If you want to grow your practice and improve patient retention, which I’m sure you do, you have to make recall a priority. This system has the potential to be one of the biggest money makers in a dental practice, yet it’s the most ignored. Once you start focusing on recall, you’ll see a big improvement in patient retention numbers, practice productivity and your bottom line.
Patient Coordinator: To start, I suggest you hire a Patient Coordinator. This team member should be accountable for the recall system and tasked with calling and scheduling a specific number of past due patients every day. The coordinator should provide a detailed report at the monthly team meeting to keep everyone updated on the system’s progress and to encourage discussion on how recall efforts can be improved.
Training: Before your coordinator starts dialing for dollars, make sure he or she has access to all the pertinent patient information and is prepared to address any perceived barriers to care. Professional dental business training may be necessary. Remember to use these calls as an opportunity to educate. Educated patients are more likely to schedule treatment and to keep their appointments.
Scripts: I also suggest you develop a well-thought-out script to help ensure your Patient Coordinator is as prepared as possible for these calls, giving him or her a greater chance of success.
Recall: Most dentists don’t pay much attention to their recall system, which is a costly mistake. They send out generic postcards and think that’s enough. The problem is, those postcards are likely ending up in the trash, rather than prompting past due patients to call in and make an appointment.
Truly investing in your recall system is the best way to get inactive patients back in the chair, which will help you develop loyal patients who understand the value of the care you provide. When that happens, you’ll notice a nice boost in practice productivity and your bottom line.