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 make 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, it’s imperative to lay a foundation of trust with each individual patient. When we are speaking with them, it’s 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. 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, talk with them as soon as you can. Let them know you must be able to confirm their appointments. 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 We Best Gather This Information?
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 a patient if they are available to move their appointment. Some people prefer to leave their appointments as they are. Other patients might be more flexible. Ask if they would like a sooner appointment if a change occurs.
Most of the time, patients will offer lots of information about their schedules and their lives. People enjoy talking about themselves if we are open and interested.
Consistent Dental Hygiene Schedules Require Strong Reschedule Management
Short notice call lists are extremely important!
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. Keep it current and up to date. Accuracy saves time and energy!
How Do We Manage Those Short Notice Reschedule Calls? Get Your Free Download Right Here!
How to Handle Short Notice Reschedules