COLORADO SPRINGS – In this Your Healthy Family we’re talking about a broad principle that should apply to every medical office you visit. The principle of best practices is something you should see in every staff member you encounter at your doctor’s office, the eye doctor, or the dentist.
Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Fred Guerra opened up his office to me, allowing access to each person in his office to find out what best practices means to them, and how it affects patient care.
Dr. Guerra says, “It’s a cycle, or a process you can get a feel for. You should be able to tell if these individuals have your best interests in mind. So much of it is about teamwork and putting the patients interests first.”
Every member of an office staff plays an important role. At Guerra Dental it often begins with Jenny Hymer who is the patient care coordinator. Jenny is the first face people see when they enter the office. Jenny says, “It’s important to greet them with a warm smile and try to put them at ease.” Jenny also schedules appointments and sends out patient reminders. Doing it in a friendly way can put them at ease if they are nervous about being at the dentist, keep patients wanting to come back.
Heather Buckley is Dr. Guerra’s office manager. Heather keeps the office running smoothly and also works with patients helping them navigate the complex insurance world, on figuring out how a patient’s budget fits in with the dental work they may need.
Heather says, “I have heard back from patients who say, ‘you guys are so friendly here, and I always feel so welcome’. I think when you have a positive attitude and enjoy what you do, it reflects to your patients. I don’t mind going the extra mile to make sure my patients enjoy coming to our office.”
Lindsey Anderson is one of Dr. Guerra’s assistants. She is often at his side during procedures, helping prep equipment and patients and handing him instruments to Dr. Guerra. Lindsey knows being at the top of her game, allows him to be more effective. Lindsey says, “We get busy, but we focus on each patient and give them the time and the care they need.”
The dental hygienist is one of the most important staff members a dentist relies on. For a medical doctor it’s likely a nurse who sees the patient first and preps them for the doctor. Carol Gallegos is a registered dental hygienist who has been with Dr. Guerra for 10 years. Carol knows the vital role she plays working hand in hand with Dr. Guerra.
“We are the front line. Before the doctor even comes in I have already talked to them about the things I’m seeing. It’s my job to warm the patient up so when the doctor comes in the patient is already knowledgeable about what the doctor is going to be looking at and recommending when it comes to treatment,” explained Gallegos.
In his dental office, Dr. Guerra understands that his years of experience and education, his interaction with patients can all be for not, if he hasn’t surrounded himself with a staff from top to bottom that works tirelessly on education, patient care, and customer service.
Dr. Guerra says, “I don’t care if you’re the Tom Brady of dentistry, if you don’t have a team around you to support everything you do, you’re not going to be in the Super Bowl of dentistry. The patient won’t walk out of my office knowing that their best interests were our first priority.”
Again these principles of team work and best practices when it comes to patient care is something you should look for and expect at any type of medical office you go to. Remember, you are the customer and if you feel there is a problem you shouldn’t be afraid to bring it with your provider.
Guerra Dental is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family