As a dental practice, you are probably looking for ways to improve your cash flow. To achieve this goal, you can do many things. One of the most effective is patient recall.
According to a study, improvements in a practice’s recall strategy can enhance patient retention by 10 to 15 percent. The success of patient recall depends on how it is implemented; there are many ways you can use this strategy to earn more money with your current clients.
This post will discuss why dental practices implement patient recall and how you can increase your revenue with scheduling support.
What is a patient recall, and how is it beneficial?
Patient recall ensures your dental practice doesn’t lose valuable patients, thus increasing the patient retention rate. The benefits include more referrals from happy former patients, a higher conversion rate on new patients, and increased awareness of your practice.
The idea behind the patient recall is not to scare people into coming back into your office. In particular, you have to gently prompt them with information about how often they need to see a dentist.
You can also use patient recalls to find out why someone has stopped coming to the office.
- Did something unpleasant happen during their last visit?
- Do they still live at the same address where they were registered at your practice?
The list goes on!
A patient recall is a robust scheme that you can use to build trust and loyalty with patients. The key is to be strategic about your patient follow-ups as a dentist.
For example, dentists should use their office newsletter, email, dental website, social media pages, or other marketing tactics to stay in touch with past patients.
However, you must provide the service in a patient-friendly manner without pressure or coercion; it should never end in lost revenue for your practice.
3 Types of patient recall strategies: What’s best for a dental practice?
There are three types of patient recall programs: proactive, reactive, and passive. Your dental scheduling needs are the driving factor in determining which recall program is most beneficial.
Proactive strategies include sending postcards, emails, texts, or calling the patients before their due date.
If the patient has missed an appointment or is overdue for a cleaning, the reactive strategy will be used to contact them.
On the other hand, passive strategies usually involve only contacting the patient once every six months.
1. Proactive Patient Recall Program
Proactive strategies can better prepare your dental practice for patient recall. They include(but are not limited to) outreach letters and phone calls.
This will show you’re still an attentive provider they can come back to when they need you the most.
Most dental practices prefer to stay proactive with a reminder system tailored just right for the way they operate.
To succeed with client-centric efforts, it’s essential to keep a directory or patient log that identifies each person’s emergency contact information.
Other than that, you have to educate yourself about influential marketing trends.
2. Reactive Patient Recall Program
Here are the two master plans for dealing with a dental patient who has missed an appointment or is overdue for a cleaning.
- Send the patient reminders when they’re late, or email them if you don’t have their contact information on file. Plus, make sure your staff can answer questions and help get patients into appointments when necessary.
- Promote your treatments in both personal and strategic ways. You can include promotional flyers at check-in and offer bonus coupons. Share stats like how many kids just got cavities because of chronic snoring/eating sugar/not brushing regularly, etc.
To increase the number of patients returning to your practice, you need to take an actionable approach. Recruit them BEFORE you offer treatment.
Let’s break it down:
- Approach the patient at the time of consultation by doing a brief “sales pitch” presentation. It should educate them on how dentistry works (highlighting pros and cons, honesty about every option, pricing packages, etc.).
- Create pre-treatment drafts that educate your patients about what they’re getting themselves into if they commit. Unless it’s emergency work, have no surprises or unplanned expenses at any point in the process.
3. Passive Patient Recall Program
Passive strategies are best for young children, people who live in rural areas and have little disposable income, or those who need general care only.
Such practices should focus on advertising their treatments to ensure that they are competitive with other practices within nearby towns.
Each passive patient should be encouraged to take advantage of early preventive measures such as teeth brushing and flossing before any problems arise!
This type of outreach is an easy way to encourage patients without sounding too aggressive about it.
With each patient recall program, you’ll have to decide what works best for your practice in terms of cost-effectiveness and ease of use. You also need to plan when they will be most effective based on your dental scheduling needs.
Why is an automated patient recall program better than a manual one?
Automated patient recall programs reduce record errors, automate the notification process to current patients, and ensure the highest participation rate.
Nowadays, the benefits of electronic data can help dental providers create automated reminders. They combine features within the software for efficient contact notifications that are personalized yet maintain program security.
Automated systems can also be designed to send text messages or email notifications with options such as time-lapse selections.
Decreases teamwork stress
The most significant benefit for dental clinics that use an automated patient recall program is that it decreases the overhead and the labor.
Inefficiency in any business can be costly. Say, for example, you spend 60 minutes every day working on your finances and payroll. This works out to an additional 150 hours in a year which could’ve been spent more lucratively (i.e., providing better treatment).
By outsourcing patient scheduling, the workload on your staff will decrease so they can focus on more productive activities.
For instance, they can take proper care of patients or market better to build new clients.
The automated patient recall system will automatically send an appointment reminder to patients due for a check-up.
A dental chart is a hefty responsibility. With the right patient recall program, you can make clinical scheduling easier and improve team organization.
Your office will become more profitable because of improved efficiency and less lost revenue from missed appointments. With instant communication between one or more dental assistants/hygienists, your patients will receive faster service.
Most importantly, the best PPC solutions help mend doctor-patient relationships.
An automated patient recall program will help your dental practice by:
- Creating a new revenue stream
- Increasing the number of people who visit your office
- Improving customer service
- Acting as a reminder/follow-up for missed dental appointments, which will reduce No Shows and Late Cancellations
- Helping generate new business by scheduling dental services where they might not be available
You can also notify your patients when you have special runnings or when there’s an event happening at the office. They will appreciate feeling like they’re part of something special.
A patient recall program is an opportunity to make your dental practice stronger by compensating for your lost revenue.
If you are looking for a dental call outsourcing service, the chances are that you know how much of a hassle it is to be on the phone with patients constantly.
With our dental call outsourcing service, you’ll never have to deal with an annoying phone call again.
We give training to our employees on providing good customer care.
We also train on how to politely decline an appointment without offending anyone over the phone if there’s no available date at present.