Dentaltown June 2021 - 32

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them know that you are looking forward to seeing them when they come back for the
treatment.
3. Use sentences like, " We have an hour saved with the doctor just for you " and, " We
need to get you back here before that tooth gets worse and wakes you in the middle of
a Saturday night when we aren't available. "
* Avoid breaking agreements with patients. Making an agreement with a patient in
regard to an appointment time and calling to move it to another time because you
had a cancellation is not a good thing to do. Try focusing on all the patients who have
outstanding treatment and are not on the schedule. Changing appointments sends a
message to the patients that you get changes, so it's OK for them to cancel. I understand
there are situations where patients need and want to come in sooner. In these cases, you
should say something like, " If we get a change in the schedule, is it OK if I call you? "
* Never fail to call patients when they are fi ve minutes late. Contact the patient
5-10 minutes after their appointment time and say something like, " Hello, Mr. Black, we
were expecting you today at 8 a.m.; we had an hour saved for you with doctor, we hope
everything is OK. " Pause and wait for their response. Hopefully they will feel at least a
little guilty. If you act like it was not a problem, they will continue doing the same thing.
Do not ever scold a patient.
* Be prepared to handle patients calling to break an appointment:
1. Calls should always, always go directly to the scheduler.
2. Act surprised and disappointed.
3. Reschedule at that time, not later.
* Make fi rm fi nancial arrangements before scheduling the appointment. Patients with bad
accounts tend to break more appointments. Some are past due, others have large unpaid
balances or may not have time if they have kids. Financial arrangements must be made
before the appointment is scheduled.
* Have clinical team members reinforce needed treatment. A large percentage of broken
appointments begin chairside. Educate your patients and tell them over and over that if
they do nothing, it will cost more and get worse.
* The hand-off between the clinical team and the front desk staff is key. The clinical team
and the doctor have already informed the patient of the needed treatment. The patient is
escorted to the scheduling coordinator by a member of the clinical team and the turnover
goes like this: " It was so good to see you today, Mr. Black. Jamie will get you scheduled
for that crown and I'm looking forward to seeing you when you come back. " The clinical
team member now looks at the scheduler and says something like, " Jamie, doctor wants
to get Mr. Black back as soon as possible for a crown. " The reinforcement of the needed
treatment is very important.
* Emphasize the value of the next appointment. If the team is not emphasizing the
importance of the next visit to the patient while he or she is sitting in the chair, you
probably have many more broken appointments than you should. Every patient needing to
come back for treatment needs to fully understand why and what will happen if they do
not keep the appointment. Every team member is responsible for making sure patients are
educated and their questions are answered. If the patient doesn't see the value and how it
will benefi t them, it's going to be a lot easier for them to not come.
* Have a solid appointment-confi rmation system. Confi rmation of appointments has a
lot to do with the patient keeping their appointment. Confi rming the appointment with
the patient is very important. Every practice needs to appoint someone skilled to do the
32 JUNE 2021 // dentaltown.com
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Dentaltown June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown June 2021

Dentaltown June 2021 - Intro
Dentaltown June 2021 - Cover1
Dentaltown June 2021 - Cover2
Dentaltown June 2021 - 1
Dentaltown June 2021 - 2
Dentaltown June 2021 - 3
Dentaltown June 2021 - 4
Dentaltown June 2021 - 5
Dentaltown June 2021 - 6
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Dentaltown June 2021 - Cover3
Dentaltown June 2021 - Cover4
Dentaltown June 2021 - Outsert_1
Dentaltown June 2021 - Outsert_2
Dentaltown June 2021 - Outsert_3
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