When you present treatment plans, patients should be confident that you are an undisputed expert on the subject. It’s a question of trust. If you have successfully built a strong relationship with your patients, they will be confident that you are the expert. When patients trust your opinion and understand that you have their best oral health interests in mind, case acceptance levels will increase.
Left unchecked, these inefficient processes will choke off productivity and ratchet up stress until you have a total systems breakdown. During a good economy, practices will often put up with outdated systems because the schedule is full with patients. However, a weak economy exposes vulnerabilities in older systems. To avoid bottlenecks and lost productivity, practices should update their systems every 3 to 5 years.
Your team interacts with patients at every step of the treatment process. Use scripting to train your team. For example, at the end of treatment, the staff member can say, “We love having patients like you. Please tell your friends about us.” When patients refer, they should receive both a handwritten note and a phone call from the doctor thanking them. This kind of attention will keep patients referring to you.
Emphasize to patients that their scheduled appointment has been especially reserved for them. Confirming all appointments 48 hours in advance greatly reduces no-shows and last-minute cancellations. Don’t just call a home phone number. Use a variety of communication methods to confirm appointments, including e-mails, text messages and cell phones.
Communication with patients can always be improved. Effective patient communication uses scripts focused on presenting patient benefit statements and addressing common concerns and questions. Scripts decrease the stress associated with having to improvise responses with each patient interaction. They also eliminate patient confusion by providing clear and consistent responses from the entire team.