We all know that the healthcare industry is constantly changing and evolving. Patients often expect nothing less than the best possible care and experience when they walk into a dental practice. However, what many of us don’t realize is that a great patient experience begins even before the patient sees you. In fact, it starts in the waiting room. The waiting room is a crucial part of the patient experience, and there are a few things you can do to make sure it’s a positive one.
3 REASONS A GREAT PATIENT EXPERIENCE BEGINS IN THE WAITING ROOM
1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER
The waiting room is often patients’ first impression of your practice, so it’s important to make sure it’s a good one. First impressions can be influenced by things like the cleanliness of the waiting room, the friendliness of the staff, and even the décor. If your waiting room is cluttered, dark, and dingy, patients may get the wrong idea about your practice before they’ve even seen a dentist.
On the other hand, if your waiting room is bright, clean, and inviting, patients will be more likely to have a positive attitude about their visit before they’ve even met you.
First impressions matter, and the waiting room is often patients’ first impression of your practice. Make sure it’s a good one by keeping it clean, bright, and inviting.
2. IT’S THE FIRST INTERACTION WITH YOUR TEAM
The waiting room is where patients are most vulnerable. When patients are in those chairs waiting for their appointment, they are often anxious or in pain — and all too aware that they are at the mercy of the staff and doctors. A great patient experience in the waiting room can go a long way in making patients feel more comfortable and confident in the care they are about to receive.
The waiting room is the first opportunity for patients to interact with your team. This interaction can set the tone for the rest of their visit. If they’re greeted by a friendly face and made to feel welcome, they’ll be more likely to have a positive experience overall. On the other hand, if they’re ignored or made to feel like an inconvenience, they may not want to come back.
Make sure your team is friendly and welcoming to set the tone for the rest of the visit.
3. IT SETS THE STAGE FOR THE REST OF THE VISIT
Finally, the waiting room is often a reflection of the dental clinic as a whole. If it’s well-run and organized, chances are the rest of the facility is too. If it’s chaotic and disorganized, that’s often a sign of bigger problems.
The waiting room is also a good opportunity to set the stage for the rest of the visit. If you have educational materials in the waiting room, patients can learn more about their dental health while they wait. This can make them feel more comfortable and informed when they go back for their appointment.
HOW CAN YOU START CHANGING YOUR WAITING ROOM EXPERIENCE?
If you’re looking to improve the patient experience in your waiting room, there are a few things you can do. Ask yourself these questions to start:
- Is the decor inviting and comfortable?
- Has your staff been trained on the importance of customer service?
- Do you have educational materials available?
- Is the waiting room clean and organized?
- Do the patients have access to a clean bathroom?
- Is there a sign letting patients know how they can access the Wi-Fi?
- Do you offer your patients a drink of water while they wait?
Making even a few small changes in your waiting room can make a big difference in the patient experience. By creating a positive environment from the start, you can help put patients at ease and set the stage for a great visit. A great patient experience is crucial to a successful dental practice, so don’t underestimate the importance of the waiting room!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Chris Bockrath is a native of Dayton, Ohio. He completed his undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University, and graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences and Cum Laude honors.
He continued his training at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, where he graduated near the top of his class with a degree for Doctor of Dental Surgery, and gained his expertise in general dentistry. Now residing in Colorado, Dr. Bockrath is now with Mountain Aire Dentistry.
Dr. Bockrath’s philosophy of the practice is prevention as well as doing only work necessary using the most aesthetic techniques and materials available. Patient education is also an important aspect of dentistry that Dr. Bockrath is passionate about in order to make sure his patients are well-informed on their dental needs.
He’s proud of his ability to carry out services in general dentistry at the highest level, as well as specialty treatment such as oral surgery, endodontics, and orthodontics.
He is currently certified and trained with Invisalign in order to complete orthodontic treatments that improve smiles through the office’s Sure Smiles program.
He offers expertise in cosmetic dentistry which includes crowns, veneers, bridges, implant crowns, and in-office bleaching treatment as well.