We often talk about values driven treatment
, but how often would you say that you really know your patient’s values? And if you don’t really know, what assumptions are we making when we plan without knowing? So then, if we would prefer to stay out of the assumption zone and avoid forcing our values onto our patient, we might consider making an adjustment in our process that we know will result in patients who are more than just happy with our treatment. These patients who know that we know them and that we are holding their values as if they were our own
, will be the patients who refer and 5 Star your review.
So what does it take to do values driven treatment planning? We would posit that the first step is to dig into the language of success for our patients. They have many priorities that are high value to them that we often don’t even think about. For example, one of my patients said to me that they come to me because they know that they won’t ever have to worry about dental problems while they are on vacation and traveling. Making a list of these values from our existing patients can really lend insight into why they work with us.
The key here is to not just ask about if they want a healthy strong mouth, (who doesn’t?) but to tie the idea into the quality of life that this patient lives.
Values often are in the categories of: health, strength, long lasting, pain free, no worries, white teeth, beautiful smile, straight teeth, comfort, etc. The real trick in values driven treatment planning is to build a deep relationship with the patient that lives even outside of the dental lingo, and the dental office. What does your care mean to your patients, even when you are not with them?
Wouldn’t you want your doctor to know you that well??