Dental Office Tips and Ideas for December 2019

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for December 2019

Hello, Friends ~

December is the last month of your final quarter for 2019.

Winter Dental Marketing Ideas from Dental Coach Betty Hayden

What does December typically look like in your dental practice? Schedules jammed with patients trying to use their remaining dental insurance benefits before they expire? Patients breaking their appointments same-day because they’re too stressed out or financially strapped to think about going to the dentist? What about you and your employees – do you mentally check out thinking about your time off for the holidays? Or is it just another stress-free and perfectly productive month? Haha – you have months like that, right? 😉

Regardless of what December usually looks like in your office – take some time now to plan for how you will keep/get a full and productive schedule all month long without any extra stress.  I know that we can’t control the schedule 100% because well you know… life happens. However, we certainly can plan to end the year on a happy note.

I put together a few dental leadership, marketing, and management tips and ideas to help you do just that.

Marketing Tips & Ideas

Cookie Cutter Week: 1-7 – Purchase a variety of cookie cutters to individually package and seal with an office label that says: “Our Patients Are a CUT Above the Rest!” See more patient gift ideas here: Patient Appreciation Gift Ideas

betty hayden consulting dental office tips and ideas winter

Travel Toothbrush Bags – Many of your patients travel during the holidays – Surprise them with a small gift for their travels. Put together toothbrush bags that include a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste and a “what to do in a dental emergency” handout. You could also include other travel sized items such as lotion, Advil, lip balm, etc.

Community Involvement: Donations –  Open your office as a Drop-Off Location for donations of non-perishable food items or winter gear for families/individuals in need.

Oftentimes, local print & TV news will pick up these types of stories. (Especially around the holidays.)

Educational Opportunity: National 12-hour Fresh Breath Day: 12th –Create a few short videos for your social media platforms about the possible causes of bad breath as well as some tips and remedies to keep their breath smelling fresh.  

Practice Management Tips & Ideas

Incomplete Treatment:

Do you have any patients with incomplete treatment or ones that are due/past due in hygiene with remaining insurance benefits that will expire at the end of this year? Do what you can to help them see the need and value in scheduling an appointment this month. Some offices invite their patients to take advantage of “today only” special offers that they share via their social media sites, email blasts, and telephone calls.

Be alert to any patients that are coming in with the doctor or hygienist and have incomplete treatment or are due in hygiene. If the schedule allows, encourage them to take care of both at the same time. This means carefully reviewing all charts in advance of the appointment.

Homecare Products:

December is a great time for Special offers  on Electric Toothbrushes

Cosmetic Dentistry Opportunity:

Many of your patients will be attending holiday parties/events during the month of December. Typically with these special occasions come a lot of picture-taking. Now is a great time to help them see how they can easily get their smile ready for the camera with teeth whitening and other cosmetic treatment/procedures.

Gift Certificates:

Remember, Gift Certificates/Cards for Teeth Whitening or Dental Treatment should always be available for your patients to purchase as gifts for their loved ones.

Leadership Tips & Ideas 

michigan dental coach betty hayden leadership quotes

December is National Write a Business Plan Month – Plan now to make 2020 your Best Year Ever! Meet as a team to discuss marketing ideas, production, & collection goals, new patient goals, continuing education needs/wants, and office maintenance/repairs/remodel needs. Put your plans down on paper! Be sure to include a plan of action: The Who, What, Where, When & How’s!

Note: If you struggle with implementing your leadership, practice management & marketing goals – a dental coaching relationship may be the solution! Contact: Betty @bhaydenconsulting.gmail.com.

~ Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement ~

National Cookie Day: 4th

National Cotton Candy Day: 7th

Short Girl Appreciation Day: 21st (Shortest day of the year) 

National Thank you note day: 26th

Bacon Day: 30th

Sometimes despite your best efforts the schedule still falls apart. Don’t stress over it, instead use that downtime to do some training, team building, and/or office cleaning/organizing.

Did you enjoy these tips and ideas?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a minute to leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog. 

