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Friday, January 28, 2011

LEARN TO LOVE RECALL

"Good morning Sue this is Katie from Dr. ______ office- it looks like your last cleaning was in May of 2010, I was calling to schedule an appointment for you."

Whats not to love about making these calls... right?

Weather you play with the rhetoric- "schedule your preventative maintenance appointment, or Dr._______ asked me to call and schedule an appointment for you because he noticed he hadn't seen you in awhile"
for most of us this is a little out of our comfort zone.

This is a service that we are providing for our patients, it isn't your fault that the patient hasn't scheduled an appointment! We all know that prevention is the easiest and cheapest way to maintain health, it also requires the least amount of appointments and time- what other excuse can there be?

Obviously in an ideal world all patients would schedule their next recare appointment and keep it- wouldn't life be great. Unfortunately for us this will NEVER happen which gives way to that ever growing list of delinquent patients AKA : A GOLD MINE

I have worked the gamete on recall, from the card file (similar to the dewey decimal system) to the computer generated system. From front desk handling recall duties to the sole responsibility being on the hygiene department.

Who ever is handling this in your office, make sure someone is on top of it- It is a gold mine for you and the practice. If your schedule is open it effects the business as a whole and if not immediately it can trickle down to your paycheck.

I like to have multiple lists being worked at all times:
  • Due in 2 months- postcards are sent
  • Due next month- calls are made
  • Recently overdue- calls are made
  • 3 months overdue- email sent- we use Televox but there are a lot of different options- dental senders is free
  • Long overdue- emails are sent, calls are made and finally a letter stating "we haven't seen you in a while we miss you and are concerned about your dental health. Call to schedule an appointment or if you are being seen elsewhere let us know so we can update our records. If we don't hear from you within 90 days we will inactivate your account"
Utilizing all of these patient pools allows you to minimize open hygiene time, it also keeps  patients healthier which in turn makes their appointments more enjoyable.

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