If you run or manage a dental practice, you’ve likely experienced patient complaints from time to time. When a patient complains unexpectedly, your staff may not be prepared to handle the issue in the most professional way. However, rather than view complaints as a negative occurrence, you can use them to elevate your practice’s morale and operations. As you take steps to improve your dental practice, here are some effective ways to turn patient complaints into opportunities:
What Opportunities Can There Be From Patient Complaints?
Proactively seek patient feedback.
Being open to patient feedback is often the first line of defense against complaints! By regularly seeking feedback from your patients, you can proactively address concerns in a productive and meaningful way. Distributing surveys, either administered online or by mail, will allow you to gather patients’ insights and opinions in a comprehensive and professional way. With this feedback, you can then take the appropriate action to resolve issues before they get out of hand.
Reinforce documentation practices.
In any dental practice, documentation of all patient-related matters is important, and this is especially true for patient complaints. When a patient complaint arises, it’s important to train your staff about documentation. Documenting a complaint – no matter how big or small it may be – allows your practice to develop a paper trail in case of any legal action that may follow. This is critical for ensuring staff know how to protect themselves against unfair complaints, as well as protecting your practice from any potential litigation.
Make it a learning lesson.
While a patient’s complaint may not always be valid or rational, often there’s a learning lesson that can be taken away. Once the issue is addressed, it’s helpful to reconvene as a staff and discuss how a point of contention may be prevented in the future. For example, if the complaint was a communication-based issue, you may consider ways to improve patient communications practices. In most cases, you can always learn from a complaint and create a better strategy to prevent the matter moving forward.
Though handling complaints is never enjoyable, they present valuable opportunities to strengthen your dental office and help your staff grow as professionals!
Ready to improve your dental practice with top talent?
Contact AGA Group, a dental staffing firm based in Kanas City, and learn how our staffing services can help!