Hygiene Department Falling Apart?
Dr. Brighton was hoping for "brighter" days ahead. His hygienists appeared to be "busy" front office ladies, but neither were focusing on the hygiene schedule at any given time. He had 6 days of hygiene a week, but wondered if he may need less. The practice pre-scheduled all recall patients into the future so the schedule looked full and productive, but was it really going to be that way when the time rolled around?
Number of Hygiene Days
Reports that are needed:
All dental software programs are capable of generating a recall report for patients that were due at a point in the past but never made an appointment. This report is the heartbeat of the Hygiene Coordinator, as this list keeps patients from “falling through the cracks.” Calling patients that are on the list, in order to fill the openings in hygiene, is the ONLY way of managing these openings. If it is left to chance that a patient will call and schedule the appointment that is available tomorrow morning, it probably will never happen.
How many patients need to be called for one opening? As many as it takes! Calling one or two and leaving messages on their cell phones is not sufficient. Even if these patients return the phone call, they may not be able to take the appointment that is open. When placing these calls, it is vital that the Hygiene Coordinator make a note in the computer notes section indicating that this call was placed to avoid duplicating her efforts.
Inactive Recall Patients
How to Implement
If Cathy answered the phone, Carol would then say, “Hi Cathy! This is Carol at Dr. Brighton’s office. He noticed that we failed to make an appointment for your professional cleaning and exam that was due last month. Do you prefer a morning or an afternoon?” It is important not to ask a question that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Should Cathy elect not to schedule, attempt to establish a time that you can call her again. “I understand, Cathy. It is a busy time for everyone right now. However, this is a very important appointment so I will call you again next month. Look forward to speaking with you then. Have a good day.”
Next, Carol will generate the past due recall report for 60 days past due and repeat the steps. This process continues until all the patients that are past due for the past 365 days have been contacted at least once.
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