When you think about growing your dental practice, your first thought is probably getting new patients. But while that's one way to increase your revenues, focusing on your existing patients can be even more profitable than attracting new ones. Streamlining your patient recall system can help you book more appointments and provide additional treatments to existing patients. Here are six patient recall ideas that will help you simplify your recall system, save your front desk employees time and effort, and keep your chairs busy.
- Make the return appointment as soon as the current appointment is over. The simplest way to ensure patients keep coming back for regular preventive maintenance is to schedule the next appointment right away, before the patient leaves the office. If patients are reluctant to schedule three or six months in advance, remind them that they can always change the appointment as the date gets closer. (If your dental practice uses Lighthouse 360, rescheduling appointments is simple and easy for your staff.)
- Use reminders to proactively reach out to patients. When you use Lighthouse 360, you don't have to bother fumbling through calendars or manually looking up patients who are overdue for a cleaning. Lighthouse 360 automatically tracks which patients are due for a dental hygiene appointment and sends automatic reminders to make an appointment. Once the appointment is scheduled, Lighthouse 360 sends automatic reminders to the patient and lets you confirm the appointment by email, text or automated phone call.
- Educate patients about dental health. Do you ever have patients who come to your office for problem teeth, only to stop coming in when their dental health improves? Be sure to emphasize the importance of regular cleanings and checkups to maintaining a healthy mouth. For cost-conscious patients, emphasize that preventive care can help eliminate expensive treatments down the road.
- Don't give up on dormant patients. Do you have patients who haven't been in to your office for quite a while? Don't write them off. With Lighthouse 360, it's easy to create customized recall emails or letters to send to dormant patients and get them back in your chair.
- Turn cancellations into cash flow. Last-minute appointment cancellations can spell trouble for your practice’s bank account. However, with Lighthouse 360’s new Fill-In feature, you can fill those cancellations quickly and easily. Fill-In automatically detects last-minute cancellations and then messages only those patients who have shown interest in getting last-minute appointments. This is a great way to get busy patients into your office without a long wait time.
- Always contact patients in their preferred format. Some patients still like getting phone calls from the dentist; others prefer a text they can quickly reply to. You'll get the best recall results if you check with the patient to see what type of contact they prefer. Lighthouse 360 lets you use a variety of different contact methods, from text and email to phone and letters, so you can always tailor your recall communication to the patient's preferences.