Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Don't let patients fall through the cracks!


Still thinking of a New Year’s Resolution? I have one for you . . . “Don’t let patients fall through the cracks!” You have everything at your fingertips so that this does not happen and I want to make sure you know how to use all the tools available to put together a solid system for managing your patients.

Whether you are using the Dentrix eCentral system or another third-party offering, most of you are using a third-party software for electronically communicating with your patients via text messages and emails. These third-party software vendors can put together an automated system, so you can communicate with your patients for confirming appointments and reaching out to patients who are not scheduled. We must remember that this automated system cannot reach 100% of your patients and you will need to have an in-office system to supplement it.

Don’t put your automated system in place and then forget about it. You want to be observing patients’ interactions with the emails and text messages to get a feel for how they are using it. Do you need to educate your patients on how to confirm their appointment or request an appointment? Also, make sure your automated system integrates well with your Dentrix software so you are receiving updated notifications. If patients are not interacting with the automated messages, then take the time to educate them and you will see much better results. With this being said, the Dentrix eCentral system is the most integrated system available with the highest-level features available.

Now, with your in-house system, it is important to keep tabs on those procrastinating patients who have not scheduled a follow up visit. Your patient retention depends on it. The offices that have high patient retention build in time to work the reports and follow up with patients.

There are three extremely important lists that are critical to your patient retention numbers. These reports require attention and it will be important for you to delegate these reports to the team members accountable for managing the recare and treatment.
  • Unscheduled List – These are patients who have already been on your schedule or they need an appointment now so usually they just need a phone call from you to call them back in. There are two ways to add someone to the Unscheduled List -- Using the Wait/Will Call button in the appointment or to Break the appointment. To read more about the Unscheduled List . . . CLICK HERE
  • Continuing Care Report – When you are looking for patients who are past due for their regular hygiene visit, this is your next go-to list. This list can be customized to search for patients who are current or way past due. You can also search for Prophy, Perio, X-rays, exams, ortho or other specialized continuing care type that you have set up in your practice. I would create some custom report parameters so that you can easily create a customized list for what type of appointment you need to fill your schedule. For more information on the Continuing Care Report . . . . CLICKHERE
  • Treatment Manager Report – This is probably my favorite report in Dentrix because it is a gold mine. The goal of this report is to find patients who have unscheduled treatment. This is your chart audit. You can use this report to fill the doctor’s schedule or the hygiene schedule. I would definitely work this report into your regular routine at least once a week. To read more about the Treatment Manager Report . . . . CLICK HERE



Hey, I know it might seem old-fashioned to pick up the phone and call someone, but think of the benefits. No more patients falling through the cracks! You are in control and how full your appointment book is depends on you, your team and your systems.

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