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  03.10.05 Issue #157

Sally's Mail Bag

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Dear Sally,

My front office employee is struggling when patients need to schedule another appointment before they leave but don’t and tell her they will have to call her later to make the appointment. She had asked me what to say and I just don’t know how to advise her. Any suggestions?

Dr. Baton Rouge

Dear Dr.,

I would not insist or demand that the patient schedule an appointment before leaving the office. However, the patient’s required treatment, no matter how small, should be entered in the computer as a treatment plan and follow up done from that information. If you insist on scheduling an appointment, the message you send to the patient is you don’t trust them. If she says, “Well let’s just go ahead an make you an appointment and you can call if it’s not okay when you get home,” it says that the patient doesn’t have to be committed to the appointment time, it’s okay to change appointments. It’s okay to say, “That’s fine, you can call me later,” but you need to take responsibility to follow up with them.

Hope this helps.

Sally

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