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4.4.08 Issue #317 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Curb Appointment Failures in Three Steps
by Sally McKenzie CEO
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Reduce overhead, increase production, enjoy success. No problem, right? I love three-step formulas, especially the ones that promise to lower stress, improve my life and make me rich. They are so uncomplicated and so straightforward. The only problem is that most of the time those seemingly simple formulas require a multitude of not-so-simple sub-steps. And that is usually where we get bogged down and give up. Shelve another good idea because it’s just too darn much work.

In the dental practice, appointment reminders often fall into this category. Sure, everyone wants patients in the chair at the appointed hour. After all, that translates into more money for the practice. The concept sounds so simple. Call them. Confirm them. Greet them when they show up on time as directed. But the truth is that it is labor intensive. And with so many other competing demands on dental teams, it can be very difficult to commit the time, energy, and staff to ensure that the recall system is achieving results. 

But what if you could follow a simple three-step formula once and have a recall system that puts patients in the chair without putting more stress on your staff? And what if that simple three-step process didn't cost you a single penny? Now before you click the red X in the top right corner to close off this newsletter because you think this is all too good to be true, read on. You will be glad you did.

Elexity, which is known for its personalized patient reminder services, is now offering a completely free patient communication package for dental practices. And when I state completely free, I mean it. There’s no hardware you have to buy, no software to purchase and no costly support contracts to deal with. In about five minutes and three simple steps, you'll be on your way to reducing no-shows and cancellations, improving patient retention, increasing production and decreasing overhead.

Here’s how it works. Visit www.dentalsenders.com. The site will describe all the features of this complimentary service. In the top right-hand corner, click on, “Create a free account.” From there you will input basic information about your practice, including your name, address and email address. Just two more simple steps to complete and shortly thereafter you'll receive an email from DentalSenders.com that will give you the link to download this web-based patient communication service onto your office’s computer server.

The package offers many complimentary services. First is the Automated Appointment Confirmation system. This is an email/text messaging confirmation system that allows you to confirm patient appointments by notifying them through email or text messaging. The message is sent with your office email address and contact information, so patients recognize that it’s from you immediately. 

The fact is that most of your patients are using email and text messaging routinely, and would prefer that your office confirm appointments using these methods. It’s fast and efficient, and allows them to quickly indicate if they will be able to keep their scheduled appointment. The system also identifies those patients whose email addresses are not in your system. The next time you update routine patient contact information you simply collect the patients’ email addresses as well. 

The best part of DentalSenders.com is that there is no burden on your dental team. The program synchronizes with your practice management software to identify upcoming appointments. The email and text messages can be sent out four weeks, two weeks and two days in advance of the appointment. Your office is given a daily report as to which appointments have been confirmed and which will require additional follow-up. It’s fast, easy and efficient, which seems to me like a good way to reduce stress, improve your practice and just maybe put a little more money in your pocket.

Next week, reconnect with forgotten patients in three easy steps, of course.   

Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email her at sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com.
Interested in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club? Click Here.

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