July 4, 2016
by Kahaliah Richards
What is the number one reason why patients do not return for their hygiene visits? Doctors and team members: if you don’t know, you need to find out!
We’ve all heard the excuses; illness, my boss called a meeting, my kids have sports practice after school, I’m stuck in traffic, I can’t pay for it…..the list goes on and on.
Often, team members make it easy for patients to change their hygiene appointments last minute; going so far as to say “no worries” to a patient when taking those calls.
How can this scenario be so nonchalant when it now requires a team member to stop everything and call other patients to fill the opening – a labor-intensive response?
The number one reason why patients do not keep their dental hygiene appointments is that they have little-perceived value for the services being performed. As health-care providers, it is our role to share with the patient each and every service provided at their appointment, starting with the importance of how oral hygiene with the mouth is the gateway to a healthy body.
Think of it as a “21 point checklist” that you get when you take your car to get the oil changed……think of all the other services that are provided (tire pressure checked, air filter checked, fluids checked, etc.) Give your patients the same “checklist” as a way of increasing the value for each visit and validating the role of the hygienist in the patient’s oral health.
To help the admin team attempt to “turn the cancellation call around” ask the hygienist (when pre-scheduling the patient’s future appointment) to make a comment in the appointment “note” field of something that will be checked at the next appointment.
This is what we refer to as the “RR—the Reason to Return.” If a patient calls to change his appointment last minute, the admin team can refer to the “note” field and use this information to hopefully turn the cancellation around by creating enough value to keep the appointment.
There are 8 strategies that all dental teams must have in place in order to reduce the downtime in hygiene (effectively keeping the doctor’s schedule full.) Call TGNA today to learn more about these strategies and how we can help you implement them into your practice.
To learn more specific details and implement systems and protocols about how you can reduce cancellations and no shows to increase productivity, reduce stress and live a more balanced lifestyle, we welcome you to contact TGNA for assistance. Our team of professional dental coaches work across North America to help dental practices like yours. Simply firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free 1-800-345-5157 to contact us. We’re here to help you and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Brenda Wittenbauer, TGNA Business Systems Coach.
Brenda is passionate about helping team members thrive in their areas of expertise so that their natural abilities and talents are maximized. Her inspiration is to challenge the status quo that forces teams to look beyond their current situations and to raise theirs standards to a higher level.
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