Identifying Active Dental Patients Is Important
Identifying active dental patients begins by looking at their last appointment in the office. And I go back 18 months. I believe anyone who has been seen in the last 18 months is an active dental patient. Some consultants and dentists will debate the time period. And they want to count everyone seen in the last 24 months. But keep in mind, that means an increase in the number of team members needed. Especially hygienists. So we want to be careful not to inflate this number. Or you may end up with open hygiene time that you just can’t seem to fill.
Not all active patients are hygiene patients. In a general practice, some of our patients see periodontists for all their hygiene needs. And we might see these patients just for exams and restorative care. Maybe whitening procedures even or help with bite issues. So, it’s not just our patients in our hygiene programs that we count here.
Stick with whatever guidelines you set. Whatever that looks like. If you decide you want to use 24 months or 12 months as your guide, stick with it. And let’s take a look at how to best calculate those numbers and when you want to look at them.
Identifying Active Dental Patients Through Hygiene Reactivation
Follow my Weekly Management Systems to help inactivate patients. If you consistently work unscheduled hygiene patients each week, this will be easy. Because you will identify all patients who have not scheduled in 18 months. So you can then inactivate their accounts. Clear out their continuing care settings. Remove their insurance and employer info. And you want to track how many patients you do inactivate each month. Your dentist should see their names and just who has not scheduled.
Try to calculate hygiene patients separately. If at all possible, it’s great to know just how many active hygiene patients you have. Check with your software support if necessary. But to be able to determine how many hygiene hours you need each week, this is critical. If it seems the hygiene schedule is over booked or you can’t fill time, you will need these patient numbers.
Active Restorative Patients
Let’s not forget patients who are not in our hygiene program. We do have those who see periodontists. And I’ve even seen patients who come in for an emergency or even major treatment pretty regularly. But their hygiene needs are met somewhere else. Or not at all. And then of course, we have some denture patients too.
Inactivate emergency patients. Especially if you have someone who is visiting out of town. Maybe they had a crown fall off or something else that needed immediate attention. But they have a regular dentist. And you are not it. They do not count as an active patient. And it’s a good idea to inactivate that account.
Then inactivate all patients who have not had an exam in 18 months. Clear out their information and keep track of these patients too. Be sure to add them to your list of inactivated charts for the month and to the numbers for your dentist each month.
Maybe you can calculate this number separately from your active hygiene patients. If not, just run with one grand total. The important thing is to be able to come up with a total. And it’s a number you want to watch each month. Because the team needs to know if the practice is growing or going in a different direction.
Identifying Active Dental Patients When It’s Been Awhile
Identifying active dental patients is difficult if you don’t keep up! It’s a very time consuming project. And many dentists don’t like to put the time and effort into getting to it. But it’s so important. This practice keeps your database clean. And also allows you to make better business decisions. Rather than guessing at what you need. You can make decisions on what is really going on.
Print one report a week. If you are trying to catch up. Maybe run all active patients that have a last name beginning with the letter “A” one week. And just work through that. Cleaning out any old accounts and charts. Inactivating and clearing information as you go along. But all the while, continue to work through regular maintenance. Like my hygiene reactivation. And you will get there! Promise!
Get Help With Hygiene Reactivation
I can’t say enough good things about using this particular automated communication system! If you could use a little more help, take a look at this company. I just love how each individual practice can customize what they need as far as frequency and types of communication used! Schedule your FREE demo today!