Your training may be excellent, your techniques may be superior, and your compassion may be unsurpassed. But if patients are rejecting treatment or not following up on your recommendations it’s critical you consider why that is happening.
Many new dentists struggle with treatment acceptance because they haven’t considered the barriers that many patients have to overcome to actually say “yes.”
Consider these suggestions to improve your treatment acceptance among patients in your growing practice.
- Present treatment plans to patients as if the person were a member of your family.
- Present the plan that you honestly feel the patient needs, not just what you think the patient can afford.
- Communicate to the patient clearly and in lay terms what this plan consists of.
Many doctors talk way over the patient’s head.
- Put yourself in your patients’ shoes. If you went through the very same procedures in your own practice would you accept treatment or would you walk out?
- Consider using a trained treatment coordinator.
Professionally trained treatment coordinators are expected to achieve an 85% rate of treatment acceptance. This person is responsible for answering the many questions that patients have but often don’t want to bother the doctor with. Such as, “Why does the doctor think it needs to be done now? How much is the treatment going to cost me? Can I make payments? How many appointments am I going to need? Is the procedure going to be painful? What happens if I just wait a while?” and the list goes on.
The treatment coordinator also makes sure the patient is scheduled. If the patient doesn’t schedule that day, it is the treatment coordinator who follows up. They break down the barriers that prevent patients from pursuing recommended care. They offer reassurance and unlimited assistance to the patient in helping them fully understand the treatment, the need for it, and the benefits of pursuing it.