This week I will share 2 tips to scheduling your perfect day. Last week I shared 3 tips and throughout the month of February I will continue talking about ways you can create a perfect day’s schedule.
It is very important that as a dental professional, you understand what a valuable role you play because we are helping our patients to live a longer healthier and happier life. Isn’t that right?
I sure hope you agree because my experience as a dental practice management consultant has proven to me that dental practices who embrace this philosophy are the happiest dental teams and the most profitable!
Do you currently enjoy what you do at your dental office? If you can share that enthusiasm with your patients it will spread great news throughout your community which is certain to bring more raving fans into your office! When you are happy and really value what you do for your patients, then you will experience not only personal joy but your patients are most likely to tell everyone about how much they love coming to your office! (Please view the 2 minute video on top left)
This is one of the easiest ways to have new patients coming into your dental office each and every day your office is open! The key is to share your enthusiasm. It spreads like a wild fire!
Tip number 1 is: Value
Value what you do professionally and then add value to your patients.
What I mean by adding value to your patients is about using words that add value. When you speak to a hygiene patient for example; if that patient has 4 and mm pockets and BOP what do you say when scheduling the patient’s next visit?
What many STILL, in today’s world say (you know all the research we do have about the mouth/body connection- right?!)is this. I hear the entire team say the word “Cleaning”. It’s a word I consistently have to work with clients to not use with their patients! We are no longer in the business of cleaning teeth. In today’s world we are all about creating healthier and longer lives for our patients. Let’s get that clear and speak about this value we add to our patients.
Have you ever met a patient who didn’t want to live a longer and healthier life?
Well neither have I!
When a patient is making their next appointment, create value around why they need to return. It may sound something like this:
“Mrs. Johnson, today we talked about and you remember that I showed you (imagine the hygienist showed the patient those areas by using her/his intraoral camera) those areas where you have 4 and 5mm pockets and we saw the bleeding when I was probing. It is very important that you maintain these areas at home with your power tooth brush and floss plus, I need to get in there and remove the bacteria at least every 90 days to keep those areas healthy. And this is what will also keep your body healthy. To maintain the health of these areas and your body I want to see you every three months (or state what the correct interval is for each individual patient), so I can see you on Wednesday May 13th at 10 am. I know you like the morning appointments and I have the same time and day in three months available to see you then. Will that work for your schedule?”
Do you think Ms. Johnson is more likely to say “YES” to accept the dental hygiene appointment when you state it like this?
Many times I hear the scheduling coordinator ask something like this: “Mrs. Johnson, when would you like to come back for your cleaning?”
Which question do you believe has a higher level of confidence on behalf of the dental professional and adds value and benefits for the patient to return for routine care?
This is your schedule so take charge of it. You must feel proud of your office and the quality of care you provide your patients so OWN IT! Take control of getting patients back to the office and on time!
Tip Number 2: The dental hygienist is the most important person to schedule all hygiene patien’s next visit.
The hygienist is the one team member who was just with the patient (for about an hour) and discovered what the patients’ needs were. The hygienist knows exactly why the patient needs to return for their next dental hygiene appointment.
Imagine a patient hygiene preventive care appointment. Does your hygiene patient have disease in their mouth? Did the hygienist and patient discover areas of 4 and mm pockets with bleeding on probing? Most hygienists want to see this patient back in maybe six weeks or at the very most three months.
It’s in the hygiene treatment room that the hygienist is in the best position to explain to their patient WHY and when the patient needs to return for their next hygiene appointment.
Many offices are still sending a hygiene patient to the front desk to make their next appointment and by the time the patient arrives at the front desk, it is very possible, that the patient has already forgotten why (and exactly when) they need to come back see the hygienist AND many times the scheduling coordinator gets so busy that they forget to schedule the patients next hygiene appointment. Yes, I do see this happen ALL too often! At Dental Practice Solutions we review our client data weekly and it happens! No one really intends to let patients leave without a next appointment scheduled but for numerous reasons this happens. It is something to look at each week to be sure these patients are not lost and without a next appointment.
Team members, all the dental auxiliaries, have so much to do in so little amount of time, that making the patients next appointment can be easily forgotten. This is when time and money are spent chasing patients down to get them back to your office. The end result is the patient spends more time and money in the dental office because their oral disease has become a larger problem by the time they get back to their dental office. Now, the patient is spends more money to care for an oral condition that could have been easily treated or better yet – prevented.
I hope these tips will be helpful to you in keeping your schedule full and experiencing your perfect day’s schedule at the office.
Enjoy your day at the office and next week I will provide more tips to schedule your perfect day!
Please be sure to click on the 2 minute video at the top of this blog.
Please feel free to comment below.