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Christina Villarreal: Improve Patient Experience to Increase Case Acceptance

“It’s extremely important to build relationships and trust with patients so that when you do present the treatment plan they feel confident,” says  Christina Villarreal, Patient Experience Manager of Dental Associates. 

Villarreal reports that case acceptance does increase when patient experience increases, because patient experience has a lot to do with the relationships and trust we build with patients.

What Patients Want

When you have a provider caring for you, you want to have complete trust in them and know that their recommendations are in your best interest. You want to know that what they recommend is what they would recommend to their own mother or father. Not only this, says Villarreal, but patient experience needs to be consistently great across the whole experience from getting to know you on the internet, to scheduling, to reception, to what happens in the operatory, to being escorted back to the front desk, and follow-up.

The Worst Case

“There is nothing worse,” says Villarreal, “than seeing a comment that says I love my dentist, I love my hygienist, but I can never get through when I answer the phone or the staff at the front desk isn’t friendly. Those things will cause a patient to go somewhere else. I work with our staff and I let them know that a patient wants their entire experience, their entire journey to be awesome. It can't just be one part of it. It has to be consistent throughout, or they're not coming back.”

The Best Case

When you deliver exceptional patient experience at all touch points, the patient's feelings of trust and safety with everyone in the office develops. When this trust is deep, the patient is able to comfortably discuss treatment and make decisions.


About this Industry Leader:

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Christina Villarreal

Patient Experience Manager, Dental Associates


Christina Villarreal joined Dental Associates in 2007 and quickly rose to the position of Patient Experience Manager. Christina is constantly looking for ways to improve the patient experience at Dental Associates' 14 practices in Wisconsin. She works closely with every team member both in the practices and in corporate support roles to identify issues and implement strategies that will increase patient satisfaction and employee morale. Christina is usually in the practices, talking to team members and observing them in action. The hands-on knowledge leads to more effective training techniques and ensures everyone on the team understands the goals and how success is tracked. She uses a series of key performance indicators and reports the findings to the executive team monthly.


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