While your discussing concerns or questions with patients your body should be upright. You might want to lean forward a little to show you are listening. Be careful not to turn your body away from the patient while they are discussing their concerns. When a patient is talking to you this is the time you want to be focused and in tune with their needs.
At times you will work with a patient that is refusing treatment, doesn’t understand the recommended treatment or has an issue with billing practices. You may become the target of their anger and frustration. In these times, remain calm. Refrain from blaming a co-worker for a mistake. This is not going to help the patient. Work to calm down the patient, through your listening skills. Make sure you first understand what the problem is. Let them vent for a short time, but don’t let it over power why you are there. Ask clarifying questions. Once the patient is done explaining their side, they are waiting for you to fix it. Quickly and efficiently find a way to resolve the problem or let the patient know what steps you are going to take to fix the problem. These types of conversations can become a circular argument of misunderstanding, so practice some dialogue before you are in front of patients.
Do not get into an argument with a patient. If they tell you that your front office messed up the billing, it isn’t going to create a better situation if you tell them billing never makes mistakes. Take a step back, tell them you are sorry they are having trouble and that you will be happy to look into it or discuss it with your front office team member.
Great communication takes time and great teams. For more information contact Salt.
Salt Dental Practice ManagementArticle was first published by Tri-County Dental Society