Spear understands that happy patients and a cohesive team are side effects of a streamlined knowledge base and steady philosophy - and so does Dr. Bob Schoenenberger.
Throughout the 15 years Schoenenberger has been involved with Spear, he has seen practice, team and personal growth through Spear Online, Curriculum and Patient Education. He said his experience with Spear Online alone has been tremendously impactful in his overall practice, fine-tuning his knowledge about subjects like endodontic instrumentation and giving him a strong knowledge base through which to strengthen his own practice philosophy.
More case acceptance and success with patient education
Schoenenberger admitted that he was initially hesitant about implementing Patient Education videos into his practice, as he worried that it would negatively impact his relationships with his patients. What he found was the complete opposite of that - not a passive explanation, but a tool for furthering patient understanding while opening the door for more efficient and effective pre-treatment conversations.
“I first had apprehension about doing it, because I didn’t want to come off as trying to sell something to the patient or make it seem like I was too busy to talk to them,” he said. “But that hasn't been the case at all - the videos are very concise, informative … and they just help the patients have a deeper understanding of what’s going on and what can be done.”
He also lauded Patient Education for the fact that it does much more than simply explain a procedure, diagnosis or technique to a patient - it inspires confidence, commitment to treatment and satisfaction for all parties involved.
“I can tell them what's going on, but it's way easier for them to see and watch the video,” he said. “They just have a deeper understanding, which of course then breeds confidence, and confidence breeds competence. And that's obviously very, very important in front of the patient.”
Patient Education videos can often be the 30 to 45 seconds a patient needs to go from a hesitant “sure” to a confident “absolutely!”
Schoenenberger told the story of a patient who came in for a re-care cleaning and ended up having a cracked molar that needed a crown. Though she was already prepared to move forward with treatment, the Patient Education video gave her the confidence and knowledge she needed to fully understand her condition and commit to treatment.
“As I was leaving the treatment room, I almost in hindsight had the staff show her the videos on cracked molars, and she later told the staff that she was so happy she saw the video because she felt so much more confident in the procedure and why it was being done,” he said.
When it comes to patient engagement and case acceptance, Spear’s Patient Education streamlines communication to enhance confidence and solidify commitment.
“When you have a patient that's confident in you and what's going on, you get more confident and it just changes the whole dynamic of patient care,” Schoenenberger said. “You're in it together and, rather than having a compliant patient, you have a committed patient.”
Team cohesion and better clinical technique with Spear Curriculum
Of course, great patient care is almost impossible without a strong team that’s on the same page about proper clinical techniques within a shared practice philosophy. Schoenenberger is one of the many doctors who have already immersed themselves in Spear’s new Curriculum platform, which streamlines and consolidates lessons for structured team learning and implementation.
For Schoenenberger, Curriculum took the courses that were already benefiting his practice and presented them in such a way that they could have a faster and more significant impact on his team and their treatment.
“What the curriculum has done is really focused and organized the learning process for our staff,” he explained. “We don't have a whole lot of time in our practice for education because we're so busy with patient care. So having something that is systemized and focused like the Curriculum has really helped us get the learning that we needed to get done, but also kind of keeps us all together and organizes that learning.”
By focusing on synchronizing the core of the practice (the team and their shared philosophy), Curriculum is also able to influence the practice’s impact on the community as a whole, as Schoenenberger has experienced firsthand.
“Curriculum, of course, is set up so that each member of the team has an aspect that they feel involved in, and the videos are geared for each of them. And I think that helps them get involved and it energizes the office. They also, by going through this, understand how our practice is trying to focus and differentiate ourselves from other practices.”
Schoenberger advises that anyone new to Spear Online consider starting with Curriculum. He understands that the amount of content on Spear Online can be daunting, and said he feels that Curriculum is a good way to get acquainted with the system.