Practices should direct patients and other practice visitors on what they can do -- and where -- with their cellphones. Employing a policy -- with signs and scripting -- that allows for the quiet use of smartphones can help all patients handle tasks (such as emailing, bill paying, etc.) conveniently and wait for their appointments undisturbed.
Develop a script for asking patients to comply with cellphone policies. Team members can easily become uncomfortable if they have to ask patients to end phone conversations or noisy apps on their phone. Avoid such situations by carefully crafting a firm but polite script encouraging offenders to cease and desist out of respect for others.
Don't forget to follow the rules. If you ask patients and visitors not to disturb others with their cellphone activities, you must follow your own policy. If you have personal calls to make or need to perform other tasks on your smartphone, don't demonstrate a double standard. Take your phone out of sight -- and out of earshot! -- if you absolutely must use it.
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 www.levingroup.com/gpseminars.
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