At its core patient experience is humans caring for other humans. For treatments to be successful and sought after this care must be felt in all interactions. A patient’s assessment of their experience comes down to the quality of care experienced in the series of interactions they are exposed to coming into contact with your practice. The experience era is upon us. Satisfaction-related considerations such as a beautifully appointed waiting area, a workstation and a children’s area lead to a patient not only highly regarding your practice but also recommending your practice.
Create the experience
Practitioners underestimate the degree to which patient experience fails to meet the expectations of patients, they are aware of dissatisfaction but in general, they misjudge the perception of their performance. Ease and convenience are an expected part of modern life with most patients experiencing this across many other sectors. This new era calls on practitioners to understand and execute the convincing strategy that informs a great patient experience.
Digitization is the way forward to improve dental care convenience, speed, and accessibility as well as humanising the patient experience, as connected devices equal connected people. Self-check-in kiosks, online appointment bookings, and SMS notifications are just some of the ways practitioners can show they value their patients’ time.
A relaxed experience and a patient’s willingness to wait hinges on providing positive distractions – an emotion-focused coping strategy that decreases anxiety and stress “to allow the individual to shift focus from negative stimulus within the health environment to the more restorative aspects of the non-medical world” (Shepley, 2006). Art, music, and nature (interior vegetation) are three ways to provide a positive stimulus.
Design not decorate
Interestingly, the future of interior design and dental practices share the same aim – a positive impact on wellness. A growing awareness of how our physical environment affects our health will work to improve dental practice spaces for practitioners, staff and patients alike. Colour as therapy – subdued, subtle colour palettes with pops of colour for positive distraction. Minimalistic, clean and clutter-free spaces to allow your patients to unwind. A beautiful fiddle leaf fig to provide visual texture and emotional grounding.
A well-designed practice not only aids the patient experience but also offers a chance to create a strong brand identity and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Spread the word
Patient experience translates into online currency – the online review. Online reviews are increasingly driving decision making. It is quick and easy to find a wealth of public information about dental practitioners. Choices are then made on real-life reviews. This is where all the effort you put into crafting a patient experience pays off, an impressed patient leads to an impressive review.
Are you ready to take your dental practice to the next level and into the future? Contact OPTIMA today on 1800 266 515 to find out how.