Tips to improve patient recall

April 2, 2019

Patient recall and retention are key factors to the overall success of your dental practice. The stronger your recall system is, the more effectively you’ll be able to build relationships with patients and the more inclined they’ll be to keep returning to your practice. This also has a direct impact on referrals and the growth of your business. Here are some tips to help you improve your recall system to boost profitability and patient retention.

Be honest

The most important factor in patient recall and relationship-building is the practice’s honesty and transparency with the patient. A strong practice is built on lifelong patients who trust your care, not on one-off appointments from people who just need a quick cleaning from the most convenient option. You need to find ways to build relationships with patients and keep them returning to your office voluntarily.

This doesn’t mean finding false reasons and excuses for them to come back, like saying they have a cavity when they don’t. It means creating trust and a level of satisfaction so they’ll want to come back on their own because they see the importance of the service you provide.

Book appointments early

Booking future appointments before the patient leaves your office is the best way to ensure they come back. Most practices already do this, but it is a crucial step. Even if the patient says their schedule is unclear, let them know they can book the appointment now and always reschedule later if they need to. Timely reminders via email and text message also help ensure the patient remembers their appointment and are typically less annoying or intrusive than recurring phone calls.

Communication matters

Communication is an often undervalued aspect of patient recall. They should know why they’re coming in every time. The patient shouldn’t find themselves asking, “What’s this appointment for, again?” Make sure they have a clear expectation before they arrive to the office.

During the appointment, don’t just say everything looks great and send them on their way. Even if this is the case, let them know of things they should look out for and any common issues that occur in patients their age. They’re not visiting you just to be praised, but to be helped in improving their lifelong dental health.

Appointment frequency

A strong recall system has a direct impact on the frequency of patient visits. How many months typically go by between a given patient’s appointments? Make sure your patients understand that the more often they visit, the more effective their care will be. It’s much easier to provide proper care when you’re regularly keeping up-to-date on a patient’s health, and much more difficult to assess their situation if they haven’t been in for two years or more. Let them know that regular appointments can help get ahead of any major issues and will be much less expensive than performing more intensive and time-consuming procedures.

Improve patient recall with White & Associates

For over 40 years, White & Associates Practice Consulting has helped dental practices optimize all aspects of their business, from providing better patient care to increasing profitability and beyond. Contact us today for personalized patient recall solutions designed to foster lifelong relationships within your practice.