Getting your patients to schedule routine appointments is extremely important to make your dental office successful. Having a scheduling system that flows smoothly is the key to patient satisfaction and building revenue.
SEPARATE ADMIN OFFICE HOURS FROM PROCEDURE HOURS
No matter the office’s size, the Doctor must set several hours each week he or she would like to see patients. This time is separate from office hours; this is strictly seeing and working on patients. Once the hours are determined, the Doctor can decide how to staff the office to ensure each patient is taken care of promptly. Never double-book your patients. Each patient deserves your undivided attention; this makes the patient feel very comfortable in an uncomfortable setting. If you see a new patient for the first time, allow a little more time in your schedule for them. It’s important to explain everything in detail to brand new patients; this will keep them coming back.
ORGANIZE AND APPOINT YOUR STAFF
Try and organize your day by patient type/procedure type. For example, if you have your regular patients who need a simple cleaning, schedule them in the mornings to create easy patient flow, and schedule patients who need procedures done later. Dedicate one person or a scheduling team to make appointments, avoid just any employee having the capability to schedule appointments; this will reduce scheduling conflicts.
EDUCATE YOUR STAFF
Make your staff aware of the importance of getting your patients to schedule routine appointments. Having good patient flow creates good revenue, which is what pays the employees’ salaries. Never let a patient leave your office without scheduling their next appointment, whether it’s a cleaning or a crown/bridge seat.
REMIND YOUR PATIENTS OF THEIR ROUTINE APPOINTMENTS
Cleanings are scheduled every six months, which is a long time in your patient’s busy life, so create a system to mail a postcard one month before the patient’s appointment and then give a courtesy call the week of the appointment. Your patients will love you doing the work for them. If your office follows these strategies, you can quickly get your patients to schedule routine appointments and increase office flow and revenue.