This list is a potential gold mine and should be treated as such. These are the patients that have been to your practice and more likely than not, with some minor encouragement, will come back. You just have to ask them! Unfortunately, in a busy office, this is one of the practice building activities that fall off the list of priorities.
I have seen this happen in practice after practice, which is why when I started Virtual Dental Office I wanted to offer confirmation calls as a service. It seemed like a perfect solution for dental practices that didn’t have the manpower to attend to the continuing care list. I have since rethought that decision, and although we have seen a lot of success in getting patients scheduled, I have decided to discontinue that service. Not because it isn’t important, because it is! We stopped doing them because I don’t believe it is in the best interest of the patient or practice to outsource it.
Continuing care calls are a patient touch-point that should be used as a way to build the relationship. This is a perfect opportunity for someone from your dental office to talk directly with the patient. When a question comes up during the call there is someone from the practice on the line that knows them, their family, and their history.
So for an office that just doesn’t have time to do these calls, what are they to do? I am advising my clients to look at what else they can delegate that is behind the scenes. Let someone else take on things like marketing, insurance, compliance and coding/billing. This will free up time for your team to focus on the patients, including continuing care calls.
While it is always hard to turn away business, I believe that by focusing our services on dental insurance benefits and aging claims, we are able to help our clients provide the best patient experience.