One of the ways Mervyn Druian, Founder of The London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry, believes dentistry can better accommodate patients with disabilities is through the ‘Welcome’ app which enables preparatory planning to take place regarding the patients’ personal needs before arrival. The app is also deemed to be a great device to use during staff training on disability awareness.
Patients with disabilities are able to use the app to create and share a profile that shows the individual needs and requirements and can be accessed by the practice. One of the features of the app is that the clinic is notified when a patient is less than a mile away which gives the staff time to be present for the arrival to help and assist. It also helps the individual because they are also updated on the facilities at the practice and if there would be any problems e.g. not having a ramp up to the door, for which they can be prepared.
“The main objective of ‘Welcome’ is to make visits to the dentist easier and a better experience“
The main objective of ‘Welcome’ is to make visits to the dentist easier and a better experience. For some, the physical element such as getting through the front door or not being able to sit in the dental chair can be complicated and demoralising. There are also mental and learning disabilities to take into account, for example, those with anxiety may need support and convincing before the appointment actually starts. One way to mitigate anxieties and unsure feelings towards coming has been giving them access to the building layout on the app in advance, as well as the chance to see who the staff are with names and faces to help diminish anxieties and make patients feel safe and happy.
Mervyn Druian said “Our team receive real-time training and clear guidance on how to interact with patients directly related to their needs, disabilities or conditions they disclose. In return they are provided with key up-to-date accessibility and assistance information. With 85% of disabled people living with ‘hidden’ conditions, one of the key elements of the service is the ability to inform staff of need discretely rather than publicly in a sometimes hushed but busy waiting room.”