BY ANN-MARIE C. DEPALMA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH
One in two women will die of heart disease, more than from all cancers combined. Until 10 years ago, heart disease had only been studied in men. The sobering statistics regarding heart disease and women are facts that all dental professionals should be aware of. Laura Jamison has created a marketing and educational program "Dentistry has a Heart" (www.dentistryhasaheart.com) to provide dental teams with the verbiage, statistics, and research to educate themselves and patients about heart disease.
With the dental profession populated predominately by women, Laura feels that everyone can have an educational impact in regards to this disease. She was inspired by her mom's first heart attack in 2011 to create "Dentistry has a Heart" as a turn-key educational and marketing program to promote the oral systemic link to heart disease. Periodontal disease inflammation increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and the "Dentistry has a Heart" website provides articles, marketing materials, and letters to assist in the education of patients and teams.
Other articles by DePalma
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- UOR: The most wonderful time of the year
- Soothing the panic: Seminar addresses anesthesia concerns that hygienists have
February is American Heart Health month, and patients are more tuned into the heart health message. But any month can become heart health month in your practice, and it is never too early to start planning and incorporating the message into the hygienist's practice.
While developing "Dentistry has a Heart," Laura found that verbal skills are so important in enlightening patients and assisting them in improving their overall health. Team members want to say the right things to patients to improve their health while increasing overall case acceptance. She often found that teams would use words and phrases that were adequate, but, if they can shift their verbiage with a few simple changes, it will improve their communication skills to achieve greatness. As a result, her program, "Say This ... Not That" was developed.
Laura believes that we are the message and that within seven seconds patients develop an opinion based on what they see and experience. This program develops teams to improve their presentation skills, language, and image to improve overall patient satisfaction and case acceptance. Objectives for the program include:
• Discovering the 3 V's that influence patients
• Review communication fundamentals
• Refine active listening skills while evaluating body language and vocal tone
• Discuss benefit statements
• Review handling of patient objections to achieve case commitment
• Understand the importance of measuring results
|"HIPAA Compliance Update for Dental Practices" is this month's INeedCE course.|
Use the code AN415 for a 50% discount for a $29.50 course (regular price $59). The offer expires May 23, 2015.
HIPAA Compliance Update for Dental Practices
Compliance with HIPAA rules is essential for every dental practice from a risk management standpoint for the practice, as well as for the security of the patients' protected health information. In order to comply with these rules, dentists and dental team members must first understand the scope of the rules and how they apply to the delivery of oral health care services. This article describes the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules and their application to both administrative and clinical protocols in a dental practice setting.
Laura presents a number of other programs designed to enhance team building, improve patient expectations, and maintain a viable business action plan for the practice. "Dentistry has a Heart" can also be presented as a CE program and, in fact, hygienists have shared their personal connections with heart disease in her programs. Additionally, Laura offers in-office consultation services through her company, Jamison Consulting, based in Tampa, Fla.
Laura provides extensive handouts for her programs and uses Apple's Keynote since she feels that provides her with more creative use of visuals than PowerPoint. Her programs are interactive with exercises that allow hands-on learning of the content. She began doing presentations when she was a consultant for the Pride Institute. Over the years, she has developed her presentation style by attending Katherine
Eitel's Lioness Principle and Bob Pike's Creative Training Techniques programs. Her vision statement states that she is building relationships with her audiences while sharing information that she knows will improve the perception of dentistry one patient experience at a time.
Although not a hygienist, she has observed many hygienists that are dedicated to educating patients about the oral systemic link. She is concerned that with the increasing use of insurance benefits, not enough team members are spending their time with patients to educate them and share the practice's core values. Patients who are uneducated will be influenced by what their insurance covers and will not proceed with necessary treatments. She believes that patients who recognize the dental team's efforts will eventually have the recommended treatment, even if it takes a few visits to inform them.
Persistence and consistency of the message empowers the patient as a health care consumer and provides information that they can share with their family and friends. Her programs and consultations drive home that message for all team members.
During her consulting process, Laura understands that each practice has unique needs and goals, and she tailors her consultations to reflect the individuality of the practice. She sends a pre-consult survey that assists in determining the issues and the concerns the doctor and team may be experiencing. From that, she acknowledges that teams may be weary of the process, but works with the team to review areas that fuel frustrations within the practice.
Having started her career in dentistry in the business office with a two-doctor practice who were very supportive of their team, she has had the experience of working with a consultant from a team member's perspective and brings that experience and understanding to her own consulting.
Laura describes herself as loving, caring, and genuine. Faith, family, friends, and dentistry are the passions of her life. She loves music and dancing and is an avid Jazzerciser. Her only son is passionate about entering the Navy following his years in school, thus they are a very patriotic family and are grateful to all service men and women. The sacrifices these individuals and families make should never be taken for granted.
Laura acknowledges that it is a great time in dentistry for women, both individually and as professionals. As dental professionals, hygienists have the unique ability to enlighten patients about everything from oral health, to heart disease, to the sacrifices our troops make to protect our freedoms. Take your knowledge to the next level and share these insights with your patients.
To learn more about Laura, her programs, and/or Dentistry Has a Heart, visit JamisonConsulting.com or DentistryHasAHeart.com
Thought for the month:
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
- Confucius RDH
ANN-MARIE C. DEPALMA, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene and the Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries, as well as a continuous member of ADHA. She presents continuing education programs for dental team members on a variety of topics. Ann-Marie is collaborating with several authors on various books for dental hygiene and can be reached at [email protected]