Dental industry continues to evolve under conditions of intense competition in approaching health prevention, protection, and promotion. Therefore, dental providers are challenged to always ensure better patient experience, winning patients’ satisfaction, and loyalty and remain competitive on today’s healthcare market.
The process for initiating a new patient into the practice consists of these steps.
THE FIRST PHONE CALL
The Front Desk Coordinator is a key figure to ensure a great patient experience. He/she must be trained in taking new patient calls smoothly and effectively to create an excellent, lasting impression.
- Project energy and enthusiasm.
- Gather information personal information so that When the doctor is introduced, a few personal details about the patient can be shared to initiate the conversation.
- Find out how callers heard about your practice, and be sure to store that information (some dental softwares allow you to store this info in the same patient dental record).
- Build value for you, the team and the practice.
- Schedule the first appointment within seven days from the first call.
THE FIRST APPOINTMENT
- Prepare systematically for new patients’ arrival.
- Follow a carefully planned welcoming protocol when they walk through the door.
- Make a strong impression chairside.
- Schedule the next appointment.
- Ask for Feedback
- Periodontal – gingival and surrounding bone should be examined thoroughly to get an insight of the patients oral hygine habits. treatment options, including scaling and root planning
- Tooth-by-Tooth Exam – each and every tooth should be examined carefully for any pathology and should be discussed with patient in understandable terms
- Cosmetic Exam – Provides patients an awareness of their current cosmetic condition and how they can benefit from the treatment options offered.
- Implant Exam – All edentulous patients, as well as those with teeth that may be lost in the future, should be regarded as prospects for implants.
- Occlusal Exam – By diagnosing and pointing out bite problems, you’ll set the stage for possible intervention by you or an orthodontist.
Follow Up: Setting the Next Appointment
- If it’s an appointment for treatment– Schedule it to occur within a week of the first visit to accomplish two very important objectives. First, it leaves little time for patients to have second thoughts. It also shows that your practice is highly efficient and dedicated to caring for its patients
- If it’s a routine hygiene visit- An effective way to entice patients back is to communicate the value of regularly scheduled hygiene visits. Use a “not just a cleaning” script that details the many services provided by your hygienist and explains that preventive care is better (easier, less costly and more pleasant) than corrective dentistry.
The New Patient Experience is designed to result in a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship between patients and your practice. To accomplish this, be sure to secure that second appointment by the end of the first.
New patients experiencing an outstanding initial experience, built a sense of value, and are pleased to return to an office that knows and cares about them. A dedicated treatment-presentation appointment with the proper verbal skills and motivational factors increases patient case acceptance dramatically.