October is National Dental Hygiene Month – This is the time of the year where we celebrate the work our awesome dental hygienists do (which is way more than just “clean teeth”), and we help raise awareness on the importance of good oral health.
Hygienist Appreciation Spotlight
During the month of October introduce your hygienist(s) on your social media platforms. Share a photo and some fun facts.
Celebrate your amazing hygienists all month long (they deserve it!).
The Daily 4 – Talk to your patients about the importance of practicing The Daily 4
Four steps that lead to a healthy smile:
Brush: Using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste – Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day.
Floss: Floss between your teeth once a day to remove plaque that brushing your teeth fails to remove.
Rinse: Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash helps to reach the bacteria that brushing, and flossing cannot.
Chew: Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal will help produce saliva, which fights cavities, neutralizes plaque, strengthens enamel, and cleans food debri from teeth.
Social Media Post Content Ideas to Boost Engagement During October
All month-long share posts and short videos on your social media platforms regarding the importance of regular preventive dental visits to the dentist.
Video Topic Ideas:
Proper Brushing Techniques
How to Floss
Benefits of Sealants
How to choose toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.
Good Snacks Bad Snacks
How Fluoride treatments benefit children and adults!
What do to about bad breath
World Smile Day: 1st – Invite your patients to share pictures of themselves, their family, and/or their pets smiling on your Facebook page to be entered into a drawing to win a prize. Goal: fill FB newsfeed with happy smiles!
Photo Backdrop & Smiley Props – Set up a photo area for your team and patients to take pictures to celebrate world smile day. Share to Google My Business, Facebook, and Instagram
Kids’ Goal Setting Week: 3rd – 9th – Share ideas for dental hygiene goals for children. For example, for your young patients, design a hand-out that includes a toothbrushing chart to track their daily brushing progress. You could even have a fun gift that they can enter to win by turning in their completed brushing chart to the office at the end of the month.
Ideas of Special Offers during the month of October
Complimentary Adult Fluoride Treatments
Free Electric Toothbrush for your New Patients seen in Hygiene
Gift Of Health Certificates (for your patients to share with a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or family member.)
Hygiene Department Management Tips & Ideas
Hygiene Re-Appointments – The best way to keep your patients active is to be sure to reappoint them for their next hygiene continuing care visit when they are there at the office and still in the treatment room.
Also, help more of your patients say yes to your treatment recommendations and have them reserve their appointment at the time treatment is diagnosed and presented to them.
You should be tracking both your pre-appointments and your re-appointments. This is important if you want to reduce patient attrition and reduce the amount of money and time spent trying to reach these patients later on down the road.
If you enjoy the dental leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas that I share each month – I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a second and share a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK Thank you very much!!!
Wishing you all a wonderful dental hygiene month!
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Where are your dental patients? Have they been reappointed to come back for another visit? Or have they been left unscheduled? Whether or schedule is light or jammed packed with patients the answers to these questions matter greatly to the success of your practice.
Friends, do you know how many of your active patients are scheduled for a future visit and how many are unscheduled? You need to know where you’re at currently to know what your potential for growth is. To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities.
Why is this so important? Because when your patients are healthy – your practice is healthy. For your patients to smile healthy they need to schedule the treatment you’ve diagnosed and to come in regularly for their hygiene continuing care appointments.
Are you struggling with any of the following?
Low treatment plan acceptance from your patients.
The schedule is so full that you have no available appointments for several months.
Not knowing your active and inactive patient numbers.
Hygiene continuing care reports are a nightmare.
Too many holes in the schedule.
Poor treatment presentation skills.
Too many patients left the practice and you don’t know why.
Not enough time to keep your office social media sites current.
Very few patient reviews and recommendations on Google and Facebook
Plan now to end 2021 as your BEST year yet! Get whatever help and training you need and want to make the necessary improvements. Feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.
Today, I’d like to help you tackle one of those struggles… your inactive and unscheduled patients. Let’s reactivate all of your patients that haven’t been in for one year or longer and schedule your active patients that are currently unscheduled.
What is your plan and system for reactivating and reappointing your patients…. (attack that File Cabinet…or computer patient database!)
Ideally, daily, weekly, and monthly efforts should be made to develop and maintain relationships with your patients in order to keep them active. This is true even when you’re so busy you have no time to reach out to your unscheduled patients and/or no available appointments. Why?
The best way to keep your patients active is to be sure to reappoint them for their next hygiene continuing care visit when they are there at the office. Also, help more of your patients say yes to your treatment recommendations and have them reserve their appointment at the time treatment is diagnosed and presented to them. You should be tracking both your pre-appointments and your re-appointments. This is important if you want to reduce patient attrition and reduce the amount of money and time spent trying to reach these patients later on down the road.
Control the Schedule – Same-day cancelations attempts and broken appointments must be handled effectively. The goal is to greatly reduce the number of same-day schedule changes and for the appointments that you can’t save be sure to reschedule them while the patient is still on the phone. (Unless of course, they’re a habitual offender!) See more tips here: How to Reduce Same Day Dental Appointment Cancellations and No Shows
However, if for whatever reason your inactive patient database is growing (you are tracking this, right?) – take steps now to welcome those patients back into the schedule. You can start by reaching out to them with a We Miss You reactivation letter and email.
