Recare doesn't only help your bottom line, it can save patients lives.
"According to the ADA, 78% of the adult population has some form of periodontal disease. Studies have been published linking periodontal disease to heart disease, strokes, impairment of fetal growth, and weakened immune systems. With each new study that is published, it becomes clear that there is a definite link between oral health and our general health. In fact, according to Dr. Charles Mayo of the Mayo Clinic, visiting a dentist on a regular basis can extend life expectancy by 10 years," (Schein, http://www.henryschein.com/us-en/sites/wedothat/recare.html)
Patients are busy people and it is easy for them to tell you at the front desk that they will get back to you at another time to schedule that important cleaning appointment. However, letting patients walk out the door without scheduling the next appointment may potentially put them at risk.
Having a system in place for recare is important. Start by assessing what are your procedures now? Who is in charge of it? What is the ratio of patient recare calls to appointments? What needs to be improved upon?
Having a system in place for recare is critical to the success. Someone needs to be in charge of making recare phone calls as well as following up with reminders to patients.
How you present the information to the patient is as important as the appointment itself. Use friendly terms that hold importance. For example, "Mrs. Etcheverry, we will want to see you back for your dental examination and cleaning in July." This helps the patient see overall importance of the appointment. It is not just a cleaning, it is a health screening.
5 Things to Remember:
1. Give every patient the opportunity to schedule their next cleaning appointment or remind them of their next cleaning appointment when they come in the office for other matters.
2. Offer two times during days and times that you know the patient already prefers. This will limit the chance they will have something come up and need to cancel.
3. Ask with a smile in your voice.
4. Send a post card, email or phone call a few days prior to the appointment to confirm.
5. When patients cancel ask them to reschedule then and there.