A happy patient walking out the door after an appointment confirms that their experience with you, your team, and the care they received has met or exceeded their expectations. You should conclude every appointment this way—leaving the patient with a positive impression of your practice and providing the perfect scenario to generate new patient referrals. So how do you ensure every patient leaves happy? Teamwork and no surprises!
Our recent article explained that patient handoffs are vital to ensuring the best patient experience in your office. Verbal skills, teamwork and personal attention are the key to these handoffs. After completing treatment take a few moments to raise the chair, remove your mask and gloves, sit side by side and have a conversation with the patient about the results of the care or treatment they just received. Next, make sure your patient understands what follow-up care or further treatment they need before you walk them to the front desk. A team member should always, without exception, walk your patient to the front desk. Just as important, never “park” a patient at the front desk – they should not be left standing alone wondering what to do next. Instead, ensure a proper handoff takes place and transitions them to a front desk team member.
As always, make each patient feel important. The team member escorting them to the front desk should be pleasant and not rushed. Likewise, the person receiving the patient should give the patient their full attention—not simply a wave or head nod as they are on a phone call. At this point in the patient visit, there should be no surprises. You and your patient are all on the same page regarding completed treatment, payment, and follow-up care. Lastly, thank them and let them know you look forward to seeing them again!
Ken Mathys, CPA
Founder & Principal
Dental Practice Advisors