Posted April 5, 2016 by Danielle H
Not everyone is eager to visit their dental hygienist for check-ups every six months. With an average attrition rate of at least 12%, one of the biggest challenges that practices face is keeping patients on track with their Recare. Continuing Care is important to a patient’s overall health and can greatly reduce complex treatment needs down the road. With April being National Oral Health Month, there’s no better time to improve your Recare system.
1. Preschedule, Preschedule, Preschedule
Position your hygienist as THE expert in Recare and empower him or her to schedule the patient’s next visit chairside. To increase the hygienist’s success in scheduling, ensure the proper script/language is being used. Your hygienist should guide a patient to a specific time on the schedule rather than simply asking if the patient wants to make another appointment. Patient acceptance will increase when this technique is used.
2. Develop a Consistent Communication Schedule
Establish a communication schedule that patients can count on! For patients with a Recare due date that is fast-approaching, scheduled communications should begin 3-4 weeks in advance. Your communication should be with patients already scheduled for hygiene, not yet scheduled, and those overdue. We suggest using emails, text messages, phone calls, postcards and letters. By using a combination of patient contacts, over a longer period of time, you greatly increase the likelihood of getting them in the door!
3. Automate as Much as Possible
Decrease the burden on your front office by establishing an effective automation system. Keeping up with the daily emails, postcards and text messages are tasks that cannot go undone. In today’s busy dental practices, automation of these tasks is an essential part of keeping profitability and patient satisfaction going up. Appointment reminders should run automatically on a schedule you determine works best and confirmations should easily be recognized on the book. XLDent partners with Lighthouse 360 to automate patient communications, making managing your Recare system a breeze!
4. Patient Education is Key
When patients have a better understanding of all that a Recare visit entails, they are much more likely to follow through with these routine visits. As a clinician, educating is a large part of each visit. Start by explaining why and how Perio health is measured. Using your Perio Chart, review exam results with the patient. Compare Perio Exams to show progress. Focusing on areas of improvement will boost patient confidence and give weight to areas of concern. Offer to email the patient a copy of their exam along with instructions for home care.
5. Create a Culture that Promotes Continuing Care
The responsibility of Recare doesn’t lie only on the shoulders of your front office team. All team members should be comfortable reviewing Recare information in XLDent and be active in encouraging Continuing Care. Ensure that your team uses common language and scripting to describe your Recare system. Avoid using words like Recall, Cleaning, and Checkup to describe Hygiene visits. These words can minimize the value of the Hygiene visit in the patient’s mind.
Your Recare system not only serves to improve your patients’ oral health, but also benefits your practice’s bottom line. Want to kickstart your Recare system with XLDent? Check out more at www.xldent.com.