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

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Ten Simple Ways To Increase Teeth Whitening Acceptance In Your Dental Practice

Ten Simple Ways To Increase Teeth Whitening Acceptance In Your Dental Practice

Hello Friends,

Many of your patients are thinking about all the pictures that they will be smiling for at their end of the year office parties and family dinners. Help them get their smiles camera-ready with teeth whitening. Beautiful bright, white teeth for Winter.

Ever wonder why it is that some offices have a lot of success with teeth whitening sales and other offices not so much?

Here’s why… No whitening system sales or whitening goals will ever be reached or work if the entire team isn’t on board with it and consistently offering it. How do you do that?

Here are 10 Tips to Help Make Teeth Whitening a Successful Service in your Office…

how to increase teeth whitening acceptance in your dental office betty hayden

Step One: 

White Teeth for Doctor(s) and Team Members –
Complimentary whitening trays for each & every team member. They need to have a beautiful white smile and an experience to share with your patients.

Step Two:

GOALS –
Set a monthly whitening goal! Talk about daily goals at morning meetings. Consider offering a team bonus or incentive for every whitening case completed.

Step Three: 

In-office Messaging
In addition to being ENTHUSIASTIC when talking to your patients about the teeth whitening services you offer…Team members can wear buttons and/or have a nice 5×7 framed sign in each treatment room at the patient’s eye level offering teeth whitening…

Get a Whiter, Brighter Smile with
Teeth Whitening!

Whiten yellow teeth & virtually eliminate
tobacco, coffee & tea stains!
Ask us how

Step Four:

Scheduling –
When scheduling hygiene appointments over the phone include these powerful words:
Would you also like to whiten your teeth at this appointment?

Step Five:

Take a Shade –
Let your patient know that you’re going to start the appointment by taking a shade match of their current tooth color for your records. You can show them where they are on the shade guide. This very often leads your patient to ask you about teeth whitening and other cosmetic treatment options.

Step Six:

Listen to your patients –
What are they telling you about upcoming events in their lives? Wedding? Job Hunting? Recently Single? Holiday time? Special Events? Vacation? Class Reunion?
What a great time to ask if they would like to have a bright, white smile for their special event, job interview, etc.

Step Seven:

External Marketing –
Include offers for teeth whitening and patient teeth whitening success stories with your… Newsletters, Postcards, Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc) Website, and Blog Posts.
Step Eight:

Reviews/Testimonials

Videos – Video testimonials are a powerful marketing tool for your social media platforms.

Photos – Take excellent before and after teeth whitening pictures to share on your office social media pages.  Display before and after photos in your office so your patients that may be interested in teeth whitening can see real-life examples.

Online Reviews/Recommendations – Ask your patients to share their teeth whitening experiences on Google and Facebook.

Step Nine:

Use only the BEST teeth whitening products and techniques!
Quality matters. As does comfort! Make this appointment as comfortable & sensitivity-free as possible for your patients.
Step Ten:
Buy Sunglasses –
Because your office is going to be filled with such bright smiles, you’ll need to wear shades!

If that’s not enough for you and because I love you all so much here are

Five Bonus Tips!…

#1 – Offer a fun promotion in the community to local businesses. A drawing to win Free Take-home Teeth whitening trays to one or more people. Offer this at local salons, restaurants and schools.

#2 – BOGO Special Offer – Buy One, Get One 50% Off Teeth Whitening. This special offer increases your opportunity to bring in new patients.

#3 – Make it convenient for your patients to say yes. Your patients are busy, assure them that this appointment will be quick. It’s helpful for all your team members to be cross-trained to take impressions and make trays.

#4 – Teeth Whitening makes a Great Gift! Make gift giving easy for your patients by suggesting that teeth whitening makes the perfect gift! Have Gift Certificates ready for purchase. See Dental Gift Certificates

#5 – Tracking – Be sure to set up computer reminders to call, text, email or send a postcard to your patients that have purchased teeth whitening trays around the time when they will be due for a refill.

Did you enjoy these tips and ideas?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a second to leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

I’m confident that if each step is followed closely and consistently you will see success with your teeth whitening goals.

