Mirror, mirror on the wall … is my practice the fairest of them all?

While you might not have a magic mirror, by taking a step back and experiencing your practice through the eyes and ears of your patients, you can gain a new perspective, which could be one of the greatest gifts you can give to your practice.

Here’s a quick story to show just how important the patient perspective is. I recently moved and was searching for a new dentist and received a recommendation from a fellow Henry Schein Field Sales Consultant. I called the practice and explained that I needed a new dentist, a crown redone, and a cleaning. Upon arrival, I learned that I would have a 90-minute new patient appointment but I would not be receiving a cleaning that day. Working in the dental industry, I understood why. However, as I was scheduling my next visit for my crown and cleaning, I was told I could not have a cleaning at the time of my treatment. In fact, it would take three visits to be able to get a cleaning.

When I was told it would take three appointments to even get a cleaning, I knew I wasn’t the right patient for their practice even though I liked the team and the dentist. I left the practice because they made it hard to be their patient. They lost the type of patient who shows up on time, accepts the recommended treatment, pays bills in advance, and even recommends good dentists to friends and family. I wonder if they have ever tried to experience their practice the way their patients do.

Here are some recommendations to help you take a walk in your patients’ shoes:

Visit your website as if you were a patient. Is it easy to navigate? Does it have updated pictures and information?

As a patient, what information would you want to know during your first phone call? How would you like to be treated?

How would you want to be reminded of an appointment? Would you want to be given a choice of reminder types?

How would you want to be greeted on your first visit?

How do you prefer to fill out new patient forms?

How do you want a hygienist to interact with you?

How do you prefer to talk about payments?

How do you prefer to schedule appointments?

How would you prefer to move throughout an office—from hygienist instructions to doctor introductions and back out to the front office?

How clean do you like offices to be? How about bathrooms?

How could every team member make you feel important?

If you were a patient, is there a “Negative Nellie” on the team who could leave a bad taste in your mouth?

Once you have looked at your practice from a patient’s point of view, follow up with your team to make sure your patients’ needs are being met—and exceeded. When you treat your patients as the fairest of them all, your practice will follow.

No magic mirror needed.

Learn More

If you found these ideas helpful, you may be interested in learning more about the Dentrix Profitability Coaching Program, where these, and many other great concepts, strategies and ideas are taught to you and your team by one of our highly skilled and experienced profitability coaches. To find out more about Dentrix Profitability Coaching, CLICK HERE.


Tammy Barker is the Practice Development Sales Manager and a Senior Profitability Coach for Henry Schein One. Tammy is a proponent for more actionable data-led decision-making, which led her to develop the Dentrix Profitability Coaching Program as well as the Dentrix Practice Advisor and the Daily Huddle Reports.