Do's and don'ts for handing off patients

By Dr. Roger P. Levin, contributing writer

April 12, 2021 -- The patient experience is a critical aspect of practice success. Any practice that would like to improve its overall customer service should think about the almost invisible experiences that the patient goes through while in the office. One of these is when a patient is handed off between team members. It's a small but important element of daily practice operations that must be handled with thought and intention.


Say something positive or value-based about your fellow team member. A front desk person could say, "This is Sally. She will be your clinical assistant today, and she is going to take great care of you." This statement is simple, but it's also powerful. Dental patients want to be taken care of. Try to establish a short script for every handoff that includes a value-based statement for each team member.


Don't forget to say something positive to the patient. When a front desk person hands a patient off to a clinical assistant, the assistant might say, "Mrs. Smith, it's really nice to meet you. I've been looking forward to your visit." Whatever you say, just make sure it's positive and specific to the patient.

Dr. Roger P. Levin is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm, and one of the most sought-after speakers in dentistry. Levin has authored 65 books and more than 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing. You can sign up for the Levin Group Tip of the Day.

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.

Copyright © 2021

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