The Six Essential Patient Agreements

The Six Essential Patient Agreements



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Clear agreements lie at the very heart of every successful relationship. Patient relationships are no different. Developing clear patient agreements are the pathway to meeting and exceeding expectations in service to our patients. We believe that a relationship based practice is also a practice of excellent agreement creation based on a WIN-WIN-WIN mindset - a win for the patient, a win for the doctor and a win for the practice.

When it comes to patient acceptance of treatment approaches and treatment plans, we have found that six essential agreements must be in place.

Clear agreements lie at the very heart of every successful relationship. Patient relationships are no different. Developing clear patient agreements are the pathway to meeting and exceeding expectations in service to our patients. We believe that a relationship based practice is also a practice of excellent agreement creation based on a WIN-WIN-WIN mindset - a win for the patient, a win for the doctor and a win for the practice.

When it comes to patient acceptance of treatment approaches and treatment plans, we have found that six essential agreements must be in place.

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Clear agreements lie at the very heart of every successful relationship. Patient relationships are no different. Developing clear patient agreements are the pathway to meeting and exceeding expectations in service to our patients. We believe that a relationship based practice is also a practice of excellent agreement creation based on a WIN-WIN-WIN mindset - a win for the patient, a win for the doctor and a win for the practice.

When it comes to patient acceptance of treatment approaches and treatment plans, we have found that six essential agreements must be in place.

Clear agreements lie at the very heart of every successful relationship. Patient relationships are no different. Developing clear patient agreements are the pathway to meeting and exceeding expectations in service to our patients. We believe that a relationship based practice is also a practice of excellent agreement creation based on a WIN-WIN-WIN mindset - a win for the patient, a win for the doctor and a win for the practice.

When it comes to patient acceptance of treatment approaches and treatment plans, we have found that six essential agreements must be in place.

Values Driven Treatment Planning

Values Driven Treatment Planning



We often talk about values driven treatment, but how often would you say that you really know your patient’s values? And if you don’t really know, what assumptions are we making when we plan without knowing? So then, if we would prefer to stay out of the assumption zone and avoid forcing our values onto our patient, we might consider making an adjustment in our process that we know will result in patients who are more than just happy with our treatment. These patients who know that we know them and that we are holding their values as if they were our own, will be the patients who refer and 5 Star your review.

So what does it take to do values driven treatment planning? We would posit that the first step is to dig into the language of success for our patients. They have many priorities that are high value to them that we often don’t even think about. For example, one of my patients said to me that they come to me because they know that they won’t ever have to worry about dental problems while they are on vacation and traveling. Making a list of these values from our existing patients can really lend insight into why they work with us.

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We often talk about values driven treatment, but how often would you say that you really know your patient’s values? And if you don’t really know, what assumptions are we making when we plan without knowing? So then, if we would prefer to stay out of the assumption zone and avoid forcing our values onto our patient, we might consider making an adjustment in our process that we know will result in patients who are more than just happy with our treatment. These patients who know that we know them and that we are holding their values as if they were our own, will be the patients who refer and 5 Star your review.

So what does it take to do values driven treatment planning. I would posit that the first step is to dig into the language of success for our patients. They have many things that are very high value to them that we often don’t even think about. For example, one of my patients said to me that they come to me because they know that they won’t ever have to worry about dental problems while they are on vacation and traveling. Making a list of these kinds of values from my existing patients can really lend insight into why they work with me.

And, by the way, when I know that that is important to them, I can pay close attention to making my dentistry “no emergency” dentistry. Additionally, I can have great relationships with them around the value of their travels.  

After we have developed a keen ear as to what their values might sound like, we can start to weave these phrases into the conversations that we have with all of our patients.  The questions we might ask our patients could then sound something like, “So I understand you and your wife travel quite a bit. As you are on your travels, how important is it that your mouth is so healthy and strong, that you don’t have to worry about problems while you are out of the area?

And, by the way, when I know that that is important to them, I can pay close attention to making my dentistry “no emergency” dentistry. Additionally, I can have great relationships with them around the value of their travels.  

After we have developed a keen ear as to what their values might sound like, we can start to weave these phrases into the conversations that we have with all of our patients.  The questions we might ask our patients could then sound something like, “So I understand you and your wife travel quite a bit. As you are on your travels, how important is it that your mouth is so healthy and strong, that you don’t have to worry about problems while you are out of the area?

The key here is to not just ask about if they want a healthy strong mouth, (who doesn’t?) but to tie the idea into the quality of life that this patient lives. 

Values often are in the categories of: health, strength, long lasting, pain free, no worries, white teeth, beautiful smile, straight teeth, comfort, etc. The real trick in values driven treatment planning is to build a deep relationship with the patient that lives even outside of the dental lingo, and the dental office.  What does your care mean to your patients, even when you are not with them?

Wouldn’t you want your doctor to know you that well??

The key here is to not just ask about if they want a healthy strong mouth, (who doesn’t?) but to tie the idea into the quality of life that this patient lives. 

