The past ten years have been tough for the dental industry. It is difficult enough to motivate patients to have treatment during good economic time and much more so in a tougher times. While the economy may seem to be on the mend, people are still afraid to spend money. You and your staff will need to educate patients and give them a sense of urgency to motivate them to have the treatment they require.
You may have heard this before, but I believe it bears repeating, simply because it works: when you sit down in front of your patient and look them in the eyes and tell them what you feel is the best course of treatment for them, they are much more likely to take the diagnosis to heart. They need to hear it from the Dentist; be shown pictures from an intra-oral camera (by dentist or staff); be shown an educational video and be informed of the consequences of NOT having necessary treatment.
Clinical staff members should remind the patient, as they walk them to check out, of the work they need to have done. This will prompt the scheduling coordinator to make an appointment before the patient leaves. If the scheduling coordinator is on the phone or with another patient, the clinical staff member should make the required appointment.
Note: If the patient leaves without making an appointment, they may not make one later on . All necessary education and motivation must be done while the patient is in the dental office.
Once you have the patient in the chair, you should try to get the most out of every appointment. If a patient needs more treatment than was scheduled and if your schedule allows, try and take care of it while they are there. By doing this, you will open up time on your schedule for other patients, get more productivity out of this appointment, save your patient time away from work and another trip to the dentist. They will appreciate your consideration of their time.
Education, Motivation, Communication and Consideration will together build trust and your patient base.
All the best,