Dental Care Cards
Dental Care Cards answer the most commonly asked patient questions about 8 dental procedures.
How much information do patients actually hear, understand, and retain after a dental procedure' How often do patients leave the office only to call the next day'or the next hour' to ask post-procedural questions that have already been answered'
The combination of written and verbal information has been shown to enhance clinician-patient communication in a range of healthcare settings.1 To this end, JMG Designs' Dental Care Cards provide patients with procedure-specific, take-home information in a simple question-and-answer format. Developed by a dentist to reinforce procedure-specific verbal explanations in his own practice, the easyto- read, durable index cards are intended to help eliminate unnecessary post-procedure phone calls and reduce wasted production time by clearly answering commonly asked questions.
The 8 dentists who participated in this Dental Product Shopper review rated such features as thoroughness of information, patients' ease of understanding the information, and ability to answer patients' questions.
Dental Care Cards cover 8 topics: Crown & Bridge, Extraction, White Filling, Smile Makeover, Root Canal, Teeth Whitening Instructions, Denture Instructions, and Deep Cleaning Instructions. The evaluators rated the content of Dental Care Cards in terms of thoroughness, amount of information, and clarity of information (patients' ease of understanding).
Thoroughness of information on the cards was rated as excellent by 2 evaluators, as very good by 5, as good by 3, and as poor by 1. Two dentists made suggestions for additional card topics'specifically, occlusal equilibration and temporomandibular joint issues. One of these 2 evaluators also said a card on full-mouth rehabilitations would be useful, noting that the existing cards contained 'lots of good information.'
The evaluators were asked to rate the amount of information on the Dental Care Cards as well as patients' ease of understanding that information. Both of these evaluation items were rated as excellent by 4 evaluators, as very good by 5, as good by 1, and as fair by 1. One evaluator described the amount of information as 'adequate'not too much and not too little.'
Ability to Answer Patient Questions
Each of the procedure-specific Dental Care Cards asks and answers 3 of the most commonly asked patient questions. Dental Care Cards' ability to answer patient questions was rated as excellent by 2 evaluators, as very good by 7, as good by 1, and as poor by 1. One dentist said patients 'left them in the office.'
Another dentist questioned the need for the cards, noting that 'In-office PCs and printers make it extremely easy and inexpensive to design and print out your own post-op instructions inhouse, and to customize them even more specifically.'
One evaluator said the cards were 'very clear about what the patient should know or what is normal.' Another evaluator reported that patients 'didn't have many questions after reading them.'
Dental Care Cards are printed on heavy card stock and coated with a UVprotectant to prevent fading. Large print makes them easy to read. When asked about the readability of the cards, 8 evaluators rated them as excellent and 3 rated them as very good. One dentist noted that patients 'liked the size, waterresistant quality, and easy-to-read print.'
Overall satisfaction with Dental Care Cards was rated as excellent by 2 evaluators, as very good by 5, as good by 1, as fair by 2, and as poor by 1. One evaluator said patients 'are always happy to take something with them that has the information we just covered.'
1. Written and verbal information versus verbal information only for patients being discharged from acute hospital settings to home. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2003;(4):CD003716.