Referral and Loyalty Program Preparation: Are Patients Judging You by Your Technology?

In dentistry, clinical expertise and experience should count for more than technology systems —but the truth is that patients do judge us by the technology we use. It can take as many as 25 years to become a great dentist, but these days it only take 25 minutes to look the part–especially when leveraging technology at a higher level.  Patients do judge us by our technological expertise and their perception starts–even before they walk through the door—with your Internet presence. From your web presence, it continues with their interaction with your front desk staff all the way throughout their clinical exam. It’s imperative that your technology impression is a good one from the start.

Keeping your patients happy has a direct impact on your bottom line, which includes:

  • Attracting new quality patients
  • Increasing treatment acceptance
  • Retaining patients and decreasing patient turnover

To show you what patients expect out when it comes to digital radiography, I have created the following chart.

Expectation

How It Helps Patients

How It Helps You

Instant Access to Images Patients these days are busy. Whether a parent has taken his or her child out of school for an ortho records appointment or your patient is missing work for dental restorative appointment, reducing the length of patient visits is important. With fast image acquisitions and efficient access to historical image data, you can get patients in and out in a timely way without them feeling rushed.
  • Digital technology produces images instantly—without the delays caused by processing film.
  • By capturing images with digital technology—such as direct digital sensors or phosphor plates—you no longer have to purchase expensive consumables, such as film or chemistry.
Co-diagnosis Patients want to feel in charge of their health. By “co-discovering” problem areas with you via a monitor, you give them the opportunity to play an active role in their oral health.
  • Allowing patients to co-discover problems with you improves understanding and increases case acceptance.
  • Patients who are satisfied with their care are more likely to return and also recommend your practice to their friends and family.
Education Some dental symptoms are asymptomatic, so patients aren’t often aware that a problem exists. By putting an image on the monitor, patients receive visual cues about the treatment needs that must be addressed.
  • When patients are able to visualize the problem, they are more likely to accept your treatment recommendation.
  • Digital images are usually displayed larger than those captured with film, which allows patients to participate more than before.

Patients are more likely to refer others to you if they feel safe and if they believe that you’re investing in your practice. You show them how much you care when investing in technology that aids in efficiency and raises your diagnostic accuracy.

Updating your technology will not only have an impact on your existing patients—it will also impress prospective patients as well. Featuring technology as an important part of your treatment philosophy will enable you to stand apart from other practices in the community and allow your philosophy of technological competency to ring out loud.

Have you found that your patients judge your practice based on your technology? I look forward to discussing this question in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “Referral and Loyalty Program Preparation: Are Patients Judging You by Your Technology?

  1. Pingback: The Digital Image Stream | Is it Time for Your Practice’s Technology ‘Check-Up’?

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