Thursday, May 12, 2016

Transform the way you follow up with over due recare patients

I learned the coolest thing today! Actually, I am rethinking the way I run the Continuing Care report. I know, right? If you have been reading my blog over the years, I talk a lot about the four reports to keepyour schedule full — ASAP List, Unscheduled List, Continuing Care List and Treatment Manager Report. Today, while I was working with a team on their hygiene workflow, we discovered something together that could completely transform the conversations you have with your hygiene patients when you are making follow-up calls.

As oral health clinicians, it is our fiduciary responsibility to inform patients of oral disease or infection so they can make educated decisions about their health and schedule them for their preventative maintenance visit. This education and communication with the patient is a full team responsibility, not just the clinical team. The front office team becomes part of the equation whenever patients are balking at scheduling their next visit or if they are following up with overdue patients.

The front office team does not need to know every clinical detail about the hygiene visit. However, having one little nugget of information to reiterate the value for the patient to schedule the recare visit can be critical. In previous versions of Dentrix, I would teach my front office teams to read through the clinical note from the hygienist and find something in there that would build value for the patient like “watching pocket #3,” “needs to floss more in lower anterior,” or “check margins on crown #30.” What happens a lot of the time is the front office team either doesn’t like going into the patient chart or these notes are still being written in a paper chart.

So where can the front office team build their own arsenal of “value added notes” so when they call the overdue hygiene patient, they can say something like, “You know, Sally really needed to see you in four months so she can check how the bleeding has improved in the upper right area” and the patient will say, “Oh yeah. That’s right. She did want to check that.” The motivational note in the patient’s continuing care is a perfect spot . . . and now it shows up on an awesome report.

If you are on Dentrix G6, you have a new amazing feature called List Manager. It’s like doing a Patient Reports by Filter … only on steroids. This List Manager will also allow you to put your Perio and Prophy patients on the same list . . . Whoo Hoo! 

Watch the video below and see how to create a new kind of list.

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