Treatment coordinators play a crucial role in orthodontic practices, acting as the bridge between the clinical team and patients. Effective treatment coordination requires a unique set of skills and traits that are essential for success in this role.
One of the most important skills for a treatment coordinator is strong communication abilities. They must be able to effectively communicate with patients, parents, and the clinical team to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the treatment plan.
They should also be able to explain complex dental procedures and treatment options in a clear and concise manner, as well as listen actively to the concerns and questions of patients and their families.
Much of this will come with time and experience but it will be valuable to create a structure for treatment presentation so they can cover all the relevant topics methodically and comprehensively.
Treatment coordinators should be flexible and adaptable to accommodate patients who are interested in same-day treatment and walk-ins to keep the practice flowing. There are multiple ways for patients to interact with an orthodontic practice and it's important for the treatment coordinator to cast a wide net of options for patients, whether it's by phone, email, social media, or through referrals.
For treatment coordinators to process the complex needs of both patients and the doctor, they'll need to be able to multitask to hit their targets or goals. Competency comes from understanding how to prioritize and distribute tasks when things get busy.
Empathy is another important trait for a successful treatment coordinator. They should be able to put themselves in the patient's shoes, understand their emotions, and offer comfort and support throughout the treatment process. This requires a high level of emotional intelligence and the ability to be patient and compassionate, even in stressful situations. Investing in understanding the patient's point of view will help the treatment coordinator better understand the patient's concerns and priorities in receiving care.
Organizational abilities are also key for effective treatment coordination. Coordinators must not only be able to manage patient records, schedules, and treatment plans in a way that ensures patients receive the best care possible, but they must also understand the implications of clinical details and consequences if things go wrong. This requires experience, strong attention to detail, and the ability to prioritize tasks to ensure that the practice runs smoothly.
To train and develop these essential skills, practice owners can provide ongoing education and support for their treatment coordinators. Role-playing exercises can help coordinators improve their communication skills and empathy, while seminars and conferences can provide opportunities for continued learning and development.
By prioritizing the development of these essential skills and traits, orthodontic practices can ensure that their treatment coordinators are equipped to provide the highest level of care to their patients.