Add a Reason for Return in your Dentrix software to increase patient retention

The ADA Health Policy Institute did a survey of high-income earners with private dental insurance and found that 53.2% will not go to the dentist in the next 12 months because they feel their mouths are healthy and they don’t need dental care. It is up to you to convince them otherwise. We know as the oral healthcare providers that the mouth is full of bacteria, disease, decay, and many other pathogens that can cause deterioration of the body.

If you work on the admin team as a scheduling specialist, then you might be thinking, “I am not a clinician, so how am I supposed to convince someone about their oral health?” That’s a great question and I am here to give you some guidance. With the right system in place, the admin team and the clinical team can work together to create documentation to pull some valuable information from when scheduling patients.

During the clinical exam and recare visit, you can point out a couple of important conditions with the patient and make sure it is documented in the clinical note. Following that, the admin team can use these important conditions to remind the patient of why the recare visit is so important and they should not lapse on their due date. Remember, the insurance frequency is never a reason the patient should keep or schedule their recare visit. It is for health reasons.

Here are some common samples that you can document at the end of your clinical note so your scheduling specialists can pull them out when needed. I call them Reason for Return (or RFR for short) and you can build them into your templates.

  • Fractured tooth in jeopardy of breaking
  • Bleeding which is a sign of infection
  • Unusual spots on the tongue or cheek
  • Decay that could lead to pain

When patients are educated about their oral health and diseases that are present in the mouth, then they will have a reason to schedule their recare visit. If the patient just feels like you are trying to fill your schedule or satisfy an insurance frequency, it doesn’t matter as much.