Treatment Presentation Tips for 85% Acceptance
Do you have any idea what your treatment acceptance is? Do you monitor it and know what percentage of patients who are presented productive doctor appointments (not including deliveries, exams, etc.) are actually scheduled when they are presented by your Schedule Coordinator? My guess is no.
Maybe you generate a report from your practice management software that provides this information. My experience is that this report is not really accurate, as it assumes that “accepted” treatment is treatment marked as “accepted” – and how do you determine that it is accepted? Does it automatically include the entire treatment plan and not just the next visit? The best approach is to monitor what is scheduled when presented to the Schedule Coordinator. Did the patient schedule or did they not, and why? For those that do not schedule, this list can be used for follow-up, along with the Outstanding Treatment Plan Report or the Tickler File if you place treatment plans there.
Let’s assume that you ARE monitoring the percentage of patients that say “yes” to the Schedule Coordinator. What tools do you have in your toolbox to encourage your patients to say “yes” to their next visit? Here are some options:
1. Using your intraoral camera is the #1 technological tool you have, and it is often not used as much as it should be. Many times it’s because there is only one in the office and the hygienists and assistants don’t want to take the time to track it down and plug it in. Talk with your team and see if this is the case. Consider purchasing additional cameras and implement an office protocol: “I will not walk into your operatory unless you have an image on the monitor of something that has been treatment planned, something that you suspect needs to be treatment planned or if periodontal disease is being addressed, the periodontal chart. Give me something to work with!”
2. Laser-detecting cavity technology, especially if your practice is treating younger adults or children.
3. Using a digital camera to incorporate photos of your patients’ teeth. I am finding that many dentists prefer this opposed to intraoral photos, or at least a combination of both using the intraoral camera for more specific teeth. If you are using an older generation intraoral camera, your images will be sharper with a digital camera.
4. Animated dental related “apps” that are only seconds long and easy to understand. Imagine how impressed your patients will be when you, your assistant or your hygienist sit down chairside with a digital tablet and share a 15-second animated video on what is a crown, root canal, implant or periodontal disease, and then have a printed copy to give them so they can share it with someone at home. Draw on it to personalize it specifically for your patient.
5. Professional pamphlets that address specific treatment needs, and again, personalized by reviewing them with your patient.
6. Laser therapy for soft/hard tissue treatment of gums or teeth.
7. Cad cam technology for “same day” service.
8. Movie glasses that allow patients to choose which movie they would like to watch during long procedures.
9. Financial options and/or use of CareCredit financing for interest-free payments that will encourage your patients to say “yes”.
10. Dental chair cushions with memory foam to make long procedures comfortable.
11. A “Before and After” smile photo of one of your patients in each operatory so patients can see your beautiful artistry. Remember to get signed permission before using any photos.
12. Always seating the patient on time!
Many of these items you already offer to your patients, but do they know about them? Just as importantly, do you use these items to market your practice? An example would be having practice brochures professionally printed that clearly list the “perks” of your office. Everyone knows your office provides services such as professional cleanings, fillings, crowns, root canals, etc. Include these more “marketable” services or technology that may set you apart from other dentists in your area. Maybe you also offer oral conscious sedation, nitrous oxide, mercury removal, digital technology, etc. What about a refreshment area with coffee, tea and healthy snacks? In addition to a brochure, an updated website listing these details and incorporating them into your “key words” so your website is listed when a patient specifically searches for these items is a great marketing tool. Your Facebook page and other social media pages can also promote these services and comforts.
At your next team meeting, brainstorm with your team and make a list of all the “perks” of your office. Make sure all of your current patients are aware of what you have to offer, and get the word out to potential new patients that appreciate these services. Look for ways that you and your team can assist your patients in saying “yes” to their next appointment by confirming that they are aware of these services for their convenience, comfort and education. Patients purchase what they understand and feel they “want”, not necessarily what they always “need”. If that were the case, you would have no unscheduled treatment reports to generate!
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