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4 Practical Strategies to Help Boost Patient Volume

By Planet DDS
May 18, 2021

“Where did everyone go?” You’ve probably walked into a room and felt the impact of that question a time or two. It’s the feeling you might also have as you think about needing to boost your dental patient volume.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are lingering. The ADA Health Policy Institute confirms that patient volume is “hovering at about 80% of pre-COVID volume.” [1]

So answering the “where-did-everyone-go?” question is necessary motivation to strategize getting your patient numbers up!

Fill-the-schedule again by boosting your patient volume

Be five-star review worthy

Next to scanning page one search results most will check out reviews when seeking a service like dentistry. An outstanding review is where the patient experience shines.

Professional background and training is a given. What current patients say about you (as provider) is often the deciding factor.

”According to recent research, a whopping 86% of patients choose a new dentist based on online reviews!” [2]

Sure, there’s no shortage of standard, “canned” comments. And a negative review here and there can skew things too.

But generally speaking, the positives will outshine the negatives. That’s why positive reviews (and plenty of them) will boost your patient volume.

  • Ask for reviews following each patient appointment.
  • Be gracious and specific when replying to any negative review.
  • Use positive (and negative) reviews to refine your patient experience.
  • Showcase and personally thank your five-star reviewers.

Rethink scheduling

Schedule blocks can appear confining. And in many ways they are.

You’re bound by time-dependent zones where you provide dentistry in some form. More important is the production value of those time blocks.

And that’s where maximization is a key to rethinking your schedule.

For example, a four-day per week dental practice could increase available time for doctor production by an equivalent of 32 days or two months per year.

How?

Save 10 minutes per hour for four days a week.

  • Study and monitor your time usage per procedure
  • Strategize how to reduce your time per patient appointment

Improve your patient experience

Your practice has a unique “vibe.” Discover and exploit it and you’ll create a memorable experience for patients.

In many ways the patient experience is environmental. So start there.

  • Eliminate the dental-“dread.” Create a feel that’s relaxing, comfortable, and low-stress.
  • Design for emotional appeal. Choose colors, furniture, and amenities that reframes dentistry in your patient’s mind.

Add services that appeal to new and/or current patients.

  • Shuffle or hire staff that can deliver speciality services. Consider expanded orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry procedures, and general wellness services.
  • Add teledentistry for patient convenience, to enhance emergency consultations, to improve specialist referrals and collaboration, and to provide initial consultations – saving in-house chairs for scheduled procedures.

Upgrade patient-facing solutions.

  • Provide online scheduling. This 24/7 access is a convenient option and will help patients feel more in control of their oral health decisions.
  • Allow flexible payment options. The more ways patients can pay (beyond insurance allowances) the more likely they are to accept treatment.

Be intentional about recare

Attach a “next” to each patient – as in next appointment, next follow-up, next reminder, etc. Much of your recare strategy revolves around your check-out protocols, your patient reminders, and your follow-up system.

  • Confirm next appointment opportunities during front-desk handoffs and chair side consults.
  • Have current and accurate patient information (e.g. mobile number, email, etc).
  • Know each patient’s preferred mode of communication (e.g. phone, email, text message, social media, direct mail, etc).

Patient volume increases around good patient engagement

Acquiring new patients involves specific dental marketing strategies. But retaining them requires a well-equipped dental practice management platform.

The more patient-facing the better your patient relationships – including a boost in patient volume from your new and reactivated patients.

Consider a cloud-based solution and improve your practice efficiency and new patient engagement…

You might find the cloud solution like Denticon to be a more seamless and low maintenance platform

  • Built-in patient-facing modules
  • Monthly subscription rate that’s predictable
  • Data hosted in the cloud that’s remotely and securely accessible
  • Savings compared with a “legacy” system can total an average of 40%

Thinking about or ready to update your dental practice management software? Contact us or request a demo of the Denticon platform…before you decide!

[1]               https://success.ada.org/en/practice-management/dental-practice-success/dps-winter-2021/how-to-increase-patient-volume

[2]               https://www.solutionreach.com/blog/easy-ways-to-attract-new-patients-and-increase-dental-practice-revenue

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