Losing a patient is one of the great dilemmas of running a practice in the medical field. That income must be replaced and, across all businesses and industries, studies have shown that only 20 to 40 percent of lost customers return as patrons. Bryant Consultants has compiled this helpful guide on how much time and energy you should spend attempting to reactivate patients.
Make sure patients leave each appointment with their nextappointment already scheduled
This should be a standard office policy for any practice, no matter its area of service or location. The benefits of this policy are three-fold. First, scheduling as many appointments in advance as possible allows your staff to determine what needs to be done to fill that day’s schedule as it gets closer on the calendar. Second, scheduling that follow-up at the end of each visit shows the patient that their health is a priority to your office. Pre-booking, rather than telling the patient to call in six months to schedule a follow-up, has been proven to be a more effective strategy. Third, it is much easier to contact a patient and confirm a previously scheduled appointment than it is to contact them and schedule a new appointment.
Even with diligence, cancellations will happen
Perhaps a patient cancels an appointment and does not reschedule, or has an emergency and does not arrive. Or, sometimes, patients do fall through the cracks and leave a visit to your office without having a follow-up scheduled in advance. Whatever the reason, these unscheduled patients easily can fall into the category of inactive patients and will need to be put back on the schedule so they can return to your office.
The responsibility falls to you to make sure yourpatients have appointments scheduled
It is highly unlikely that your inactive patients are going to wake up one day and schedule a return appointment. That means that your team needs to reach out to patients on a regular basis to try and get their appointments scheduled, especially if it has been six months or longer since they have been in for a check-up. Remember that reaching out does not have to occur by just one channel of communication. Think beyond just making phone calls; emails and texts also can be excellent reminders, which tends to be the more prefered form of communication for many patients these days.
At what point do you stop attempting to reschedule apatient?
Just because your patient is not responding to attempts to communicate does not mean they have moved to another dentist. Many inactive patients are refraining from scheduling new appointments because they have a hectic schedule, or because they dread going to the dentist. Don’t stop attempting to contact, reschedule, and reactivate lapsed patients until one of the following occurs: the patient tells you to stop contacting them, the patient lets you know they have moved or now are seeing a different dentist, or you learn that the patient has passed away.
Not sure how to go about reactivating patients? A training seminar to go through these strategies can be a great way to give your employees new skills while also helping with team-building. Bryant Consultants’ services can help you realize your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your practice. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799.
We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you!