This article comes from general dentist and MGE client, Dr. Ryan Detmer. Since becoming an MGE client in late 2017, Dr. Detmer has been able to nearly double his monthly collections. Throughout this growth, he’s put an intense focus on patient care, communication and case acceptance for comprehensive treatment. We asked him to share some of the most impactful changes he’s been able to implement, and this is what he had to say:
There is one thing I’ve implemented from the beginning of my MGE journey that has helped me tremendously with my case acceptance rate. It’s a simple concept, but sometimes it’s the simple ideas that create a large impact when we put them into action.
This simple concept is: changing the mindset I have before going into and during a case presentation.
This “mindset change” consisted of two rules I made for myself:
1. Never go into a presentation thinking negatively about the patient
We all have those patients we don’t look forward to talking to. Maybe it’s because you’ve had presentations with them in the past and they never accepted their treatment plan or maybe they’re just difficult to talk to, but whatever the case may be, some patients can be harder to work with than others. And it can make it easy to go into the presentation with the idea of “Oh, they’re not going to accept their treatment plan anyway,” or “What’s the point in spending all this time with them when they don’t even care about their teeth?”
And I understand. I used to have the same thoughts and while I’ve always explained a patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan, I noticed at times that the quality of my presentation would fall short in some of these cases. So, one day I decided to change my mindset and to ALWAYS go into the presentation on a positive note.
So, instead of having concerns about a “difficult” patient, I began with a positive outlook. I’d go into it thinking, “I’m going to help this patient to the best of my ability so they fully understand their treatment and can make the right decision.” This shift alone helped, and my patients noticed!
2. Don’t give up! Continue working with a patient to help them help them through their barriers
It’s easy to feel like giving up on a particular case presentation after a time, especially when the patient doesn’t seem like they are going to accept. But I encourage you to not give up. Continue to communicate and make sure they truly understand what’s going on with their mouth and everything that is involved with their treatment plan.
(Related: 3 Tips on How to Handle Patient Objections)
There have been several times where I had a patient who wasn’t accepting their treatment plan, but I didn’t give up, and eventually they decided to do it…and one for one, they were extremely thankful in the end. I wasn’t pushy. I didn’t pressure them to stay. I just kept communicating with them and being attentive to their oral health and their mindset about it.
Sometimes they’re fearful or they just don’t 100% understand the situation, and it’s our job to make sure that we can help them overcome their barriers and that what we’re explaining comes across well to them.
What it all boils down to is if you have a positive mindset going into and during the treatment plan, show that you’re there to really help them, and do everything you can to make sure they truly understand their treatment, your case acceptance will improve.
As the doctor, it is our job to do everything we can to get our patients healthy again, and if we take on the mindset that we’re truly caring for them and we’re here to help them, that’ll come across to the patient.
I hope this simple tip can help you make a big impact in your practice and with your patients! It’s easy, doesn’t cost a dime, and is something you can start implementing today. Of course, there are a lot more tools I learned at MGE to help me communicate effectively with my patients and facilitate the case acceptance process, but it all starts with the right mindset. If this is hitting home for you and you’re curious about more, The MGE Communications & Sales seminars is the best thing you could do for your practice and your patients. I did all three seminars back in 2018 and our production immediately increased!