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Practice Builder: Dental Patient Recall Strategies for the Summer Season (Or Anytime You Want to Fill Your Schedule)

By Planet DDS
July 12, 2021

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy…”[1] That’s the goal…right? It would be great if your dental patient recall strategy could catch that “easy” summer vibe!

Who says it can’t?

But let’s face it. It’s not necessarily your vibe that’s the concern.

Your patients can feel it too. And that can mean delayed, postponed, or no thought at all given to dental care.

Your key: work smarter (and because it’s summer) try not to work harder.

Smart dental patient recall strategies for summer (or anytime your schedule needs it)

Narrow your focus

Effective recall is more strategic or targeted than random. Lock in your destination as you would on a map.

In this instance your specific “recall-roadtrip” destination is your overdue patients. They’re the ones who will feel one of two things when you reach out to them.

  • 1-Regret for having waited so long. Delay on their part can create positive motivation for getting on the schedule
  • 2-The reality that they’ve put off a symptom and are determined to keep the risk from multiplying.

Incomplete treatment, missed or broken appointments, and a focused reminder can be the nudge an overdue patient needs to schedule.

Stay on their “radar”

Permission to text and email patients cannot be taken for granted. Those who open that door are willing to engage with you.

Now, about that engagement…

Text and email reminders are a baseline strategy for recall success. But it’s only one facet.

Text and email are also a pathway to consistent education about oral health, staying current with preventive care, treatment follow-up, etc.

  • Share links to relevant blog content on those topics we just mentioned. Include backlinks in reminder texts and emails as an added boost to tip them in the direction of scheduling.
  • Theme your social media posts around preventive dentistry themes during strategic recall seasons.
  • Make scheduling easy with a direct link to your online scheduling portal on your website. Or provide a direct reply link within your text and email. And for those who prefer to phone-it-in, direct them to call with a simple call-to-action comment in your message(s).

Create a sense of well-timed urgency

It’s said that “timing is everything.” And that’s true in some situations. More relevant to your recall success is being strategic around that timing.

Your recall data will likely reveal a number of patients who (once again) are overdue for an exam or treatment. This is where urgency and timing align.

The laid-back summer season flows into a more hectic fall season that precedes a fast-and-furious, end-of-year, holiday season.

  • Use the back-to-school period as summer wraps up to encourage family preventive care appointments. Again, educate your patients around related themes via your newsletters, emails, text messages, blog content, and social media.
  • Plant a seed in your patients about the need to monitor and use their remaining dental insurance benefits. Remind them that they can save on out-of-pocket treatment costs – especially on treatment they might have delayed.
  • Highlight the benefits of a healthy, attractive smile as the holiday season approaches. As you know, some treatment and procedures rely on a specific timeline or preliminary protocols to achieve optimum results.

Engage “auto-pilot”

Automation enables you to take-your-hands-off-the-controls, so to speak. The more you automate the greater your potential to stay consistent with patient recall.

Crafting, sending, and monitoring email and text messages is time consuming. But once you create a workflow and automate portions of it your team will have more energy bandwidth to improve the patient experience in other areas.

Automation serves you and your team, big time. It also helps eliminate patient care barriers.

The heavy-lifting provided by automation gives you more margin to listen to patient questions and concerns. You’ll have increased capacity to provide individual education (as needed) and leverage their case acceptance.

An effective recall strategy (whatever the season) opens the door to more opportunity. It provides a phased approach to helping your patients prioritize their oral health and make the necessary decisions to assure they maintain it.

For a deeper-dive into creating your recall strategy – check out this resource:

Best Practices for Patient Recall Appointments

Smart recall strategies rely on effective, patient-facing tools

The more patient-facing the better your patient relationships – including a boost in patient production from your recall systems.

Consider a cloud-based solution and improve your recall efficiency

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]                  George Gershwin