As a Technology Advisor for Patterson Dental, I visit a variety of practices each week. Each practice has its own unique struggles and successes. Remember to celebrate your successes! Yet, there is one constant struggle that I see in most practices, and that is the amount of patient case acceptance. Team members from the doctor and assistant, to the hygiene team, to the business team, feel that the case acceptance within the practice is good. A look at the numbers and statistics of the practice from Eaglesoft or any other practice management software, however, tells a different story…
As dentistry moves towards the medical model of care, statistics and metrics from the practice management software are going to become more important (more on that at another time). Many practices feel that their case acceptance is around 85 – 90% but when the truth from the software is told, it can be 60% or less. Why? There could be many reasons for this, but often the patient is receiving mixed messages from the team. The clinical team may inform the patient about the necessity for the treatment, but when the patient is handed off to the business team, a different story is heard.
Patients are reluctant to schedule care for a variety of reasons ranging from financial, to time, to fear and not understanding the treatment. Using patient education materials in a variety of formats can help inform the patient of their needs, thus making their needs, wants. Patients are technologically savvy in the dental practice of 2019 and they are looking to their healthcare providers to be as well. Using multi-media presentations in the practice’s reception area, in the operatory/consult room, or sent to the patient via email, elevates the practice’s technology in the eyes of the patient. Information coming from a unbiased third party, the technology, sometimes can move the needle for making the patient’s needs, wants. It also allows for the variety of learning styles that patients present with.
There are a variety of ways patients learn – some are visual, some auditory, and some kinesthetic. Others want to read materials on their own and need time to process the information. Multi-media case presentations allow all of the patients’ learning styles to be addressed. A good multi-media program will contain 5 elements: text, video, audio, imaging, and animation. Multi-media programs such as CAESY deliver high quality, educational, technology driven content that can be viewed in-office, at home or on paper, a phone, tablet or computer. There are also Spanish versions of CAESY technology for your patients that are Spanish speakers.
The growth of YouTube and the amount of educational formats that utilize videos for learning has exploded over the past few years. People enjoy being entertained while learning and want to be engaged and active in any educational process. Multi-media patient education materials do just that. Handing patients brochures or information sheets and having them accept treatment is limiting (there are information sheets built into Eaglesoft). There are some patients for whom these brochures or sheets are inadequate in terms of patient engagement. These patients want to enjoy learning and participate in the learning process. With the shift of healthcare to the patient-centered model of care, it has been shown through various studies that multi-media presentations offer the patient choices for their learning experience. This in turn can increase patient satisfaction and hopefully improve overall case acceptance.
One practice that I have visited began using multi-media presentations for their patients. They have always been an educationally focused practice, thus adding multi-media to their educational process was a natural progression for them. Through the use of CAESY they found that treatment plan case acceptance shifted from a good level to a 90 – 95% great success rate! In the words of author Jim Collins, that is going from “good to great!” Think of how your practice would be great if your case acceptance success rate was 90%. Using multi-media patient education materials such as CAESY, which is the Clinically Advanced Education System, can help your patients become healthier and move from good to great in their oral and systemic health.
For more information about CAESY, including instructions for claiming a one month FREE trial offer, visit us here!
Multimedia Formats for Patient Education and Health Communication
J Med Internet Res. 2003 Jul-Sep; 5(3): e19.
Published online 2003 Aug 29. doi: 10.2196/jmir.5.3.e19