It can be extremely baffling and frustrating when dental patients ignore recommendations or simply fail to act. Throw into the mix a fast-paced practice environment and dental patient motivation can seem like the Bigfoot of the dental realm. Patient motivation is a challenge, but is necessary in order to get patients to accept and comply with treatment plans and self-care.
Here’s how to boost patient motivation in your dental practice today.
Educate to motivate!
Educating patients will promote consistency, improve staff efficiency, and reduce emergency appointments. And most of all, encourage patient motivation! Make sure that your patient is first motivated to learn before starting education. Motivation and education can go hand in hand after establishing good rapport with the patient.
RDH recommends these five basic principles to increase the effectiveness of educating:
- Using positive reinforcement
- Presenting small amounts of information at one time
- Letting the patient set their own pace
- Supervise the patient
- Provide immediate feedback
Get them invested & excited
Patient motivation is absolutely critical to their health’s success. Set that motivation in motion by getting them excited and genuinely interested in their oral health.
Devise an action plan
Fear of failure can be a huge barrier to change. Enhance the patient’s confidence in their own ability to reach a particular goal. Give them constructive feedback, reassurance, and the skills they need to achieve success. Setting goals or an action plan can increase patient motivation.
Show some empathy
Emotions play a role in patient motivation. Tap into their emotional side by showing empathy for the patient. When you find empathy for your patient’s struggles, it can help them feel respected and understood.
Don’t let patient motivation be a roadblock to improving dental patient compliance. The time you spend motivating your patients will bring financial rewards.