Catering to patient comfort has benefits for both the patient and the provider. A comfortable and calm patient is more likely to accept treatment, enjoy receiving treatment, and tell others about their experience. There are countless stories from our office of patients that have put off dental care for years due to bad past experiences, fear of being uncomfortable or just plain inaccurate notions about what treatment would be like. This also occurs in various areas of medicine where patients perceive the treatment to be painful or where they feel especially vulnerable. Giving these patients a positive mindset knowing their comfort is critical is the first step toward attracting fearful patients but being able to calm their sensory system with some simple amenities truly allows them to have a better experience.
Calm patients are also easier to work on clinically. Their body is not in fight or flight and they become more expansive in their posture, demeanor, and overall emotional state. If they feel comforted they are less likely to worry excessively right before treatment begins or during treatment, needing less assurance from providers. This allows the clinician to focus more on the treatment and performing services on a more relaxed body has better outcomes for many different medical treatments.
The type and duration of comfort amenities may differ by type of treatment and what is feasible for the medical team. I love to be able to shadow different types of medical procedures to see what amenities would be able to be implemented and then train the team in how to incorporate applicable amenities effectively and efficiently. This addition can help word of mouth increase for the provider, attract new patients to the practice, especially those that are currently putting off care, and can result in an increase in case acceptance. Patients want to find a provider they can trust and feel comfortable with, catering to comfort makes that an easier decision!