Friday, 31 August 2012

Does your dentist listen to you?

Have you noticed your dentist taking an increased interest in getting your feedback lately and wondered why, all of a sudden, your views are important?

The simple explanation is that the Care Quality Commission, with whom all dental practices must now be registered, requires practices to seek the views of their patients.  Patient feedback surveys can take a number of forms - a suggestion box in the waiting room, a postal questionnaire or, increasingly, an on-line survey.  Structured surveys will typically contain a number of questions about the way you were treated, whether explanations of treatment and costs were given to you and your overall view of the service received.  Many also include a box for you to record any specific issues you may have.

So what should you do if you receive a request for feedback from your dentist?  Quite simply, give it!  If you've received great service, then tell the dentist; if things have gone wrong, they need to know so that they can avoid a recurrence in the future.

The big question is, of course, one of anonymity.  Most surveys either do not request your name or make completion optional but, if you have a particular issue to raise, then identify yourself if at all possible - more than anything, a direct response to you will confirm that the dentist has read your feedback and will also enable the practice staff to contact you if they need further information about the issue you have raised.

At AllClear in Croydon, we use an on-line survey tool to gather the views of our patients.  All feedback is read and the responses given to us enable us to fine tune our service and address specific issues before they escalate.  If you'd like to learn more, then call in, phone 020 8688 3869 or see our website.

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