You have heard me say this time and time again — “Continuing Care is the lifeblood of your practice.” Just because you are booked out three to six months for recare visits does not mean you have the freedom to back off your patient follow-up. Now is the time when you want to make sure you have a solid continuing care system in place to prepare your Dentrix appointment book for team vacation time and potential patient forgetfulness.
The patients that booked their recare visit back in January and February might not have had their family summer vacation planned yet, and now mom or dad is starting to look at the calendar. Also, your doctors and hygienists might not be the planners you wish they were, and vacation time is going to creep up on you.
I have a few tips that might help you through these scenarios in case you are caught off guard.
- Even though you are booked out three to six months in advance, do not back off on checking in with patients who are overdue for their recare visit. I encourage you to continue working your Unscheduled List and your Continuing Care Reports to get patients rescheduled. What you might want to do if you are in this situation is attack the elephant in the room from the very first sentence. It could be something like this . . . “Hey Kevin, this is Dayna from Smiles Dentistry and the reason I am calling you is because we are already booking into September and you are already overdue. What I would like to do is get you scheduled into our first opening and add you to my priority list when I get an opening. How does that sound?”
- Grow your ASAP list. As you probably noticed in the last paragraph, I called the ASAP list the Priority List instead. It makes it sound more important and your patient will feel special. I know that your ASAP list needs a little work and, in the coming summer months, you will want to have a good resource for filling those last-minute changes in your schedule.
- Start mapping out your schedule using Perfect Day Scheduling. I talked a lot about this in the first quarter of this year so you can look back on my previous posts to gain some insight. If you want to take a deep dive into this topic, then enroll in my exclusive membership so you can go through the full online course I built.
- Finally, my good friend Claire and I have talked about this a lot, schedule a team planning session so you can map out your Dentrix appointment book for team vacations. Having a proactive approach to scheduling will help reduce the stress and frustration that goes along with having to move patients.
Let’s create a system where you are better prepared for last-minute changes and everyone on the team is cross-trained in how to keep the schedule full. Your continuing care system is a vital piece to your practice health and requires regular attention from you and not just your automated patient reminders.