In the ever-evolving landscape of dentistry, patient retention is crucial for a thriving dental practice. One effective way to boost patient retention is by developing a comprehensive dental recall system. This system ensures that patients receive timely reminders and follow-ups for their appointments, leading to improved oral health outcomes and increased loyalty.
June, the half-way point of the year presents a great opportunity to focus on the reactivation of overdue hygiene patients. Let’s explore how leveraging patients’ insurance benefits can strengthen your recall system and improve patient retention.
- Understand the Importance of a Strategic Recare System: A recall system serves as the backbone of patient retention in dental practices. It facilitates regular communication between the practice and patients, ensuring they are aware of upcoming appointments, preventive treatments, and oral health check-ups.
- Leverage Expiration of Insurance Benefits: The month of June marks a prime opportunity to focus on the reactivation of overdue hygiene patients. Incorporate this aspect into your recall system by emailing patients about their unused insurance benefits and the importance of utilizing them before they reset in the new year.
Various patient engagement systems have email templates you can easily use and begin emailing to your patients, especially those who have insurance benefits and they have not used them this year.
Highlight the potential cost savings for preventive care vs. treating disease. Emphasize the value of maintaining optimal oral health while maximizing insurance coverage.
- Designing an Effective Recall Process: To develop an efficient recall system during this time of year, it’s important to adapt your strategies accordingly. Identify the patients who are overdue for hygiene appointments and segment them into separate lists according to:
- Patients due today up to 6 months ago
- Over 6 months ago to 9 months ago
- Over 9 months ago to 12 months ago
- Over 12 months to 18 months ago
Begin with the patients who are due today up to six months ago. These are the patients to focus on 1st and try to get them on the schedule asap. Then work your way in descending order.
Craft personalized messages that address their specific insurance benefit expiration, emphasizing their limited time remaining to use their insurance benefits.
Utilize dental your practice management software or a patient engagement system such as NexHealth to automate the recall process and ensure consistent with timely communication.
Schedule this task every day. Plan to have dedicated time to implement your recall system. Establish a daily and monthly goal for reactivating overdue hygiene patients. Start with possibly reactivating no less than five overdue hygiene patients every day.
In addition, June is a time to begin contacting patients with outstanding treatment.
Set a goal to get the patients with outstanding treatment on the schedule. This is when it works well to assess in your software who is overdue for a hygiene appointment and also has outstanding treatment.
Contact these specific patients and schedule them for a hygiene appointment with an exam to reassess the restorative care needed. You never know if the simple filling is now a crown or worse, infection that needs a root canal. Not likely but it can happen and your message is about saving patients money because “Prevention costs a little money but treating disease and infection costs a lot of money!”
- Implement Multiple Communication Channels: Diverse communication channels play a critical role in the success of your recall system. Utilize a combination of phone calls, text messages, emails, and voicemails to reach out to patients.
Every time your patient completes a health history be sure to ask and update their preferred mode of communication, increasing engagement and response rates. When highlighting the expiration of insurance benefits, make sure to clearly explain the potential consequences of unused benefits and of primary importance is to encourage patients to schedule their overdue hygiene appointments promptly.
- Track and Analyze Recall Success: To ensure the effectiveness of your recall system, tracking and analysis are essential. Monitor key performance indicators such as appointment retention rates, look at and track the number of patients who cancel an appointment last minute and track no-shows. You should assign a code in your practice management software so you can monitor and analyze these important metrics.
Also track and analyze your response rate when reactivating patients. Use this data to evaluate the success of your efforts to reactivate patients; how well or poorly your efforts are working to keep patients on the schedule, reducing last minute cancellations and no-shows.
Once you track and look at your metrics only now can you make necessary adjustments. Regularly assess the performance of the recall system to identify areas for improvement and refine your strategies accordingly.
If you need help with these systems always consider speaking to an expert. For many years Dental Practice Solutions has supported dental practices with their recall system and reducing cancellations.
Schedule a quick chat to see how we can help you optimize these systems. Click the Calendar Link
June presents a unique opportunity to focus on the reactivation of overdue hygiene patients. You have dozens, maybe a hundred patients who have not seen the hygienist this year. They have insurance benefits that will expire in 6 months.
How can you help these patients use their benefit and save them money on treating disease? Your message to these patients must be that you want to help them use their benefits and avoid costly dental care. Say to patients, “Our office is on a mission to help our patients prevent disease. Prevention may cost a little money but treating disease costs a lot of money. We look forward to seeing you for your preventive care appointment!”
By incorporating these strategies into your recall system, you can increase patient retention, improve oral health outcomes, and maximize the utilization of your patient’s available insurance benefits.