A new era of patient communication

A new era of patient communication

Anirudh Kapoor explains how Chairsyde is helping to transform patient communication.

Dentistry has seen various changes through time. The last year has been no exception with the COVID-19 global pandemic sparking various arguments and opinions about the way that day-to-day practice is run.

Something that hasn’t changed is the core principle of the patient experience.

As practices we try our best to make the patient journey as warm and comfortable as feasible. We do this through friendly reception staff to inviting waiting rooms. Follow up with a treatment coordinator to close the ‘loop’.

Arguably the most important aspect of this is the quality of the time that we spend with patients.

Introducing Chairsyde

During its beta testing phase, which I was lucky to be a part of, Chairsyde came about as a concept whereby one could educate the patients visually. This aspect has only been enhanced over time through its cloud-based desktop approach, with additional features such as the hugely relevant teledentistry and the risk mitigation tracking elements.

It seems to raise the question as to why it wasn’t available before.

Chairsyde allows for the demonstration to a patient whilst in surgery or remotely. We can assess the condition that they have, the potential sequelae of the condition and how it can be treated through a variety of options, all whilst tracking everything that is shown.

Verbally we can present the patients’ condition. But this falls short despite our best efforts using layman’s terms, analogies and various formations of our hands to explain what is intended.

Visually we can sketch rough diagrams to improve the patients’ understanding. But it is not an accurate reflection at all times and therefore isn’t as easy for a patient to comprehend as previously thought.

Chairsyde takes this step effortlessly. It allows us to show patients animations and images alongside the ability to annotate them directly. Thus tailoring to a patient’s individual requirements.

All this without reaching for a pen or bringing out one of the many model’s practices have to store away in the drawers since COVID-19 guidance came in.

A picture paints a thousand words

When showing the education content to a patient, a wonderful eureka moment occurs. It all ‘clicks’ for the patient and the age-old saying: ‘A picture paints a thousand words holds true.

This applies to all patients, young and old. It seems to carry the advantage of completing their understanding. No matter how many attempts we previously make to educate them by other means.

Patients draw to this technology. They buy into the passion with which the clinician explains the process, which you can note by the visible response on the patient’s face.

This is no surprise as Chairsyde covers 95% of patients’ learning styles with 30% auditory and 65% visual. What is tirelessly demonstrated over multiple visits over the years suddenly hits home with the patient within seconds through this wonderful education suite.

In a world driven by a hunger for instant information, Chairsyde more than delivers this in real-time. It effectively improves the patient understanding of their condition, allowing them to make an informed decision.

Enhancing patient experiences

Furthermore, Chairsyde can also create a summary email in a matter of a few quick clicks. This allows patients to refresh themselves of the discussions that took place.

In summary, the patient has a consultation raising a concern, they understand the problem, the treatment options available to them and they also leave with an email giving them the information. All through a cloud-based software.

What initially may seem another modern quirky platform, fast becomes an essential part of daily practice. I would urge others to try Chairsyde and experience it for themselves.

We endeavour to continuously develop areas of our practices. I feel Chairsyde plays a vital role that returns us to the forefront of what we are trying to achieve; enhanced patient experiences.

How to make a dental photography portfolio

How to make a dental photography portfolio

Creating a dental photography portfolio is now considered to be a must for dentists – especially ones who are just starting their career. A good portfolio can help you to stand out in a crowd and showcase specific skills when applying for a job. 

As dentists ourselves, we’ve pulled together some of the advice we’ve gathered over the years for creating an excellent dental photography portfolio: 

Invest in good equipment 

Several things can help your dental photographs to look better, and Spectrum Brand (https://spectrum-brand.com/blogs/news/dental-photography-taking-photos-for-your-social-media-portfolio) recommends investing in a backdrop, camera that takes high-quality pictures, dental mirrors, retractors, dental contractors and a good lighting source. It might seem like a daunting list upfront, but don’t worry – phone cameras are now often good enough to use for portfolios like this, and the retractors and lighting is the only crucial part of this shopping list. If you’re short on cash, maybe prioritise the retractors and lights, and consider buying the rest in the future. 

Practice, practice, practice

A good photography portfolio isn’t about taking a quick snap and continuing with your day – and you will benefit significantly from putting the time in to take a good picture. Consider practising some photos with a friend, and make sure that for every shot you’re presenting in your portfolio, you take several images to give yourself options. Take your time to make sure the lighting is working effectively and not casting shadows on key areas in the patients’ mouth. 

Cater to your audience

Your portfolio doesn’t need to include everything you’ve ever done – and dentistry.co.uk details that your priority should be showing ‘skill and competencies and the proactivity, care and consideration that dentists take to demonstrate their ability.’ (https://www.dentistry.co.uk/2016/12/06/a-perfect-dental-portfolio/) – if you’re applying for a job where a specific skill set might give you the edge, showcase it to demonstrate that you’ve done your research beforehand. 

Big up your photos 

It’s beneficial for you to include a one-page summary with each photograph – showing the treatment that has taken place and perhaps even backing it up with stats of how many times you’ve performed it. Remember there’s nothing wrong with including your achievements and awards in your portfolio too – as this can help you to stand out. 

We wish any dentists putting a portfolio together good luck! If you need any help, get in touch!

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