Everyday there are dozens, if not thousands, of visitors in dental waiting rooms and operatories across the country. We also hear about a new possible pandemic virus sweeping across the globe at an alarming rate on a consistent basis. So how do we make patients feel like they are in an environment that is both clean and safe from infection causing agents? What benefit does the business get from these steps?
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Appearance can be everything. If a patient walks into your office for the first time, or the hundredth time, they may be like many people and have uneasiness about dental procedures. If they walk into a bright and welcoming operatory, it can help them relax and make the visit more productive for themselves and the doctor. Clean chairs, still packaged instruments, a box of gloves, face masks and even the disinfectant that the office uses, can give all patients a visual reassurance that they are in a clean environment. This removes the thought of getting an infection from their mind. This all leads to a better patient experience at the office and leads us into our next question.
Why do we want patients to see our offices as clean? If they feel they are in a safe environment, they are more likely to have a better experience while there, which in turn can lead them to stick to follow-up appointment schedules and maintain their annual cleaning regiment. This helps maintain a profitable practice, which is only one of the many benefits the office will receive. A happy patient is also one of your best assets as a business.
Happy patients will tell their friends and coworkers about the positive experience they had at your office and encourage these same people to also become patients of yours. More patients are always good for business, but that isn’t the real benefit behind a good infection control program in your office. While there may be hundreds of patients and visitors to the office daily, they do not interact with one another as much as the office staff does. Another reason for maintaining good infection control practices is the ability of the staff to be there. If staff members are out ill, it limits the number of patients an office can service on any given day. If patients are not able to get in for treatment or regular cleanings when they need to, it may cause them to look elsewhere for dental care and not refer their friends and coworkers to the office.
So do yourself, your staff and your business a favor and implement or review your current infection control practices. It just makes good healthcare sense!