I recently purchased a watch at a local jewelers. I knew I was impressed with the level of service while I was there, I was further convinced when I opened my mail today to find a handwritten note from the salesperson thanking me for my purchase and for the pleasure of helping me select my watch. The note card included the company Credo: “To provide the most compelling customer care possible to all of the people who enter our doors.” I couldn’t help but think how compelling this credo would be for many dental practices. Remember the power of a hand written note. Your patients will love getting one as much as I did.
It’s amazing what you can hear in the parking lot outside a dental office. I recently heard a teenage girl say “Mom, I’ve had teeth pulled and gum surgery, I’ve had braces and cleanings twice a year my whole life, but I’ve never felt like such an object as today when I had that filling done. That new girl working on me hurt me and acted like I was invisible.” The young girl then began to cry.
I have to wonder if this doctor was aware of what had happened under his watch. How aware are you of how your staff handle challenges they may face with your patients? How much training time is spent sharing your practice philosophy of care and service? Do you teach your team members how to care for and about your patients? It’s a mistake to assume that clinical competency assures a compassionate chairside manner. When all is said and done your patients won’t remember exactly what you said or did but they will always remember how your practice made them feel. This young lady deserved better.
I’ve just returned from San Francisco where the ADA held the annual meeting this year. Dr. Scott Benjamin spoke at The Academy of Dental Management Consultants’ Annual Meeting and held the room spellbound. His message: The mortality rate for Oral Cancer has not changed in 50 years. Oral Cancer is the sixth most common cancer, 3 times more common than cervical cancer. More women die from Oral Cancer every year than from Cervical Cancer. More men than women die every year from Oral Cancer.
When Oral Cancer is caught in Stage 1 the survival rate is 90% but shockingly 70% of oral cancer is diagnosed in the late stages. There is also a 60% rise in the number of people under 40 years old who are being diagnosed with oral cancer and this is linked to HPV.
Dr. Benjamin is passionate about doing what he can to change these statistics and he is challenging everyone in dentistry to do their part to encourage more and better screening for oral cancer. Do your research and learn how you can make the difference for your patients and their families.