Hannah Klaassen, D.D.S. student
Improves dental patient satisfaction
• Hometown: Saint Joseph, MO
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Dr. Leonardo Marchini, DDS, MSD, PhD
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), June 2021.
• Please describe your research: My research focuses on the dental patients’ satisfaction with the care that they receive at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. We were able to use over 10,000 patient responses to a satisfaction survey to gauge where the College of Dentistry is excelling, explore areas for improvement, and assess what aspects of the dental experience are most important to a patient.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? The data we collected provides insight into the aspects of the dental care experience with the largest effects on patient satisfaction. With this knowledge, steps can be taken to enhance the patient experience and, therefore, help dental schools move further in the direction of person-centered care. In addition, the results from this study may be incorporated into the dental curriculum, aiming to prepare the future dental workforce with the foundation that allows them to achieve higher patient satisfaction rates.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I began research during the Spring semester of my first year of dental school.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Participating in research has allowed me to explore certain aspects of dentistry that I would have likely never pursed, which has provided me a more enriched dental education. I now see the value of patient satisfaction not only in the College of Dentistry, but in all dental practices. I also have insight into areas of the dental experience patients’ value most, which is a valuable tool as I go out and provide dental care to my community soon.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? After graduation I plan on pursuing private practice dentistry in Iowa.
• Does your research have connections to or implications for COVID-19? Please explain. My research project on patient satisfaction did not have any connections/implications for COVID-19. With that being said, I am currently writing a manuscript on the impact of COVID-19 on the stress levels and coping strategies of dental students with Dr. Leonardo Marchini that covers information gathered from over 4,000 dental students from 6 countries during the height of the pandemic in the Spring of 2020.
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