If you would like a sample letter that you can customize to your practice for your patients – feel free to request one at email@example.com.
Some suggestions for your letter are:
Include a deadline to respond.
Use a handwritten colored envelope (Grab their attention!).
Include Special Call to Action Offer
Make a call to the patients about a week after mailing the letter.
Be sure to document all attempts at contacting the patient and the response in your practice management software.
Include Social Media & Office Contact Information.
I hope that these tips and ideas are helpful to you.
I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK. Thank you very much!!
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Are same-day broken appointments stressing you out? You leave the office at the end of the day with a beautiful, full schedule for the next day and arrive back at the office in the morning only to have the schedules fall apart at the last minute. Ugh! If this ever happens to you I know how frustrating that can be. Not to mention, it kills production.
In this article, you will find several ways to greatly reduce last-minute schedule changes. I am certain that if you follow each step, you will stress less, make more money, help more patients, and have more fun. Please print it out and share it with everyone on the team. We need everyone in the office following the same protocol/system for you to be successful. Consider reviewing this at your next huddle or team meeting.
Tips and Ideas to reduce last-minute cancellations and no shows:
Consistently Be Great! – Do everything to ensure that each and every patient has a great experience during their appointments. Give them something good to talk about and a reason to keep coming back!
STOP moving appts around! A sure-fire way to aggravate patients, cause them to disrespect your time and the schedule, or for them to think you don’t know what you’re doing is by moving their appointment times. Unless, of course, they have asked to be on your Priority List. Calling patients to come in early, come in late, or come in on a different day is annoying and I promise you it is hurting your schedule and production. I can’t emphasize this enough – Respect their time and they’ll respect yours.
Appointment Reminder Systems – Ensure that you have an effective interval set up to remind patients of their appointments and that your message is helping not hurting the practice. For example, Don’t say “Calling to confirm” – it should be “We’re looking forward to seeing you on ____ at ____. OR ____ is looking forward to seeing you…” When is the last time you reviewed your electronic appointment reminder messages and intervals and your appointment confirmation protocol?
Unconfirmed Appointments – If it is 1 day before the appointment and you have a patient or patients’ that haven’t responded to your appointment reminders, you must pick up the phone and call the patient(s). You shouldn’t be able to look at the day’s schedule during your morning huddle and see unconfirmed appts.
Cancels – Using the word cancel or cancellation sends a poor message to your patients. It tells them that cancellations happen and are expected. We don’t want that. You can say ”this doesn’t happen very often but if for some reason you need to change your reservation with ___, we ask that you please provide us with at least 48 hours notice.”
Stay on Time – See your patients at their appointment time. This means they should be seated in the treatment chair on or before their appt time. Avoid running behind schedule. (Tip: Make sure you are allowing enough time on the schedule for each procedure/appt type.)
Appointments ASAP – If a patient calls (especially a New Patient) to schedule an appointment and they can’t get in for 2 or more weeks you are at risk of that patient calling somewhere else to get an appointment sooner or other life’s distractions and priorities getting in their way moving them to cancel last-minute or no-show. If your schedules are so full that patients are having to wait to get in they might feel like you’re too busy for them or that their dental care needs are not important. If you do not have an immediate opening let the patient know that you’ll place them on your priority list and while it doesn’t happen very often if there is an unexpected change to the schedule and you can see them sooner they’ll be the first to know.
Doctors, if you’re struggling to reach your practice goals or that there is too much chaos in your practice– feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute telephone consultation at email@example.com to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.
New Patients– Don’t rely on electronic reminders for your new patients. Instead, call and let them know you’re looking forward to meeting them and briefly share with them what to expect during their first visit.
Bad Appointment History – If a patient has a history of not showing up or canceling last minute, please don’t schedule any future appointments for them. However, if you find there are some patients on the schedule with a bad history (more than 2 or more broken appts)…call them at least 2 days in advance of appt. “Hello, this is ____ from ____. I am calling regarding your appointment on ____ at _____. I need you to please return my call by____ at ____. If I don’t hear back from you by that time we will assume you’ve changed your mind and will cancel your reservation.” This will you give you time to fill that appointment time with a different patient.
Treatment Plans and Financial Arrangements – Every patient that has an appt. scheduled with the doctor for treatment must have a copy of their treatment plan AND a financial agreement before the appt. Ideally, each patient should receive a copy of the treatment plan and a financial agreement at the time of diagnosis. DON’T ASSUME that the patient is OK with their financial responsibility simply because you gave them a copy of their treatment plan and they didn’t question the cost. What often happens is they say OK and schedule and then will no-show or cancel at the last minute. OR they come in for the appt. not prepared to pay their portion.
Regarding their financial responsibility – put their co-payment amount in the appt notes so that you remember to remind them to bring it in w/them.
