I very much enjoy the feedback we receive from all of you who read and enjoy my weekly e-Management newsletter. Here’s another office having trouble with how to deal with “late patients” and they responded with the below to let me know how much they appreciated the “Late Patient” article McKenzie Consultant Jean Gallienne wrote earlier this month in issue #500. If you missed the 500th issue, you can find it HERE.
Jean urges dental care providers to treat the patient with respect regardless of their timing, she writes:
“Go ahead and review the health history, and begin the appointment as if you would any – do blood pressure, ask the patient what problems, concerns, or changes they have. Once you have actually evaluated the patient’s mouth, this is the time to decide what will and will not be done during that appointment. Even if you have seen this patient for years and you know they have a trash mouth, at least look in the mouth.”
She goes on to say, “If the patient does have a concern, and if time permits, at least address their concern – get x-rays, and even probe if that is all you have time for, and reschedule them for the specific time required to complete the cleaning. … “You may also want to have Mrs. Smith stay in the office long enough to make sure the next patient is going to show.”
Thank you for the article on the Late Patient…..this information is so needed, especially now…..everything you said was perfect…..it is the same way Dr. and I feel and now it is on black and white and comes from someone else other than the owners of a dental practice. We have had multiple employees who have disagreed with us and with what you have put in print. We have actually had to terminate staff for not taking care of their patients due to them arriving a little late. …staff who think this way usually are not on the same page with other office philosophies as well. There is much controversy in offices about this, especially with hygienists. I agree with you in that if you have the right team in place everything can still go smoothly at their appointments for these patients.… it does affect patient retention….you don’t want to tamper with patient retention in these days, especially if you practice where there is a lot of competition. Thank you…Thank you….Thank you for this article and for saving our practices.
Dr. E & C.E.