There’s no question that presentation plays a vital role in any medical-related practice. Ideally, you should have an environment that caters to the needs of both staff and patients. Working in dentistry may not always be the most exciting job, and it should go without saying that not many people actually look forward to visiting the dentist, but there are still many ways of improving the experience for everyone. With the right approach, you can zenify any practice into a space the sets people at ease, helps them relax, and, most importantly, makes people feel better about coming back. To that end, a little understanding of Zen philosophy can be an enormous help in creating the ideal, pleasant dental practice you need.
An Introduction to Zen
The concept of “Zen” is really an idea shaped over centuries through various cultures throughout eastern Asia. Despite many variations and interpretations, the core principles of mindfulness and meditation have largely persisted unchanged. Essentially, these terms apply to two distinct states of mind. Mindfulness refers to the logical and inquisitive state of mind, while meditation refers to the emotional and imaginative state of mind. One of the core messages of Zen philosophy is to find a productive balance between these two states. When it comes to presentation, this balance can make an enormous difference in both essential tasks and making personal connections.
Zen Philosophy in Practice
No matter what the profession, Zen philosophy can be a good approach to tackling everyday business and maintaining a genuinely uplifting attitude. For dental practices, this approach can be especially useful for connecting with patients on an emotional level to understand their concerns, educate them about their health, and generally set them at ease while they’re around. This not only makes patients more confident in your practice, but it also gives your team a better approach in relating to patients in order to provide them better service.
5 Ways to Zenify Your Dental Practice
1. Stay Clean & Organized
This is a good idea in general, but the sight of a clean and organized workspace can actually have a positive influence on the mind. It evokes the idea of orderliness, competence, and frees the suspicion that something may have been left undone. Clean and orderly spaces give a positive impression to patients and help your team work more productively. Just clearing away a little clutter can be enough to ease the mind and reduce stress.
2. Use Light & Color to Your Advantage
The effects of light and color are an important factor in how any space is perceived. Dull colors and darker colors can be grim and uninspiring, while brighter colors are stimulating. Greens, blues, yellows, and even some of the lighter shades of purple are some of the best choices to zenify your practice. With light, natural light is always best if you have the luxury. Otherwise, try to avoid harsh incandescent lights where possible. Softer, somewhat dimmed lights create a much more calming atmosphere that can be enhanced with strategic supplemental lighting where appropriate.
3. Keep Decor Tasteful & Simple
In general, the more open and uncluttered space the better. It allows people to relax, feeling that there’s space to move around and breathe. That being said, decorations are definitely helpful for creating a welcoming and pleasant environment. Live plants are an especially good idea, adding a little extra color and substance to your practice. Plants can also be good for relieving stress. A few simple pieces of art can also be a good idea. Just one or two paintings that blend into the room and provide a little inspiration can set the mood quite nicely.
4. Keep the Music Playing
The right music can make an enormous difference in how your practice is perceived and how people feel while there. There’s no particular music that works best and personal taste can be a factor, but experimenting with different tunes can help you settle for something that everyone can appreciate. At its best, music can do more to affect the mood of your team and patients more than anything. It’s worth the effort to find something that works and gives everyone a boost.
5. Find Your Own Idea of Peace
There’s no right or wrong way to zenify a practice. When it comes down to it, when your team and your patients feel it, you’ve done it right. Feel free to try new things, make adjustments, and add your own personal touch with these decisions. Everyone needs a little room to figure out how to find the right balance and create their own ideal environment. When you do find it, your patients and your team will be better for it.
Practicing Zen to Engage & Educate Patients
Zen philosophy can do more than just create a better environment for you and your team. It can also serve as a useful frame of mind for communicating with patients and helping them better understand their oral health. In relation to the five steps used for explaining systemic oral health to patients, the principles of mindfulness and meditation can be enormously beneficial.
To summarize, the five steps in explaining systemic oral health are as follows:
- Locate Your Patient’s Personal Motivator – Forming a personal report with patients to determine the emotional reasons that they’re seeking treatment.
- Healthy Mouth Baseline – Establish the standards of a healthy mouth with patients so that they understand what may need to be improved.
- Problem – Consequence – Shhh – Using visual aides, help your patients understand their problems and what their consequences may be. Allow them to ask first about taking the next step. This makes them part of the solution.
- The Trust Transfer – Open communication between the front office and team members to ensure that both parties can meet the patient’s personal concerns.
- Fitting Treatment Into The Patient’s Lifestyle – Establish the value of dental treatment as something the patient wants. People are willing to spend money on things they desire. When they understand their situation and want to make improvements, they’re more likely to see costs as affordable.
These ideas, put into practice, should help you engage customers on a personal level and better enable your practice to service them. Each step requires a balance between the basic Zen principles of mindfulness and meditation to zenify. It’s a combination of looking at the facts logically and relating to people personally.
Better Patient Care With Next Level
Enabling our fellow members of the healthcare community to transform the lives of patients is our mission. Be sure to make use of our wide selection of resources, including this handy tool for establishing a healthy mouth baseline. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns, and let us know how we can help zenify your dental practice!