Why Do Patients Become Unresponsive?

By Sharon Boyd, RDH

We’ve all been there: No shows, Cancellations, Lots of openings in our schedule. How do these things happen? It’s not as if dentists don’t all try hard to get patients into their offices. What is it that some practices are simply missing? If you ask any dentist, they will most likely tell you that one of the hardest things to control is actually getting patients to come back in for future appointments, or pending treatment.

Patients can be motivated to return if properly contacted

Motivate your patients to return

Yes, sometimes collections and past due accounts have some to do with patients returning…but these are going to usually be the same patients across the board. If your practice has good collection policies that are being utilized, then these patients will not be active because they will have paid off their account or been excused from the practice.

Let’s be honest, the economy doesn’t necessarily have a ton to do with it. People are still spending hundreds of dollars on unnecessary electronic equipment, entertainment and dining out for leisure purposes every month. The problem is priorities. People just don’t prioritize their dental treatment needs above other things. We are partially to blame for that. If we are not selling quality and value in our treatment to them, they won’t just assume it. We need to be doing this before patients even leave our office…while they are still in the treatment chair.

Education is key to getting patients to accept dental treatment. When I was in hygiene school they drilled one thing into our head about patient education: do it first, because that is what patients will remember. If we are chit chatting with patients about other things, leaving dentistry the last thing on the list before they go, that devalues our dental services!

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Patients leave without rescheduling or cancel the appointment that they had made to begin with. If we allow patients to just toss our valuable time away, it looks like it has no value at all. We can train staff all day long to sell value at the appointment, but once the patient is gone it is very hard to get them back.

Even if we are educating them properly, sometimes there can be a misunderstanding in the importance of a procedure. There may simply be confusion as to why a therapy really is needed…so it is usually left alone until the pain is so severe and treatment is much more complex, when the patient can’t help but run right back into a dental office. If we don’t follow up with them, they may go somewhere else.

ActionRun can take the confusion out of scheduling treatment for those missing, non-compliant patients. Individualized clinical letters sent to each patient can help them to understand what their personal dental needs are and why it is so important that they manage them. ActionRun helps patients prioritize their dental therapy, so that you can use your time more efficiently to offer the care they need.

Register with ActionRun to receive a FREE Patient Database Analysis which will identify clinical reasons to communicate with your lost or unresponsive patients. We will identify your top production reactivation opportunities, at NO COST to you, and with no obligation. Or call us at 1.877.890.0010 to learn more!


Patient Clinical Analysis Can Help Increase Business

By Sharon Boyd, RDH

When it comes to increasing office production, what areas do you usually look to when it comes to improving business? Do you explore adjunctive services like in-office whitening? Perhaps you have a goal of veneers or crown placements that your office attempts to complete each month. Maybe you’ve even considered shortening appointment times in order to reduce worked hygiene hours.

Are you looking at what you already have? If you were to sit down and examine each and every patient’s clinical notes, charts and treatment plan, what would you discover? Chances are you would have a huge laundry list of delayed treatment, optional treatment or future treatment needs that have yet to be addressed.  Even if a patient is in for a regular recall appointment, there is the chance that the pre-determination of the implant for #5 might not have been discussed, because the patient was in a hurry or the doctor didn’t see her that day. Read More »

Managing Your Online Reputation

A very important topic which has followed on the heels of the Internet revolution is the management of one’s online reputation.  This is important for anyone, but even more so for businesses and professionals, especially as clients, potential clients, and even competitors are constantly screening review sites to pick up information and feedback about a business.  You have to know where to look for the reviews, but, more importantly, how to properly respond to reviews should you encounter negative ones which may tarnish your image.  The first place to look for reviews, and for a first phase of reputation management, is through Google.  Once you’ve established a baseline through the use of Google’s tools, you can expand from there by utilizing a variety of options which are at your disposal.

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Starting Into Social Networking – Tips for Dentists

By Alessandro Bartoletti, DMD

Social networking is most certainly a hot topic in virtually any field, and dentistry is no exception.  Many practices have considered it yet continue to sit on the fence. They don’t take the steps to developing a site because they are unsure of how it will affect them, how they would be able to manage it, and a whole host of other concerns.  In this day and age, however, without a good social networking site which can help spread good news about your business, you will likely see other practices growing faster than yours.

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Understanding Patient Behavior and Motivation

By Satya Misra

Much has been written about a patient’s desire and motivation (or lack thereof) to come to a dental office. Most of it has been based on the personal experience of dental consultants and dentists. However, there is no comprehensive discussion on patient motivation and behavior as it applies in dental care. This blog is intended to help dentists understand patient behavior and motivation in a structured manner. Knowing this, dentists can take steps to better their practice and boost their quality of care with more relevant patient communication. This in turn will motivate patients to undertake appropriate dental treatment at the right times. It can also help to reactivate unresponsive or ‘lost’ patients.

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Reviews , Surveys and Reputation Marketing for Dentists

By Satya Misra

Much has been said about putting your reputation online.  Traditionally, Reputation Marketing has been a two-step process:

  1. Creating a system to build your reputation by soliciting reviews and surveys, and
  2. Using the reviews and surveys in public forums to generate awareness among the pool of new patients who may be considering a new dental service provider.

Yet dentists in general do not like review sites such as Yelp. The reasons are well known. People are much more likely to vent their negative experience than eulogize the dentist for their positive experience. As such a large percentage of patients believe that they need to go to dentist not because they want to, but because they have to. You are looking at a negative bias toward dental care before even the patient has stepped in. It is very different from other small businesses such as salons and restaurants. There, the expected outcome is pleasure from a massage or gourmet food.  Hence, whereas Yelp may be a great site for other types of businesses, it is not necessarily the best forum to build reputation for dentists.

Read More »

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