Many patients will not tell you they can’t afford the treatment. MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM TO SAY YES by HELPING THEM FIND A WAY TO WORK IT INTO THEIR BUDGET. The total investment is ____ and we can do it for as little as ___ per month using our partner Care Credit. Have them apply for CC while they are there in the office.
Hygiene Patients – Schedule their next 3, 4, 6-month appt when they are at the office. Preferably, the hygienist should always schedule the next appointment from the treatment room. Take a second to stress to the patient how important this appointment is and what you’ll be looking for at their next appt. (It’s not just a cleaning and there is a reason for the recommended appt interval.)
Scheduling Appointment – When scheduling appointments for your patients let them know that this time is being reserved exclusively for them. Also, consider having patients pay their co-pay or leave a deposit at the time of scheduling. Especially, if you’re reserving more than an hour on the doctor’s schedule.
VALUE – Walk-Out Statement – Consider itemizing the hygiene appt walk-out statement to include the no-charge services… ie: Oral Cancer Screening, Nutrition Counseling, Oral Hygiene Instructions, Etc. Be sure to ALWAYS give the full fee for that day even if they have “100 %” coverage with their insurance. They need to hear the actual dollar amount for each visit. Helps to put more value on the appt.
No-Shows / Late Arrivals – Always acknowledge your no-show/late patients with a call 3-5 minutes past their appt. time. If you get a voice mail – let the patient know you’re concerned because they missed their reservation. If the patient doesn’t reschedule or if they don’t return your call. Send them a kind letter reminding them they were missed and what your office appointment guidelines are for changing appts. The assistant or hygienist should be making these calls 3 – 5 minutes past the appt time. If they can’t make the call right away they are responsible for having someone from the front office make the call for them. Be sure to document the action/ response.
Telephone – The dreaded telephone calls for same-day cancellation attempts from your patients. They can destroy a perfect schedule in a matter of minutes. Stay in control of your schedules. Create a system for how to care and respond to same-day cancellation attempts. Cancellations are not OK. Work together as a team to come up with scripting that works for your office. Think of all the different scenarios and reasons patients call to cancel (cost, illness, work, no babysitter, schedule conflicts, etc.) and role-play the best responses. Your goal should be, if appropriate, to respectfully help the patient find a way to keep the appointment as scheduled without threatening or embarrassing them.
If you currently leave it up to the patient to call back and reschedule you are not only creating more work for yourself but you’re putting the office at risk of losing that patient due to inactivity. Reschedule/reappoint the patient while you have them on the phone.
Whatever you do and no matter how desperate you are to fill the schedule DO NOT REAPPOINT habitual offenders! You should never be able to look at the schedule and point out who will most likely cancel or no-show.I’m sure that’s never happened in your office, right? 😉
Sending you wishes for a full and productive schedule… one that doesn’t fall apart!
Friends, if you do not know what your office’s broken appointment and reappointment numbers and percentages look like, including how many of your active patients are unscheduled, and many other important key practice indicators; please take note of what those numbers look like and what systems you have in place to track these patients. You need to know where you’re at currently to know how to best care for your patients and what your potential for growth is. To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities. I am happy to assist you with this at no charge.
I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK. Thank you!!
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.
As we prepare to welcome the start of your second quarter for the year it is my goal to help you exceed your current and potential patients’ expectations, exceed your team’s expectations, gain more new patients, engage with the community, and strengthen your office systems during the month of April.
Remember that it is just as important, if not most important to consistently exceed your employees’ expectations. We all need a work environment and culture that refreshes us instead of being a drag and a drain on us.
Spring Dental Practice Management Tips & Ideas for April 2021
Spring Clean your Online Presence – Friends, please take some time now to examine your website, social media pages, and Google listing. Make sure that your office information is up-to-date, current content and photos. Check the bios, office hours, services, special offers, page links, etc. If you haven’t brought your Google business listing up to date or have yet to claim it – please do so.
Hygiene Continuing Care Reminders – Reach out to your unscheduled hygiene patients.
April 18th -24th is Cleaning for A Reason Week. Turn this into a “it’s time(past-time) for your spring dental health cleaning, examination, and oral cancer screening appointment” reminder.
Friends, do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? Do you know how many new patients you are welcoming into the practice AND how many patients you’re losing each month? To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities. I am happy to assist you with this at no charge and with absolutely no obligation to do anything further with me.
“A team that works, learns, and PLAYS together stays together.”
National Fun at Work Day: 1st – Have a silly theme for this day. (For example, Crazy hair, luau, silly socks, decades day, etc. Take and Share pictures on Facebook and Instagram)
National Dental Hygienists Week: 4th – 10th (note: this is for my Canadian friends)
Administrative Professionals Day: 21st – Celebrate your hard-working front office team!
Doctors, if you’re struggling to reach your practice goals – feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute telephone consultation at email@example.com to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.
Also, April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month ~ An excellent opportunity for you to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection to save lives. Visit here for some tips and ideas: Oral Cancer Awareness Tips & Ideas
It always brightens my day to hear from you! If you appreciated these complimentary ideas I would love for you to please take a minute to leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK. Thank you!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.