Having a Human Touch in Dental Care
How Compassion and Empathy Drive Patient Satisfaction
Being any kind of medical professional is challenging. Dentistry doesn’t transcend that. Your patients may be anxious or apprehensive about the time they spend in your practice. That’s why empathy and compassion increase patient satisfaction in a unique and personal way.
Each and every procedure is unique, and your bedside manner should show that. Being kind, an active listener, and encouraging support from your staff can transform your practice! Integrate empathy to build loyalty and enhance patient satisfaction. Here’s how!
Actively listening to your patients’ concerns, questions, and fears gives those you care for a better experience. You’re also more likely to pick up on any ongoing issues. Giving patients an opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts makes them feel heard and understood. Patient satisfaction skyrockets when your clientele knows that you are serious about hearing their voice.
By being a good listener, you also demonstrate that you believe in a patient’s know-how and ability to advocate for themselves. Being brushed aside or ignored is such a prevalent experience for so many people when they visit medical professionals. Don’t be that doctor! Hearing what your patients say and your practice will go a long way.
Provide patients with dental health and treatment knowledge. Test a variety of mediums to reach your patients.
Education can come in the form of:
- Online resources
- Informational videos
All this information empowers your patients to make informed decisions. It also shows that you empathize with their concerns and want to offer support in any way possible. Straightforward language that is free from jargon and simple visuals also helps communicate complex oral ideas With increased understanding comes increased patient satisfaction.
Educational material also grows patient satisfaction and trust. Your patients can return to what you’ve given them all from the comfort of home. Being in a dental office can be overwhelming, They might not know what questions to ask in the heat of the moment. By providing educational materials, you may answer any lingering questions that might pop up later. And being available for over-the-phone, email, or in-person conversations to clear anything up is also a great way to show empathy and how much you care for your patients.
Follow-up and aftercare for increased patient satisfaction
Don’t forget about your patients after they leave your practice! Excellent dentistry extends beyond the time people spend in the chair. Following up with patients after a procedure, treatment, or cleaning shows makes patients feel like they matter—because they do!
You can reach out with:
- Detailed aftercare instructions
- Follow-up calls
- Increased availability to meet with patients
- Text messaging, email, and chat options
These efforts contribute to the sense of compassion you want to cultivate at your practice. Patient satisfaction will grow when people feel like they are in good hands, even when the appointment is over.
Leave language barriers behind
Harness the power of modern technology and the skill of translators to offer your services in different languages. It can be challenging to provide good dental care across a language barrier. It remains a proven fact that language barriers can really affect the quality of care people receive.
When you can offer to communicate with them in their mother tongue, anxieties and trepidation melt away. It also shows that you’ve taken the time, thought, and effort to cater to their needs. Additionally, you open up your practice to new communities that may bring in more patients via word-of-mouth. Patient satisfaction follows this kind of thoughtful and deliberate action on your part to be increasingly inclusive.
Patient satisfaction 101: Give them the goods
When your patients take care of their oral health at home, each and every visit will be easier. That’s why it’s a great idea to send them home with a small swag bag! This is a long-term way to show empathy. Including toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, and more indicate your dedication to ensuring patients continue good care.
A list of nearby pharmacies can also be helpful if patients need medication both for your staff and those visiting your practice. That way, they can easily pick up any prescriptions on the way home or back to work.
Acknowledge everyone’s emotions
Patient satisfaction and creating a supportive environment go hand-in-hand for successful dental practices. Address fears and anxieties—dental phobias are not rare and should be recognized. If you have a particularly fearful patient, listening and talking through it within their comfort level goes a long way toward patient satisfaction. You can also offer coping strategies.
Here’s what works:
- Deep breathing
- The option to use headphones
- Encouraging pediatric patients to bring a favorite stuffed animal, toy, or blanket
- Asking adult patients what they need to feel more comfortable whether it be a support person in the exam room or a comforting item
Establishing boundaries matters, as well. Make it clear that patients can always communicate with you if they are in pain or would like you to stop a cleaning. This builds trust, allows people to advocate for themselves, and fosters a sense of safety during the appointment—all emotions—even negative ones, matter. Empathy toward others’ needs increases patient satisfaction by creating a lasting human connection.
How Intiveo helps
You’re now armed with all the tools you need to elevate patient satisfaction through compassion and empathy! Let Intiveo make it all a little easier with software that boosts the patient experience and patient satisfaction every step of the way.
Our product includes:
- Scheduled reminders
- Follow-up communication
- A straightforward platform
- Feedback and review prompts
We can help you deliver exceptional care and nurture the long-lasting relationships that let your practice thrive. Book a meeting today to learn more!