A good dental recall systems is one of the most important parts of your practice. Without a good system in place, you risk losing the opportunity for patients to schedule important follow-up appointments after they leave your practice.
What does a good recall system look like today? As technology changes, it’s becoming more and more difficult to get in touch with patients.
Traditional systems usually rely on your front desk staff to set up hygiene appointments six months from the day the patients visits your office. While this system works if patients know their schedule six months in advance and want to plan this far ahead, you’re left in a bind if patients aren’t willing to schedule their next appointment before they leave.
Patients in this situation usually ask to be contacted with a postcard reminder or phone call to schedule their next appointment. However, both of these practices take time out of your staff’s busy day, and add extra expense for your practice. In addition, a small percentage of the patients you follow up with by phone will actually schedule their next appointment. So calling patients turns into a time-consuming, expensive, and low-return task.
One key to getting patients in the door? Making sure that patients understand how scheduling their next appointment benefits them. As a dentist, you know that regular dental hygiene and preventive care are better for your patients than emergency care. But for your patients, going to the dentist is often perceived as a headache. It’s your job to bridge this gap and help them understand why showing up for their next appointment benefits them.
Another key? A cloud-based recall system. Once your patient walks out the door, this is usually the best way to ensure that they walk back in. Before leaving your office, patients can choose whether they would like to be reminded to schedule by an email, text, or robocall. It’s more efficient than traditional calls, so your staff will save time, and you’ll get more people back in the door. Automation also makes rescheduling easy, and your staff will know earlier rather than later if there’s been a cancellation, giving them time to confirm another appointment and fill that empty slot.
Finally, a HIPAA-compliant system means that your communications can address your patient's’ specific needs and concerns. No more bland postcards with generic messages - you’ll finally be able to address your patient's’ specific dental needs. They’ll be more likely to schedule an appointment since they understand its value for them, and you’ll increase patient satisfaction by showing you care about them and their specific dental needs.
For many dentists, shifting to a cloud-based system may seem unnecessary. Why fix what doesn’t appear to be broken?
However, this mindset will quickly put you behind the curve as other practices make the plunge and increase their efficiency. And by adopting a new tech-savvy system, you’ll increase your efficiency, improve your patient experience, and maximize the time you can spend seeing patients.
Finding a platform that works for you can be challenging. Use our Ultimate Guide to Evaluating Dental Communication Platforms to find a platform that’s right for your practice.