When faced with conflicting information, what do people do? How do they react?
One of the more common reactions is called “behavioral paralysis”, a phenomenon many dental practices are now seeing among their patients.
To say that there is a lack of trust in our society at this time is a gross understatement. And it’s not just “Fake News” or mendacious politicians. Just look at the ever-changing health recommendations coming from what should be, the most trusted source of healthcare information, the CDC.
But let’s not blame the CDC alone. Just look at the issueswith regards to the use of Hydroxychloroquine. Once mocked and even vilified as dangerous, it is nowcommonly used around the world as both a prophylaxis and treatment. In a November 9, 2020 Editorial in JAMA, whose subtitle was “The Infusion of Politics into Science”, it quotes studies whose conclusions are that there is “no beneficial benefit of hydroxychloroquine over placebo.”
Yet, 75% of physicians in Spain, 53% in Italy, and 44% in China believe Hydroxychloroquine to be the “most effective therapy” for Covid-19. (Sermo.com)
WHO ARE WE TO TRUST?
This is not the place to debate the issue of medications,their efficacy, study design or bemoan the political climate. The reality is that even Doctors, among the most trusted people in our society, appear confused and lack consensus. How is the public to react?
Is there any doubt as to why people succumb to behavioral paralysis?
That paralysis can be manifest by openings in YOUR schedule.
Doctors across the country report an epidemic of cancellations. Busy-ness, according to the ADA had peaked at 75% earlier in the fall and is now spiraling downwards.
5 Billion people on this planet now have access to information, misinformation and disinformation, in the palms of their hands. The issue of TRUST is ACUTE.
So how do YOU, a practitioner cut through the NOISE and get your message through to your patients? And, what message should that be?
Prior to embarking on any program to capture new patients;it might be wiser and fiscally more efficient to focus on what you already have. It’s much easier to build trust in those who already have some trust in you than to start from scratch.
Communicate your concern for your patients’ welfare in as many different ways as possible and as frequently as possible. Just showing that you care deposits trust-chits into your account.
And, it doesn’t have to be JUST you. It can also be other members of your team who have had previous contact. Handwritten, personalized “How Are You?” notes warm the heart and deepens trust. But personal contact from a doctor carries the most weight.
Perhaps the most effective way to cut through the information clutter and become the trusted advocate that you are is to have an office-wide patient happiness culture.
Such a culture starts with leadership and vision. It is disseminated through communication and action. It’s a gradual build and one that is worthy of time and effort.
To immediately communicate caring to your patients, an operating system that automatically connects you to your patients on a regular basis is integral.
There’s no single magic trust-pill that one can prescribe. There are many strategies and tactics. That’s why I began building a Resource Guide. In the Guide, you will find several systems that can be of benefit in building a trust-generating operating system.
In the Guide you will see how your colleagues have used the programs and systems to help them cut through the clutter and noise, while making better, stronger more consistent connections with their patients? Envision how you can use such systems to grow your trust account, enabling you to achieve your practice goals and aspirations.
Building TRUST is a slow process but the benefits are compounded and exponential.
Start making deposits into your trust account now; they will pay dividends you can bank on.
I am happy to offer a complimentary 20-minute strategy session to discuss how any of the listed resources can be used in YOUR specific practice situation.
To your excellent clarity and success,
Michael, Laurie, Merideth and the PPS Team