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

Dental Coach

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

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Dental Office Morning Huddle Agenda Tips and Ideas

Dental Office Morning Huddle Agenda Tips and Ideas

Hello Friends,

Morning Huddles – How does that make you feel when you read that? Do you ever feel like your attempt to conduct a daily morning huddle is just a big hassle? That the meetings are a waste of time? Or maybe you’re already conducting morning meetings and want to make them more effective, Please keep reading!

Today, I want to share with you some tips and suggestions that will help you have effective morning huddles and answer some questions that many of you have asked about morning huddles.

Dental Practice Morning Meeting Checklist Betty Hayden Consulting

Why should I have a morning huddle/meeting?

The morning meeting is essential for a successful day. If you tried in the past to have a morning huddle and it didn’t work out… try again! However, this time, please follow my tried and true suggestions & tips. Every dental office wants to produce more, collect more, stress less, have happy doctors and team members and consistently exceed patient expectations. Right? Well, effective morning huddles help to make those things a reality.

Remember this: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!

When should the morning huddle start? and How long should it last?

Twenty – twenty-five minutes before the first scheduled patient.   It should last no more than 10-15 minutes. Taking 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning to ensure the day starts off happy and productive is well worth it.

Who should attend the morning meeting?

Everyone. If scheduling prevents everyone from attending…at the very least the doctor(s), hygienist(s ), assistants and someone representing the administrative team. It is imperative for a team member to be assigned at every meeting to update the employee(s) not present of what was discussed/announced. No one should be left in the dark. This eliminates any “I didn’t know” or “no one told me!”

Who leads the huddle?

Rotate team members to conduct the meeting and make certain that everyone stays on point and that the meeting ends and starts on time (appoint a time-keeper)! Doctors (lead by example) be present at the start of the huddle and end each meeting on a positive note. Team members from each department can & should contribute what pertains to their particular department.

How do we prepare for the huddle?

Each employee should be assigned a task/responsibility for each huddle. For example, Hygienists should be checking their own charts/routing slips (checking for unscheduled treatment, are they due for: health history update, full perio charting, x-rays, etc. any family members due for appts, that the patient is due for today’s appt) at least the day prior and assistants check the charts for the doctors.

Your PMS may have a daily huddle report you can generate to show your production, collection, treatment plans, broken appts, etc. from the day prior and the appointment information you need to review for today.  If you’re not sure if it does or not, it’s definitely worth looking into as it will be a huge time-saver!

What do you talk about?

Focus on: Today, Tomorrow, and a little bit of yesterday 😉

START and END the meeting with something POSITIVE.  Review your office intention/vision for the day.

