It’s difficult being everything to everybody.
And sometimes you just cannot.
I heard of two Dental Offices this week that chose to “dismiss” a patient.
And rightly so.
In both instances, the patient was failing to treat the dentist as a health care professional.
In both instances, the patient was choosing to use the Dental Office for their own conveniences, with total disregard of the way their behaviors were impacting upon the Dental Practice. Subsequently, these behaviours were impacting on the other patients being treated by those dentists.
The belligerent patient
Sometimes there are patients who just don’t want to know what’s good for them.
Fortunately, not that often. But sometimes there are!
Or there are patients who somehow think that the state of their mouth, and its subsequent restoration to health, are all your fault, and not there’s.
In these cases, there’s no point trying to reason with these people.
Because they have progressed beyond logic.
Nothing that you can tell them will be what they want to hear.
They want someone to blame for their teeth.
They want an argument.
They are looking for an argument.
They are looking for a tug-of-war.
And whenever you come across a patient who is looking for a tug-of-war, the best thing to do, is drop the rope.
End the discussion.
Because it’s really a total waste of time continuing with someone in this frame of mind.
The usual scenario in this case is that for some reason [unknown to the patient] a tooth has deteriorated to the point of being unsaveable, and the patient is incredulous!
Despite the fact that the patient has probably not been as regular an attender to the Dental Practice as they should have been.
And despite the fact that the patient’s diet may not have been appropriate.
And that their level of Oral Hygiene may not have been of the best standard.
And in this case, there’s no upside at all to treating an “angry” patient.
So send them on their way.
Recommend to them that your Dental Office may not be the best place for them to receive their dental services.
And end their appointment then and there!
There is no upside to your Office in trying to continue treatment on someone who is belligerent.
The mental exhaustion and waste of energy to you as the Doctor will drain you for the remainder of your day, thus denying your subsequent patients who do indeed value you, from receiving your best.
And that’s not really fair.
I’m always late
There comes a time when enough is enough.
There are patients who totally disrespect your time.
With blatant disregard.
You know the ones?
They continually arrive after their appointment is due to begin, and expect to be seen anyway, AND have all their allocated treatment completed.
Despite the fact that you don’t now have sufficient time.
They ruin your day because of their complete disregard for the importance of your time.
And for what?
Again, in this instance, the relief you gain from letting this sort of patient go, letting them find a new Dental home, can be enormous.
As if a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
And why not?
Because we know what happens, usually…
We weaken. We see them anyway, and then spend the remainder of the day playing catch up, running behind for all our other patients, and getting “a name” for being late, despite the fact that this patient has caused us to run behind.
Not our own inefficiencies!
So put your foot down!
After all, you’re a health care professional, with years of time spent gaining an education.
That also costs!
And now you occupy a business that cost to acquire.
And that “history” needs to be shown some respect.
There comes a time when there’s no point in continuing the relationship with these patients.
Because, again, it impacts upon the quality of care that you want to give to the remainder of people you intend to see that day.
And that’s not fair on them.
It’s important here not to appear arrogant about your worth.
It is important here to feel your worth is of some importance though.
And when you feel that you’re not getting back, then it’s time to end it.
Because it is OK to not be everything to everybody.
It is OK to let some patients go….
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me at email@example.com
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