Dental New Patient Tracking Is So Powerful!
Dental new patient tracking is a system to record new patient calls. And also to record new patients who schedule appointments. This is the second step to increase new patient numbers in your dental practice. Once you have set your daily new patient goal (step 1), tracking is next. Don’t skip this step.
A haphazard approach to anything we do, brings haphazard results. Focus and intent bring the results we desire. Its’ really just that simple. Implement the steps I outline completely. Skip a step, and you won’t see the results you want.
The dental front office team can better monitor effectiveness with tracking systems. The dentist and practice manager can better support the front office with more training and staffing as needed. When you don’t have the numbers to give you accurate insight, bad decisions are made. Bad decisions will continue to bring poor results.
Download Your Tracking Template
What do you need to track? The template I have for you is just a basic form. It has a column for the date. And then a column for then number of new patient calls. Followed by a column for the number of patients scheduled. It’s a very simple form, and you can certainly expand on it.
If you follow this form, use a simple line ” l ” to mark a new patient call. Then do the same for the patient when they schedule. This way, you can easily track the new patient calls as they ring in. And to add a little more weight to this form, you can add a line for the caller’s name. Or you could keep a running list of names of people who call in and who schedule. My thought is always to keep tracing as simple as possible.
Don’t worry about tracking the referral source at this time. Although this is important information! I track this with the new patient intake form. I do not worry about the referral source now.
Remember, the idea here is to see how many new patient calls come into the office each day. And to determine if there is a disconnect anywhere. Is there a problem or a barrier? Is there a reason more callers are not getting to the schedule? Or is there a problem just getting to the call?
Identify New Patient Calls
Tracking new patient calls can be tricky. And trickier than you might think! Because not all new patients call and say “I would like to schedule an appointment as a new patient”. Therefore, the dental front office team may not count the call as a “new patient call”.
Identify exactly which calls to count. Sit together as a team and discuss the tracking system. Communicate the reason behind the tracking system. The idea is to improve new patient scheduling. And also to improve the new patient experience. The team wants to grow and to help more people!
Count any person who calls with a question about the practice as a new patient call. Unless of course they are already a patient of the practice. Even if they call with a question like “Do you take medicaid?”. Count it!
Anyone calling with a question about you is in the market for a dentist. Once you identify and track these calls, you might just be surprised at the number of new patient calls you receive in a day. Or you might find that not many new patient calls are being recorded at all? What then?
When Dental New Patient Tracking Shows Few In-Coming Calls
What if you look at this form each day and think something is wrong. If you think something is wrong, then it is. Go with your gut here. There could be a couple of problems and solutions. And you want to take the time to carefully watch and diagnose correctly.
Is there someone available to answer the phone at every ring? Or is the phone ever left unattended. Your dental office phone can never be left unattended. Not without consequences. Be sure that you have enough properly trained people to answer the phone. Then, when the dental front office team needs to step away, someone else can step in.
Are the phones answered properly? If you want to “Wow” patients with every interaction, start here! “Please Hold” is not a proper greeting. Master the art of great telephone management. Improper management shows in the results. And so does great phone management.
Does the person answering the phones want new patient calls? Sounds crazy.. right? But.. it’s not! If the person assigned to answer the front office phones doesn’t want new patient calls, they won’t happen. Maybe you are that person answering the phones. There could be some simple solutions for you. Do you need more help? Or do you need stronger support? Identify your need and communicate this to your team.
New Patient Calls But Few Schedule
Now, what if you are pleased with the new patient calls. But the number of scheduled new patients is lower. How do you identify the problem(s) here? Start with improving every single step along the way. Carefully review what happens from the call to the schedule.
Do you have a great script for new patient calls? Take the time to review this and make a change. And maybe look at your intake form. Are you asking too many questions or all the wrong questions? Look at your schedule. Do you have blocked time to allow for new patients soon? Can you be more flexible? What can you do to be more welcoming?
Make one change at a time. One little change in the system will make a difference. When we change too much at the same time, we create more chaos. Methodical, thoughtful change brings greater peace and success.