Do you want to increase the number of patients in your clinic?
At the rate of 4 appointments cancelled per week, cancelled at the last minute or simply forgotten, this problem will plague your dental office. The main consequence of this type of behavior is the difficulty of getting an appointment in your office. It’s time to improve your appointment management and increase your productivity.
Why do we go to the dentist?
We rarely go for pleasure or hygiene reasons. We usually go when it’s too late, meaning when we’re in a lot of pain. And that is the problem. When you call for an appointment with your dentist, you want an appointment very quickly, to put an end to your pain. But the disorganization of your schedule and appointments not being respected, is blocking slots for patients who really need them.
The different types of patients who cancel their appointments
To manage your schedule better, it is imperative to take the time to analyze your patients to identify where the problem is coming from. We can usually see these different types of patients: the forgetful, the disrespectful, and the unhelpful.
It is common for patients to call several dentists to get an appointment and choose the one who has responded most quickly to his request, forgetting to cancel all other surgeries. They don’t realize the importance of a medical appointment. Your receptionist has an important job to do in communicating to get around this attitude.
The forgetful, forget their appointments and a simple automatic reminder, a text message or an e-mail is enough to ensure their presence.
We also find those who have last minute contingencies and call to cancel. Again, your receptionist has a role to play in rescheduling an appointment that this time will be honored. If he or she does not call to tell you, your receptionist can contact him or her again to find out the reasons for his or her absence and arrange another appointment.
In all cases, patients must be aware of the importance of their appointment and the chance to get it with you.
Better manage scheduling to optimize your schedule.
There is to be no booking 3 appointments at the same time just in case a patient does not show up. Even if this practice is seen sometimes in some practices, it is unbearable for your patients because the wait becomes much too long.
The best management of your appointments and the identification of your patients will be decisive to optimize your schedule and reduce the waiting time to get an appointment. Waiting 3 months to have an urgent appointment will not be conceivable for your patients. Discuss with your receptionist how to set up a telephone script to ensure that patients are present at appointments. When making an on-site appointment, her communication should also be very clear and precise. Set up reminder tools and a specify cancellation policy, value your practice so that your patients understand the importance and the chance of an appointment with you.
Managing your schedule better in order to reduce the waiting time for an appointment is a daily task that needs to be done long term. It is imperative that both patients and your team are made aware of the importance of a respected appointment.
The importance of a script for the receptionist
We note several missed appointments, cancelled for the simple reason that the receptionist is unable to add value to the appointment. It is necessary to develop a patient experience as much by her tone, insurance, and firmness as by the telephone script.