  • Ata-boy/gal minute – What did we do “right” yesterday? How did we go the extra mile for a patient? Did you notice any team member that did something nice for a patient or another team member? Did anything happen yesterday that could be improved upon or avoided in the future? If yes, How?
  • Today’s Appointments – have all patients been confirmed?
  • Lab Cases – have we double checked that all lab cases have arrived and are correct?
  • Holes – Can a hygiene patient in need of restorative slide over into the doctor’s chair? Is there anyone coming in with the doctor that is due in hygiene? If not, how will we remain productive during this downtime?  
  • Emergency time – Where can we put the “true emergencies”?
  • Potential trouble spots – Review schedule for any potential trouble/hiccups/hangups. Such as: doctor needed in multiple places at the same time, habitually late patient, copays that must be collected, difficult patient, etc. Do everything in your power to start, stay & end on time, exceed patient expectations and work together as a team for a smooth & happy day.
  • New Patients / Referral Sources – Who are our new patients today and how did they hear about our office? Everyone be ready to warmly greet all patients but be sure to introduce yourselves to all new patients. Thank them for coming in.
  • Pre-op calls – Any new patients coming in tomorrow or the next day that the provider can call and welcome?
  • Same day services – Identify any patients that would benefit from same day services (fluoride, X-rays, sealants, desensitizing agents, whitening, mouthguards, better home care tools/products, etc.)
  • Post-op calls – Did we call yesterday’s patients to check in on them? Preferably the doctor and hygienist should make their own calls. (Who do you call? All new patients and any patients that had anesthetic, extraction, or perio treatment. Also, any patients that may have been fearful.
  • Social Media – Who will help with that today? Ask patients to like the office (or check-in) on Facebook, follow on Twitter & Instagram. So many reasons throughout the day to post to your social media sites, such as: a patient brings in a treat, to welcome a new patient to the office, a child joined your kid’s club/team, celebrate a beautiful cosmetic restoration/teeth whitening, team members having fun or being silly, etc.
  • Testimonials/Reviews – Who is a candidate for providing a testimonial/review/recommendation? Be alert throughout the day to ask for testimonials/reviews. Especially when a patient compliments the office on something… ask for a written or online testimonial. Take their picture (with permission) to post on your social media sites/website. NOTE: If a patient that is coming in for today has previously filled out an online survey be sure to review it. If they had a problem make certain it’s not repeated and if it was praise be sure to thank the team and the patient!
  • Goals – Look at Production, Scheduling & Collection goals vs actual for yesterday, today and tomorrow. Reminder to collect all co-pays at the time of appointment!!
  • Open Chair Time – Total Open Chair Time Hours for Yesterday and Tomorrow
  • Broken Appointments – How many same-day cancellations and missed appointments were there for yesterday? How many were rescheduled?
  • Treatment plans and Unscheduled Treatment –  Remember, offer the very best treatment options to your patients, let’s not “watch” or “wait until next visit” chances are it will only worsen. Give every patient the opportunity to say yes or no to your very best care. Were there any patients that came in yesterday that we treatment planned and they did not schedule an appointment? WHY? / Unscheduled Treatment – anyone coming in today with already diagnosed treatment that is unscheduled? Who & How will we reintroduce treatment to the patient(s)?
  • Conclusion – End the meeting on a positive note. Tell a funny joke, read a positive quote and/or thank your team. Watch a quick motivational, educational or funny video clip. This meeting sets the tone for the day… Make it a happy one! Let’s go change someone’s life or at the very least help them smile bigger and healthier!

Here are a few additional tips for a successful morning huddle:

Come prepared! Have ready copies of the schedule (today and tomorrow). Charts/treatment should be reviewed (by the provider/assistant) the day prior to the huddle. Be sure to have available your collection, scheduling and production goals for today and tomorrow and yesterday’s results.

  • Stand for the meeting. This helps to keep the huddle on time and hold everyone’s attention.
  • Maintain a positive attitude regarding the importance of DAILY morning meetings.
  • Use a check-list! This will help you stay on time and cover all points.
  • FOOD! Every once in a while surprise the team with bagels, donuts, coffee, muffins, etc. 

I strongly encourage you to implement daily morning huddles, simply because I know that they’re effective and I want all of you to have happier, more productive and stress-free work days!

If you already conduct morning huddles, way to go! Feel free to share with me any of your tips for successful morning huddles.

Should you need any help implementing these ideas or have any other questions that I can help you answer…I’m ready to help.

If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave me a review/recommendation on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Huddle Up and Have a Great Day!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest

Betty Hayden Consulting Dental Coach

 

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How to Increase Dental Office Collections

How to Increase Dental Office Collections

Hello Friends,

Fear of cost moves many people to put off visiting the dentist or to cancel their appointments for scheduled treatment. Fear of presenting fees causes many team members to dread or avoid presenting treatment plans/financial expectations and asking for payment. These fears do not help the patient or the office.

I know this is true because as I coach dental office teams, during my in-office visits we quickly discover that in most cases solid collection protocols are lacking.

Would you like to see more patients not only accept treatment but pay for it before or at the time of service?  Would you like to see an increase in production and office collections?  Would you like to decrease the amount of time and money being spent on making collection calls and sending patient statements/letters? Great news, I can help you!

how to collect dental patient copays betty hayden dental coach

Today, I’ll share with you a few tips to help make that happen.

