Director’s Message: Three simple energy shifts you can make to increase case acceptance

Jan. 21, 2015
Hygienists are responsible for case acceptance or treatment conversations with patients. But how often do they really think about the energies of these conversations? Kristine Hodsdon discusses three simple considerations for improving the clinical and financial outcomes of these conversations.

Have you ever thought about the energy of case acceptance or treatment conversations?

Below are three simple energy shifts you can make that will help you acknowledge your own self-value and improve patient outcomes.

1. Don’t leave your purpose or vision behind. We often leave our vision or purpose “on the wall” when we start a clinical or financial conversation, which are both needed during case presentations. We went into dentistry for a reason and we work in our practices for a reason, so our patient interactions need to include those purposeful energies. When services or money are exchanged in the course of our workday, it should be in alignment with both our personal and the practice’s vision. I invite you to consider embracing the selling part of your position, and to not be afraid to offer all clinically essential treatment. I believe that when we leave our purpose “on the wall,” we begin to feel “pushy” or “sales-y.”

2. Be yourself and don’t feel like you need to convince anyone to say yes. We often tend to believe that we are here to save the world from periodontal apocalypse and that we are the quarterbacks of the oral health universe. Often we do not trust patients to make decisions for themselves. Ask yourself:

  • How do I want to be treated in a financial conversation?
  • How do I want to be spoken to when someone is talking to me about my health and wellness?

If you are like me, you appreciate when people speak to you honestly, frankly, and openly. Your responsibility is to let patients know your clinical findings and diagnosis and why you are recommending the services. Connect them with why — why the work beneficial or valuable. Frame the conversation around the patient’s wants, needs, motivators, and other concerns.

3. Acknowledge your own value. If you start a conversation without a sense of your own value, it will inevitably return to that missing confidence. Successful case acceptance conversations begin with self-love. Take time for self-care, such as deep breathing, exercising, eating a good diet, or singing a song. You deserve it, and it will improve your work. The care you provide is valuable. The care your doctor and team provide is valuable. So, step into your value and know that treatment and financial case acceptance conversations are an exchange of energies. Claim for yourself right now that your value is not dependent on whether a patient says yes, but rather your heartfelt desire and purpose.

It’s your responsibility to discuss your findings and recommendations, develop the treatment plan or financial arrangmenets. It’s the patient’s job to decide if they want to step into the value your practice offers and own their oral health. Keeping these considerations in mind will greatly improve the energy of your patient enrollment conversations.

Kristine A. Hodsdon RDH, MSEC
Director, RDH eVillage

Kristine A. Hodsdon RDH, MSEC, founder of Dental Influencers, LLC, is an executive coach, writer, and award-winning speaker. She is the Director of RDH eVillage, an online PennWell newsletter reaching over 50,000 subscribers. Her website is In addition, email is [email protected].

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