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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Role-Playing: How you can help your office


 By: Lenora Milligan
Salt DPM Consultant

Some believe that role-playing is only for the kids.  However, role-playing with your office can help your team to figure out how to respond when certain situations arise in your practice.  Taking the time to work out strategies for when the unexpected happens can lower stress when the emergencies do arise.  And let’s keep in mind the age-old saying of, “Practice makes perfect.”   When our everyday routine is thrown off because someone calls in late, or a patient shows up and you can’t find the file.  Some practice time before the situation will help build the confidence that is needed to deal calmly with the event. 

According to Andrew Dunning, “Business Team Building,” individuals during the process of role-playing in team building individuals have to feel safe and to enjoy the process.  In order to help strengthen your team, individuals have to know that they can count on one another.  Going through this process together can help encourage people to ask for help when it’s needed, trust one another when things don’t go as planned and support eachother when an upset patient calls and wants x-rays transferred to another office.

Here are some suggested role-playing scenarios:

A patient calls to cancel their hygiene appointment with 24 hours notice.  This is the third time. 

A new patient calls, who is referred by a friend and asks about insurance and scheduling an appointment.

A new patient calls and asks what we charge for an implant.

 A patient calls and wants x-rays transferred to another practice.  She seems upset.

Call a hygiene patient to confirm the appointment.  What do you say if he answers?  What message do you leave if he doesn’t?

Call a post surgery patient to follow up. 

A patient is referred for  RPC and the referring doctor intends to alternate care afterward.  The patient asks if they have to go back to referral doctor and states they would feel more comfortable staying in your office for all their cleanings.

The patient is 20 min. late for their appointment.

The patient is checking out and says the doctor wants to see her in two weeks.  You do not have an appropriate opening in two weeks.

A hygiene patient has significant bleeding during the cleaning appointment.  The patient states that their gums never bleed at home, only during cleanings.  How do you explain this?

After a treatment plan is presented the patient says, “Every time I’m here you tell me I need something and it’s always expensive.  Am I buying all the nice cars around here?”

A patient calls and says that their insurance has changed to one we are not providers for and they will have to change offices. 

A patient says, “If I really need this treatment then why won’t my insurance cover it?”

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