Values often are in the categories of: health, strength, long lasting, pain free, no worries, white teeth, beautiful smile, straight teeth, comfort, etc. The real trick in values driven treatment planning is to build a deep relationship with the patient that lives even outside of the dental lingo, and the dental office.  What does your care mean to your patients, even when you are not with them?

Wouldn’t you want your doctor to know you that well??

The key here is to not just ask about if they want a healthy strong mouth, (who doesn’t?) but to tie the idea into the quality of life that this patient lives. 

Values often are in the categories of: health, strength, long lasting, pain free, no worries, white teeth, beautiful smile, straight teeth, comfort, etc. The real trick in values driven treatment planning is to build a deep relationship with the patient that lives even outside of the dental lingo, and the dental office.  What does your care mean to your patients, even when you are not with them?

Wouldn’t you want your doctor to know you that well??

The Role of the Treatment Coordinator

The Role of the Treatment Coordinator


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Adding a treatment coordinator to a practice is the best way to humanize the patient relationship in the midst of a hurry up, high-tech world.  When patients are asked what they want most from their doctor, they always reply with these things:

  1. I want someone who will listen to me.
  2. I want someone who will treat me like an individual, not like a number.
  3.  I want someone I can trust to have my best interest at heart and have the integrity to recommend the right thing for me.
  4. I want to feel cared for and I want someone who can get to the root cause of my issues and not just patch me up over and over again.

Adding a treatment coordinator to a practice is the best way to humanize the patient relationship in the midst of a hurry up, high-tech world.  When patients are asked what they want most from their doctor, they always reply with these things:

1. I want someone who will listen to me.
2. I want someone who will treat me like an individual, not like a number.
3. I want someone I can trust to have my best interest at heart and have the integrity to recommend the right thing for me.
4. I want to feel cared for and I want someone who can get to the root cause of my issues and not just patch me up over and over again.

The treatment coordinator then becomes the number one advocate for the patient to the doctor and for the doctor to the patient.  In everyones busy world, the treatment coordinator takes the time to be the relationship liaison in the practice.  The treatment coordinator has the role of co-discovery, relationship building, agreement creation and service concierge.  When the treatment coordinator is on track, surprises rarely happen, expectations are routinely met or exceeded and the patients feel loved, heard and deeply care for.  This role in your practice builds raving fans and lowers the resistance to excellent care

The treatment coordinator then becomes the number one advocate for the patient to the doctor and for the doctor to the patient.  In everyones busy world, the treatment coordinator takes the time to be the relationship liaison in the practice.  The treatment coordinator has the role of co-discovery, relationship building, agreement creation and service concierge.  When the treatment coordinator is on track, surprises rarely happen, expectations are routinely met or exceeded and the patients feel loved, heard and deeply care for.  This role in your practice builds raving fans and lowers the resistance to excellent care

The Role of the Treatment Coordinator

The Role of the Treatment Coordinator


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Adding a treatment coordinator to a practice is the best way to humanize the patient relationship in the midst of a hurry up, high-tech world.  When patients are asked what they want most from their doctor, they always reply with these things:

1. I want someone who will listen to me.
2. I want someone who will treat me like an individual, not like a number.
3. I want someone I can trust to have my best interest at heart and have the integrity to recommend the right thing for me.
4. I want to feel cared for and I want someone who can get to the root cause of my issues and not just patch me up over and over again.


Adding a treatment coordinator to a practice is the best way to humanize the patient relationship in the midst of a hurry up, high-tech world.  When patients are asked what they want most from their doctor, they always reply with these things:

  1.  I want someone who will listen to me.
  2. I want someone who will treat me like an individual, not like a number.
  3. I want someone I can trust to have my best interest at heart and have the integrity to recommend the right thing for me.
  4. I want to feel cared for and I want someone who can get to the root cause of my issues and not just patch me up over and over again.

The treatment coordinator then becomes the number one advocate for the patient to the doctor and for the doctor to the patient.  In everyones busy world, the treatment coordinator takes the time to be the relationship liaison in the practice.  The treatment coordinator has the role of co-discovery, relationship building, agreement creation and service concierge.  When the treatment coordinator is on track, surprises rarely happen, expectations are routinely met or exceeded and the patients feel loved, heard and deeply care for.  This role in your practice builds raving fans and lowers the resistance to excellent care

The treatment coordinator then becomes the number one advocate for the patient to the doctor and for the doctor to the patient.  In everyones busy world, the treatment coordinator takes the time to be the relationship liaison in the practice.  The treatment coordinator has the role of co-discovery, relationship building, agreement creation and service concierge.  When the treatment coordinator is on track, surprises rarely happen, expectations are routinely met or exceeded and the patients feel loved, heard and deeply care for.  This role in your practice builds raving fans and lowers the resistance to excellent care

How to Stage Comprehensive Treatment

How to Stage Comprehensive Treatment


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We approach the needs of dental/medical practices by providing inspiration and coaching that will bring excellence to the patients. Because so many patients are seeking a wellness approach, we have oriented our services to that mindset. What wellness means to a practice is that we always look deeply behind the symptoms of what is not working to get at the root cause of the problem. For some, they see wellness as holistic, for others it is getting everything treated that needs treatment, and still others as a customized preventive care program that will avoid future problems.  These are all excellent approaches and mindsets; however, we also want to look deeply into the personal individual behaviors, function, and structures that are at the heart of a wellness lifestyle. So, a comprehensive wellness plan can involve many elements of a patient’s life and living. 

