Do's and don'ts for patient interactions: Know what to say to patients

2016 11 18 14 42 01 206 Practice Success2 400

Knowing what to say greatly enhances every interaction with patients. Use staff meetings to review and role-play training scripts. Scripts make everyone more confident in answering patient questions and addressing concerns.


Use scripting to inject power words into interactions with patients. Power words -- such as great, terrific, wonderful, fantastic, super, awesome, and, most important, yes -- generate positive energy and excitement. To learn how to use them naturally, write them into scripts that staff members can learn through role-playing exercises with each other.


Don't say "no." Double-check to see if "no" occurs in any scripting your practice uses, and eliminate it. That word sends a negative message, in more ways than you may think. When the doctor or a team member says "no" to a patient, it can seem that your practice is unwilling to help, uncaring, or more interested in enforcing rules than meeting the patient's needs.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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