Through The Eyes of Your Patient

Compliments of Leslie Canham –Infection Control Specialist

I am in many dental offices every month and have the opportunity to see how dentistry works. I think it would be fair to say that when working in the same treatment rooms every day it could make a dental team immune to signs of wear, age, and disrepair of furniture, equipment, and cabinetry. This can send the wrong message to patients. Your patients expect you as the dentist to be detail oriented and your work environment should reflect that.

To see your office through the eyes of the patient, take a few moments to look closely at the treatment room. Inspect the surfaces of counter tops, drawers, and shelves for stains or damage. Sit in the dental chair and look around. Are there areas that need cleaning or repair? Next, lie back in the dental chair and look at the ceiling. Are there water stains, broken ceiling tiles, chipped paint, or cobwebs? Finally, look at the flooring for areas that need attention. If the operatory has carpet, are there visible stains? Is carpet cleaning regularly scheduled?

Do a team meeting or training where you all have a pad of paper and walk around your office and take notes, then gather back together and discuss what tasks the dental team can perform to improve these areas. Make sure that some of the things become maintenance chores that happen routinely. Your dental team can make a big difference in the appearance of the treatment rooms by focusing on areas that are sometimes overlooked.

Note from Nik…

One of the most powerful things I have done in an office is to walk through the door as a if I were a patient and video record everything I see. Then sit down and review this with you, it’s amazing what you will see when you’re looking through the eyes of the patient! Please email me at or call me at 919-780-9296 to discuss doing this with your practice.