Many contemporary influences affect the everyday dental environment. The challenges dentists face is to integrate the necessary, inevitable changes into our dental environment without damaging the essential timeless core values that allow us the privilege to offer the public professional healthcare. This type of healthcare includes the benefits and safeguards inherent in a regulated profession as opposed to being a commodity purveyor.
Maintaining Professionalism and Core ValuesThe most obvious stressor on existing or start up practices is the lack of an increasing robust demand for our services. This is part of a cost/value disconnect as well as what appears to be an excessive supply of dental outlets to serve the “existing” needs of our potential patient base. This truth is particularly evident in larger centres. In keeping with our thesis of wanting to uphold our professionalism and core values, how do we maintain a patient’s needs focus and help patients financially access the agreed upon treatment. First, we must consider that there are a number of strategies to AVOID:
What Really Stays The SameWhen we analyze the current patient phenomena, we realize that patients’ needs or wants are essentially the same as they always have been. However, the emphasis toward efficiency and utility has greatly shifted in prominence along with the tendency towards consumerism.
If you believe, as we do at Innovative Practice Solutions (IPS), that basic human nature is constant and that what people really look for in healthcare, even though they may not recognize the fact or articulate it, is the desire to receive consistent healthcare.
As dentistry is probably in the forefront of a personal, professional, and physical interaction with patients, that is, most of what we render requires hands-on physical intervention with their head, neck, and oral cavity. Therefore, their real priorities, although possibly unrecognized, are the following:
These guidelines enhance the perception that patients are joining or are a part of the population of a Patient Centric Office where their needs and reasonable wants will be dealt with seriously. Consideration of the consumer/patient has always been a priority even though often not articulated. In the contemporary environment, these values remain in the present desires of individual patients and play an increasingly crucial part in building a more successful practice. After analyzing our most successful practices of the previous era, we found they have mostly by instinct, unwittingly presented this type of environment.
Basic human nature does not necessarily change, but our strategy to bring our solutions to the fore must be routinely reviewed and emphasized. The more a practice changes, the more the path to success stays the same.