  1. See the true value of dentistry – With each day and each patient you and your team have the privilege and opportunity to potentially change someone’s life or at the very least, help them smile healthier. A healthy smile is part of a healthy body, healthy smiles and bodies create healthy communities.  The entire team must believe this. The entire team must also wholly believe that you’re providing the best quality care. Having full confidence in the doctors and hygienists’ ability to provide quality care and to create beautiful and healthy smiles is a must. Give every patient the opportunity to say yes or no to your very best care!
  2. Be confident with fees The entire team should role play presenting small and large treatment plans and financial arrangements until everyone is comfortable saying the dollar amounts out loud and with pride.
  3. Financial policy Have a written financial policy that is kindly reviewed with the patient at their first appt. Have them sign and take a copy with them. For your existing patients, review with them any changes to your financial policies, have them sign and give them a copy to take home.
  4. Avoid assumptions and judgment Don’t make decisions for the patient as to whether they can afford the treatment based on your assumptions or reality. Remember this, Sympathy vs Empathy: Sympathy is feeling for the patient… deciding for them that they can’t afford the dental care, Empathy is feeling with the patient… yes, this is more than they were wanting to pay, however, you’re going to give them hope… you’re going to offer third-party financing, break up the treatment plan if possible or allow them to make payments as a credit until they have enough money to get started with treatment. Always offer the best treatment and flexible payment options and allow the patient to decide what they want to accept or not.
  5. No surprises! – Present treatment plan and financial portion before treatment is started. Make sure your numbers are as accurate as possible, especially when estimating the insurance portion. If you accept their insurance, have up to date eligibility, a breakdown of benefits and the insurance fee schedule on file for the patient.
  6. Payment due before or on the day of service No billing the patient for co-pays or payment for services. (Hint: Collecting prior to appt. will reduce cancellations and no-shows. Another Hint: Collect co-pay before the patient goes back for treatment, especially if they’re having a lengthy or difficult appt. No one wants to stand at the front desk fumbling for money or to write a check with gauze hanging out of their mouth after an extraction, or numb and exhausted after a long appt. Make it more comfortable for them by collecting their payment and making any necessary follow up appts before they go back.)
  7. Make it easy for them to pay In addition to accepting cash, check and charge cards, offer third-party financing. Avoid in-office payment plans!
  8. Incentives Offer incentives for patients to pay when they make the reservation.
  9. Dealing with forgetful patients When a patient says they forgot to bring money…they can either call the payment in over the phone when they get home or give them an envelope with payment due date for them to mail in a check. Call the patient if payment isn’t received by the due date.
  10. When Insurance is involved – Always give the full treatment fee, the estimated insurance amount and the patient’s estimated co-pay that is due today. Let the patient know you’ll send in the claim and inform them if anything changes with the estimated insurance portion. Watch your insurance aging report closely. Promptly follow up on any unpaid claims, insurance rejections, and requests for add’l information.

There you have it, 10 tips to successfully collect payment before or at time of service.

Once you make a plan to consistently collect payments before or at time of service and hold your team accountable to follow through with that plan, you’ll wish you started it sooner.

Here are a few more tips to help make this a true success for you.

  • Daily, Weekly and Monthly, monitor your patient and insurance accounts receivables, collection and credit reports.  (Carefully review write-off’s, discounts, credits, charges, and payments.)
  • Each day, look at the day prior, what were your total production charges & collections? Pay close attention to the total patient responsibility vs patient payments, these numbers should be close to the same. If not, why not?
  • ALWAYS send out clean insurance claims! If your administrative team needs any training in this ever-changing insurance world with how to estimate co-pays, send out claims (daily), post insurance payments and adjustments…get them the proper training asap!
  • Don’t assume… know by who, when, what and how your money is being handled. It’s important for the entire team to understand why this information is necessary.
  • Set goals, share with your team what your production and collection goals are and how it benefits them to all work together as a team to reach or exceed these goals. Consider offering a small bonus or incentive when these goals are reached.

Print out these tips and suggestions and review them at your next team meeting.

If you appreciated these complimentary ideas I  would love for you to please leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

Please follow and like us:
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