A dental recall system is essentially the system or process a dental practice uses to schedule follow up appointments for continued care. Multiple patients leave your practice everyday either pre-appointed or not. Those that are not scheduled for a future appointment is literally money out the door. We've put together 3 keys to help you execute a successful recall system to increase your bottom line and close the back door.
1. Create a Dental Recall Strategy
The first step to creating the best dental recall system is to discover and define the who, how and when.
- Who you want to contact
- Broken appointments
- How you want to contact patients
- Text messages
- Phone calls
- When you are going to contact patients
- How soon
- How often
- For how long
2. Assign 1 Person to Oversee Patient Recall
Whose job it is to run your reactivation strategy? Once you've created a well thought-out strategy, you need someone to champion it. Assigning one team member to oversee and be responsible for the recall process helps ensure that it actually happens. It also holds other employees accountable to execute the strategy properly so you doesn’t lose momentum after the first few weeks.
3. Define Recall Priorities for your Dental Practice
First, find out who needs more scheduled hours, hygienists or doctors? If your doctor's schedule is filled, don't prioritize patients who need doctor specific treatments. Fill the hygienists schedule with patients needing their routine cleanings.
Second, what types of procedures should be prioritized? If the doctor is the best person to fill hours for their schedule, which procedure mix would be the most profitable and time effective?
Lastly, do your research and discover which patients are the right patients to win back to your practice. You might think, "All," but take a minute to think about it. Do you want the patient with bad insurance? Do you want to waste time calling the patient who always says no to treatment? Focus on reactivating patients who either fell through the cracks or didn't get pre-appointed.
4. Use a Patient Communication Software System
Are you still sending out postcards exclusively? Sending regular mail isn't all bad but it is if that is all you're doing. Going electronic for dental patient communication saves hours upon hours of staff time in the long run. Don’t be afraid of new technology. Most patients want to be texted and/or have the ability to schedule a dental appointment online. How many patients would you win back with minimal effort if you had an online patient scheduling system in conjunction with modern patient communication software?
Patient recall doesn't have to be complicated. Just make sure to have a well defined strategy and priorities, someone overseeing it, and using the available technology to make it easier on you and your staff. Good communication not only wins patients back but keeps them from ever being at risk for going somewhere else for their dental needs.