Many dental offices today are experiencing an epidemic of hygiene cancellations and no-shows. The world has changed. If you are still using your old recall system then you run the risk of being painfully out of touch today. Here are what thriving practices are doing today to reduce hygiene cancellations and no-shows.
- Offer Lifetime Whitening Provide whitening gel to patients who keep their regular hygiene appointments. This is a wonderful incentive for patients to keep their appointments. A recent USA Today survey reported that 85% of the people surveyed wanted whiter teeth! By offering lifetime whitening as an incentive to keep their hygiene appointments you will have a fuller hygiene schedule and you’ll have the added benefit of the restorative and elective treatment that come as a result of greater patient interest in their teeth.
- Use Technology More patients today appreciate receiving appointment reminders via email or text message. There are a number of excellent systems that provide this service. Here are 4 systems. Get one!
- ID ‘At Risk’ Patients & Confirm Early Not all your patients are the same. So why use the same confirmation system for all patients? Identify your ‘at risk’ patients (by at risk, I mean at risk of not showing up) and start confirming these patients at least a week in advance of their appointments. They will either confirm or fall out of your schedule. If they confirm, then also remind them a day in advance of their appointment since they likely need the added reminder. If they fall out of the schedule, then you have an entire week to fill this appointment!
- Assign a Hygiene Scheduling ‘Champion’ One specific person should be responsible for keeping the hygiene schedule filled. Call this person your Hygiene Schedule Champion! This team member should own the task of keeping the hygiene schedule filled. Consider creating some economic incentives for achieving Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). For example, we provide an incentive to our Hygiene Scheduling Champion if we see a certain number of hygiene patients for the month. We provide an additional incentive if the percentage of unfilled hygiene appointments for the month is at 8% or under.
The world has changed. Applying the four tips in this blog post will help you refine your hygiene recall system to one that is in step with today’s times. Keeping your hygiene schedule full is vitally important for the simple reason that a full hygiene schedule leads to a full Dr. schedule! Keep Smiling!