Monday, May 23, 2011

Blog Exposure!

Our office likes to track where we are getting new patient referrals from. When I meet a new patient, I always greet the patient and ask them how they heard about the office. Usually, it is family or a friend. The econd most common is internet and third is probably insurance carrier referrals.

I had an interesting encounter with a patient a few weeks ago. Let’s call her Mrs. Wrench. I asked her the same series of questions and got a response I was not expecting. She told me that she was looking for an "honest" dentist that was not a "shyster." She was searching the internet and found the Daily Grind blog. She started to read the posts and liked what she was reading. She said she felt like she got to know me a little and said it made her want to come on in. She also told me her mother told her to be careful coming in to see me because I might write about her and use her name in the blog. I told her not to worry, there are a few laws that will protect her from that issue. I told her I was going to write this blog about our meeting and I hope she gets a kick out of reading this post.

I was really surprised by this encounter and her finding the blog. When I write blog posts, I forget that this gets sent out into the cyber world wilderness. I have kind of incorrectly assumed only dental professionals read this stuff. I figure any other person would have no interest in reading about our trials and tribulations or joys of the profession. Well, she had read them and seemed to really like reading them.

She has been a great patient, very understanding and serious about improving her oral health. She does not have insurance, but doesn’t hesitate to have the necessary treatment completed. I have enjoyed helping her and need more patients like her.

I know that patients want to feel like they know the doctor and staff. If they can make some level of connection with the office on a personal level, everyone is happier. We really strive to make patients feel welcome and cared for. I know all kinds of little details about many of our patients that I try to file away in my limited data bank so I can have real conversations with them. I feel this is what separates many of the small private offices form the big corporate clinics. I know they are not all this way, but from my experience, people are willing to pay a little more and drive a little farther to receive this sort of care. This sounds like some old-fashioned business model, but I believe in it.

Have a great week.


4 comments: said...

This post is a great testament to the power of blogging. Writing a regular blog - one with worthwhile content like The Daily Grind - may at times feel like a thankless task. Most bloggers wonder whether people are getting value from their work or are the posts they worked so hard to craft disappearing unread in cyberspace. Your story proves that good, serious blogging is well worth the effort.

Colorado Springs Anderson Dental said...

I definitely think the conversational tone of your blog helps to convey the "cared for" nature that your office strives for.

Our dental office has only now begun to use social media to reach out to our current and prospective patients. We found your blog looking for an example of what we are striving for. Keep it up - we bet your office is as welcoming as the blog. Cheers...

gatordmd said...

All I know is that I have blogged for three years and haven't got a single patient from it.
This guy writes three posts and he is getting patients.
It just doesn't seem fair does it?

I am not bitter I swear.

Anonymous said...

Some of us patients are curious of what dentists really think. In my case part of the reason is that I had an unfortunate bicycle accident about 10 years ago. Because of that incident, I ended up going the long path with a second molar. When, I say "long path", I mean four failed composite fillings => failed RCT => failed resection => failed extraction and finally an implant. BTW, the implant isn't loaded yet.

When, I say that the extraction failed, I refer to the fact that the surgeon accidentally (???) extracted not only the tooth but also a gold onlay from the neighboring tooth. He also damaged a saliva gland in my tongue so that I developed a painful ranula.

In retrospect, I believe that some of the treatments that I have received were pretty questionable. I also resent the fact that the dentists failed to present me with different options.

To put it short, because of my unique experience I simply demand to be the key decision maker when it comes to my own teeth. Of course, I want to hear the dentists opinion as well but if he can't back it up with hard data, then I may very well choose to ignore it.

Also, in some cases I have found that I have a different opinion regarding what is an acceptable level of risk or what variable should be optimized to what degree (risk, aesthetics, cost, pain and time).

Another interesting topic is whether one should optimize for the worst case or the average case.

If I would live my life again with that fractured tooth. I would probably demand that it is restored with a gold crown instead of several attempts with composite fillings. If the cold crown thing would fail, that is the tooth would still be sensitive, then I would have demanded extraction + implant right way instead of doing the RCT on a tooth that has suffered a hard mechanical impact and only The Almighty knows how many subgingival microfractures it has.


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