As a healthcare professional, we often process more health information and medical procedures than we do on improving or gaining new communication skills. Communication is as important as having knowledge and experience in your medical field to be able to connect and provide your patients with the best dental care they deserve.
Part of connecting with your patients is the ability to communicate effectively which adds to their overall patient experience. Aside from being able to explain to our patient’s dental health, we want to educate them in their health so, they can play a role in having a healthy smile. When we connect with our patients, we want to make sure we are hitting the following main points
As a healthcare provider, ensuring we understand our patient’s needs and concerns can go a long way since not only are you caring for their health but building patient relationships. Building a relationship with your patients will help develop a foundation trust, safety, and even loyalty since your patients will feel they are being heard and cared for when they come in for their visit.
So, where do we begin to connect with our patients? Getting to know your patient is one of the big ones, and we don’t mean knowing their most intimate personal life details but their medical history and records of previous visits. There are various ways you can approach a patient to connect and build relationships with them. Here are some helpful tips you can use today,
- Knowing your patient – know their medical records, and previous visits when you meet with them conveys you are up-to-date with their records, and they are not just another patient coming through.
- Gain trust – you want to build trust by showing respect towards one another. Be mindful of the language you use, the tone, and how you express your words and treat others.
- Be observant and ask questions – as a healthcare provider, don’t make an assumption about your patients. Talk with their other healthcare providers, observe how the patient is, or ask the patient question to understand their concerns, worries better, and how to better treat them and teach them about their healthcare.
- Creating a rapport – you want to establish a safe and comfortable environment for your patient. It can be from keeping eye contact to your nonverbal communication.
Aside from creating a safe environment and showing you are present, you want to ensure you explain to your patient in terms they understand about their dental health and treatment they will be undergoing if any. You want to do more than explain but to show them as you describe their conditions and treatment to them, so there is a collaborative effort in choosing the best treatment for your patient. Showing empathy is another critical trait you want to have and improve on while working with your patients and can be given verbally or through non-verbal cues. Connecting patients is part of the overall patient experience they have with their healthcare providers. If a patient feels their provider has connected with them, their experience at your office will be different than wasn’t a connection form. What are some of the ways you try to build a connection with your patients? Tell us in the comment below.