Consistent Dental Hygiene Schedules Require Strong Patient Relationships
Consistent dental hygiene schedules require one main theme! Get to know your patients well! Then, you will be on your way to maintaining a consistently full dental hygiene schedule!
The importance of relationship building between the hygiene schedule coordinator and the patient is a critical first step. In building a relationship, the hygiene coordinator learns valuable facts and information about each patient that will definitely help secure a solid hygiene schedule.
Time is a precious commodity in our world. Use it wisely! Make the most of every conversation with each individual patient. Communication and conversation makes the dental world go round. All day, every day, the dental administrator is involved in conversation with patients. Take all that conversation to the next level and gather the information needed about each patient.
Trust, warmth, and authenticity are key factors. To see any of our technical skills actually produce the results we are striving for, its imperative to lay a foundation of trust with each individual patient. When we are speaking with them, its more important to listen, ask important questions that will help us to help them. People know when we are for real.
Consistent Dental Hygiene Schedules Mean We Must Get To Know Our Patients
How do they prefer to be contacted for appointment confirmation or schedule changes: We gather home phone numbers, cell phone numbers, work numbers, and email addresses.
Everyone has a different preference and their own way of doing what they do. Respect and honor the differences in people and ask how each patient would prefer to be contacted for appointment confirmations and any schedule changes.
One person might never check their voicemail messages, so leaving them a voicemail message is as good as nothing. Another person might have a cell phone but they only use it for emergencies (but they love to give the number out for some reason). If you have that cell phone number as a contact number listed for them, it is also useless.
Some patients have data restrictions & may not want email or text confirmations or messages. You may have a patient who has given you their work phone number but they cannot take calls at work unless it is an emergency.
Email addresses are great! But what if you only have work email address as a contact for a patient and they change jobs without updating their information.
Consistent Dental Hygiene Schedules Require We Know How To Best Reach Our Patients
Always have 2 points of contact for your patient: It is best to have 2 preferred methods of contact for your patient, and let them direct you. The first primary method of contact is where the patient can most likely be reached during the business day. The second point of contact would be how they would like to be contacted if they couldn’t be reached through their preferred primary method.
If you find you are having trouble reaching your patient and they are not responding to messages, texts, emails, or whatever method they have chosen, be honest and tell them you need to be able to reach them to confirm the appointment. Ask for their help and how they would like to have their appointments confirmed.
Consistent Dental Hygiene Schedules Require Great Patient Communication
Which of our patients can be moved forward to fill an open appointment that might have happened on short notice?
Wouldn’t it be nice to not feel panic when a hygiene appointment opens up at the last-minute. It happens. Cars break down unexpectedly. Work schedules change without warning. People get sick and so do their pets.
There are a whole lot of reasons people have for having to reschedule their hygiene appointments without the notice requested by the office.
Knowing which patients live or work near the office, have a flexible schedule, or no insurance limitations on frequency brings possibilities! As we are talking with patients and getting to know them, it is great to store some information in your brain about their schedules where they are actually located.
This is extremely helpful information when unexpected schedule changes occur. A quick glance ahead at scheduled hygiene appointments, might open up some ideas on who could be called and moved forward with a moment’s notice!
How Can This Information Be Obtained Through Natural Conversation?
Conversations must be normal and natural and not sound like information gathering sessions!
One of the easiest ways to learn these helpful pieces of information is when we are scheduling or rescheduling an appointment with a patient. This is a great time to ask if they would like to be contacted if an appointment opens up sooner and if their schedule is flexible.
Most of the time, patients will offer lots of information about their schedules and their lives and enjoy talking about themselves, if we are open and interested.
Consistent Dental Hygiene Schedules Require Strong Reschedule Management
Create a binder or folder for your call list. Or you could use an excel spreadsheet. Whatever works best for you and your practice.
It must be easily accessible. And easy to jump to the dates or times you need to fill. Managing this incredible tool is critical. Keeping it current and up to date cannot be stressed enough.
How Do We Manage Those Short Notice Reschedule Calls? Get Your Free Download Right Here!
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