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Best Practices for Retaining Your Patients of Record

Posted Jan 11th, 2021 in the wire, thought leadership, 2021

Did you know it costs three times as much to find a new patient than to retain a patient of record?

An industry best practice is to book your patients for their next dental appointment before they leave your clinic. Ideally, this is done through the dental hygienist in the operatory. This practice ensures that your patients are kept on track to receive optimal patient care.  Establishing a culture of prioritizing pre-appointments can be achieved by reviewing pre-appointment numbers with all practice team members and holding staff accountable for pre-booking their patients. 

In the event that you are unable to book your patients before they leave the dental office, understanding how (and how often) your patients want to be contacted is key to staying connected with your patients, maintaining a full schedule of appointments and minimizing cancellations.

Keeping patient data up to date allows effective patient communication to be managed through automated texts and emails.

With today's technology, most patient communication can be automated if it is done correctly. Practices that utilize automation are better able to manage their patient communication by reaching patients at a faster rate and during off-hours when patient response rates are higher.  

The output is only as good as the input!  

Make sure you are getting the most out of your recall system by remembering these four tips for keeping your patient data up to date.

  • When a new patient visits for the first time, be sure to set up his/her profile fully and have the patient verify his/her information. This means confirming the patient’s home address, email address, cell phone number and preferred method of contact.
  • A lot can change in 4-6 months. It’s important to check with your patients at each visit to confirm that their information hasn’t changed. This ensures that you have all the right information necessary to contact your patients in the future.
  • Clearly identify your hygiene patients and ensure their appointment intervals are set up properly to enable your automated tools to contact patients when they are due for an appointment.
  • Updating, cleaning and maintaining your patient database helps ensure that your practice’s recall tools work the way they are supposed to, and your staff has the information needed to contact your recall patients.

Managing patient data is an ongoing process. With accurate data, you can leverage technology to do most of the heavy lifting with your recall program, and only intervene with patients who would like a personal touch or have requested to be contacted by phone.

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