Are Patients Judging You by Your Technology?

In oral healthcare, clinical expertise and experience should count for more than technology—but the truth is that patients do judge their doctors by the technology they use. It can take as many as 25 years to become a great dentist or specialist, but these days it only take 25 minutes to look the part, especially when leveraging technology at a higher level.  Patients often judge practices by their technological expertise and their perception may even start when looking at your Internet presence (website, reviews, etc.) From there, it continues with their interaction with the front desk staff all the way throughout their clinical exam. For this reason, it’s imperative that the impression you make with your technology 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

The following chart also demonstrates how technological competency plays a role in improving the patient experience.

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 manner 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 but it can also impress prospective patients as well. Featuring technology as an important part of your treatment philosophy enables you to stand apart from other practices in the community and allows your philosophy of technological competency to ring out loud.

Have you found that your patients judge your practice based on your technology? How has it affected your practice?