patients are the absolute key to success. Spend time talking with them, discussing treatment plans, and showing them exactly what a given procedure will look like. Animations and illustrations in patient education videos help make the complicated and sometimes overwhelming diagnosis much more manageable and easy to understand. Remember that much of communication is non-verbal – take advantage of the fact that many people are visual learners and respond better to seeing an image over listening to a one-sided dialogue.

Utilize patient education videos during the hygiene visit to bridge the gap between dental professionals and the patients we rely on for success. Stop thinking about saving time, bringing in revenue, and increasing your retention rate, and you’ll be able to focus on the patient. Once this is accomplished, the rest will fall into place.

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Increase profit and reputation

After a patient understands a recommended treatment plan, he or she is much more likely to accept it. After viewing the video or presentation, dentists and patients are able to have a more balanced conversation because the visual representation simplifies the explanation process. A patient education software system can act as an opportunity generator in the office, especially when the videos are customized to show what your practice does best. Custom galleries are a unique feature of some patient education software systems that allow the dentists to build videos or image slideshows individual to his or her practice.

The best part is that these videos can be easily accessed anywhere in the office if you select a cloud-base patient education system. These videos help simultaneously connect you with patients, aide your marketing strategy and build your reputation.

The role that patient education software can play should not be ignored. It can increase your retention rate, strengthen existing patient relationships and help build new ones, ultimately leading to better patient satisfaction and an increasing in profit.

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Note: This article is sponsored by Patterson Dental as part of the Dental Practice Management Partner Voice Program, which provides a way for leading dental manufacturers to share quality content with our audience. Patterson Dental offers a wide range of dental products including Eaglesoft Practice Management SoftwareCAESY Patient Education Systems and the RevenueWell marketing communications suite, which are backed by the renowned support and customer service team at the Patterson Technology Center. With multiple support options and more than 125 years experience in the dental industry, Patterson has the resources and expertise to help customers and practices reach their greatest potential.