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January's Tip: 10 Reasons to Thank Your Patients

By: Penny Tremblay, ACG, CL

Having an attitude of gratitude towards all interactions with people in your practice has great benefits. You will improve patient loyalty and, as a provider of services, feel good about your service and profession.
Gratitude is one of the foundational relationship strategies that I teach to a dental team, and for many reasons. Here is one: in a study conducted in the United States on law suites against doctors, statistics revealed that patients with a strong sense of relationship with their doctor were less likely to file legal action, even following tragic mistakes and misdiagnoses. The common view of those who did file law suites was that they had no sense of connection to their doctors. This demonstrates the power of building connections with your patients.
Patients, as people, are creatures of emotion. When we connect with them on a human level, as well in our clinical approach, we are investing in lifelong relationships. Sharing gratitude means being thankful for the interaction that you have with your partients, and for the opportunity to use your skill and ability to serve them. I am sure you can think of many reasons to thank your patients, and I've listed a few below.

10 Reasons to Thank Your Patients
1. For their confidence and trust in you
2. For choosing your office
3. For their loyalty
4. For their cooperation and compliance with treatment
5. For their understanding of your policies and procedures
6. For their attendance record and commitment to scheduled appointments
7. For their accurate and honest information whem completing patient forms
8. For communicating their disatisfaction to you so that you can handle the situation properly
9. For referring their freinds
10. For their feedback-good or bad, it's one patient's opinion that could help you tremendously

There are several ways to share this gratitude with your patients. Communicating verbally is quick, efficent, and especially powerful in front of others. For example, thanking a young person orthodontic patient for their compliance with the treatment plan is more effective when his or her family is present because the compliment extends beyond the person meant to receive it. You will be motivating the patient to maintain or even improve their compliance going forward.
Written messages, on the other hand, can be read over and over again, and people will often re-read things that make them feel good. The art of the hand-written note is becoming lost in our modern technology-assisted communications, but it's an option worth reconsidering. For example, a speedy online service helps me stay in touch and share my gratitude.
If you thank your patients on a regular basis, it will serve as a self-reminder of your own gratitude for your practice. To give to others, gratitude must be within you, and verbal reminders will bring good feelings to yourself and those you thank. For more information, or to take a tour of her online card sending system please contact Penny Tremblay at

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