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4.11.08 Issue #318 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Whatever Happened to …?
Fast and Easy Patient Recovery
by Sally McKenzie CEO
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It’s one of those awkward moments. There you are in a restaurant with your spouse, eating dinner, when you spot one of your patients with her two children dining across from you. You start racking your brain trying to remember the last time you saw her in your office—the oldest child, well, he must be ready for sealants by now!

Before you can sort out the particulars in your mind, the patient recognizes you and gives an embarrassed, “Hello doctor, how are you?” In that instant, you realize it’s been well over a year since she’s been into the practice. Although you wouldn’t dare ask why it’s been so long for fear she’d tell you something you don’t want to hear, she proceeds to explain how busy she’s been with the two little ones and working full-time. Yes, she knows she needs to see you because it’s been, well, like forever since her last cleaning. And she needs to get the kids in. It’s just that she usually thinks about scheduling an appointment sometime around 3 a.m.

And that is often how patients and whole families slip away. It’s not some major mistake your practice has made or terrible experience the patient has had. Most of the time it’s just that other priorities take over and going to the dentist becomes an afterthought for patients. You are out of sight and out of mind. When the patient finally does get around to making the call, it is weeks before they can get an appointment. So they eventually decide to take their dental needs elsewhere.

But what if your office could identify daily which patients had not been in to the practice for the last 12 months and could promptly contact them? And what if it didn’t cost a single moment of your time or a penny of your revenues? You’d say, “Sally’s been enjoying too much of the California sun these days, and she’s lost her grip on reality.” But let me assure you, this is very real and is available to virtually every practicing dentist with a computer.

Elexity, which is known for its patient communication systems, recently announced that its patient communication package, DentalSenders.com, will be available absolutely free beginning May 1. Purchasing a similar package would cost more than $4,000 annually.

One of the key features of this package is a patient reactivation component. Each day, the system reads your practice management software and determines which patients have not been in the office for the past year. People identified as patients that you would like to retain in your practice are sent friendly personalized email reminders encouraging them to call the office to schedule an appointment. From there, DentalSenders.com works with your practice management software and takes care of the details. There is no drain on staff resources and no drain on dollars. All you do is register for the service.

What’s more, practices can also register for annual communication campaigns to ensure that they stay in touch with patients between appointments. Through educational newsletters that are sent periodically, patients better understand the importance of keeping appointments, maintaining excellent oral health and the true value of pursuing quality dental care.

Visit www.DentalSenders.com and check it out. You have absolutely nothing to lose. It won’t cost you a penny. There’s no staff time required and no contracts to sign. If you decide the service isn’t for your practice you can cancel at any time. But I’m confident you will find this to be a very helpful instrument in your total patient communication and retention tool box.

And the next time you run into Mrs. Patient at the restaurant, you can ask her how she liked your most recent e-mail newsletter rather than why she hasn’t been in to see you in the last year.

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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