We coach our practices to consider that they will be care providers and patient resources in a relationship that serves their patients for years and years. 

This takes the practice into a cooperative collaboration about where we start (diagnostics) and what it will take (sequential systems driven treatment) and how we can prevent the risks of future disease, dysfunction, and chronic pain. 

Comprehensive treatment always will balance the patient’s long range goals with the urgency of current symptomology. This allows straightforward systems driven decisions along a pre-defined path on the way to health and wellness.  By having our comprehensive plan in place, we reduce the risk of spending time and money on issues that are not our priorities long term. 

There are just a few straightforward steps that we recommend to our practices. 

  1. Values driven relationship development built on true curiosity for the patient’s desires.
  2. Assisting the patient in the mindset of long term results and goals
  3. Facing up to the current reality of their condition, quality of life, and future glide path. 
  4. Considering possibilities for approaches to their best optimal result
  5. Sequential Treatment Planning 
    1. Diagnostics 
    2. Staging of systems such as metabolic management, infection control, skeletal issues, physical medicine, restorative care, long term stabilization and prevention, etc.
    3. Milestones for the patient with a time line in place
    4. Re-evaluation and plan review dynamics in place
    5. Resources for care and wellness
  6. Clear, clean, healthy agreements to support moving forward
  7. Relationship support with long term connections and opportunities for future health

This approach builds a wellness opportunity for each patient and for your team, and for the community that you serve.

How to Stage Comprehensive Treatment

How to Stage Comprehensive Treatment



Image Image

We approach the needs of dental/medical practices by providing inspiration and coaching that will bring excellence to the patients. Because so many patients are seeking a wellness approach, we have oriented our services to that mindset. What wellness means to a practice is that we always look deeply behind the symptoms of what is not working to get at the root cause of the problem. For some, they see wellness as holistic, for others it is getting everything treated that needs treatment, and still others as a customized preventive care program that will avoid future problems.  These are all excellent approaches and mindsets; however, we also want to look deeply into the personal individual behaviors, function, and structures that are at the heart of a wellness lifestyle. So, a comprehensive wellness plan can involve many elements of a patient’s life and living. 

We coach our practices to consider that they will be care providers and patient resources in a relationship that serves their patients for years and years. 

This takes the practice into a cooperative collaboration about where we start (diagnostics) and what it will take (sequential systems driven treatment) and how we can prevent the risks of future disease, dysfunction, and chronic pain. 

Comprehensive treatment always will balance the patient’s long range goals with the urgency of current symptomology. This allows straightforward systems driven decisions along a pre-defined path on the way to health and wellness.  By having our comprehensive plan in place, we reduce the risk of spending time and money on issues that are not our priorities long term. 

There are just a few straightforward steps that we recommend to our practices. 

  1. Values driven relationship development built on true curiosity for the patient’s desires.
  2. Assisting the patient in the mindset of long term results and goals
  3. Facing up to the current reality of their condition, quality of life, and future glide path. 
  4. Considering possibilities for approaches to their best optimal result
  5. Sequential Treatment Planning 
    1. Diagnostics 
    2. Staging of systems such as metabolic management, infection control, skeletal issues, physical medicine, restorative care, long term stabilization and prevention, etc.
    3. Milestones for the patient with a time line in place
    4. Re-evaluation and plan review dynamics in place
    5. Resources for care and wellness
  6. Clear, clean, healthy agreements to support moving forward
  7. Relationship support with long term connections and opportunities for future health

This approach builds a wellness opportunity for each patient and for your team, and for the community that you serve.

This is our specialty and our personal commitment to your ongoing development and success.  Not all doctors need the same path forward and we certainly want you to move in your direction at your pace. 

Most of our coaching is long term that is set up in 6 month or 12 month agreements. 

We work from your strategy and your plan in a way that includes all the elements necessary for your success. Whatever you need can be a part of your plan: clinical support and mentoring, leadership development, team development, change management, workflow, projects and systems, etc.

We work from a set of values that include curiosity, grace, gratitude and excellence. Our foundation of success is in excellent relationships. And we are totally focused on bold ambitious results. 

This is our specialty and our personal commitment to your ongoing development and success.  Not all doctors need the same path forward and we certainly want you to move in your direction at your pace. 

Most of our coaching is long term that is set up in 6 month or 12 month agreements. 

We work from your strategy and your plan in a way that includes all the elements necessary for your success. Whatever you need can be a part of your plan: clinical support and mentoring, leadership development, team development, change management, workflow, projects and systems, etc.

We work from a set of values that include curiosity, grace, gratitude and excellence. Our foundation of success is in excellent relationships. And we are totally focused on bold ambitious results.