4 Ways to Show Patients the Value of the Care you Provide
By Sally McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Management
Many of the patients who visit your practice just don’t understand the value of the care you provide. Sure, they know they should come in for regular checkups, but they don’t realize how much more your practice has to offer—and that hurts your productivity and your bottom line.
When patients don’t see value in dentistry, they don’t schedule the treatment you recommend. They also don’t have any problem canceling appointments at the last minute or not showing up at all, which sends your day into chaos and costs you money. Not only is this frustrating, it damages your practice and hurts team morale.
Taking the time to show patients the value of dentistry will do wonders for your practice. Read on for my four tips.
- Spend time educating patients. And I’m not talking about just a few minutes chairside. I suggest you use every patient interaction as an opportunity to educate, from the time they call to make an appointment until they’re ready to leave the practice after that appointment.
During their visit, talk to patients about the oral systemic link and why it’s so important to maintain their oral health. Show them images from the intraoral camera and x-rays so they can see exactly what’s going on in their mouths. Make sure they understand their condition and why you’re recommending certain treatment, as well as the possible consequences of delaying it. Educational brochures and videos also help.
When you take the time to educate patients, they’ll be more likely to accept treatment because they actually see the value it provides. It also helps them feel more connected to the practice, which will in turn keep them loyal and might even prompt them to refer you to family and friends.
- Consider hiring a Treatment Coordinator. This team member should be responsible for case presentations for all producers in the practice—and will have plenty of time to go over treatment with patients after you talk with them chairside. The coordinator can answer any questions patients have, from how much treatment costs to how much time they’ll need to take off work. The Treatment Coordinator should follow up two days later to address any lingering questions or concerns and ultimately get patients on the schedule. Patients will appreciate the extra time spent and will have a better understanding of why you recommended treatment—making them more likely to go forward with that treatment.
- Let them know about the services you provide. Just because you offer clear aligners or implant dentistry doesn’t mean your patients know it. When you’re educating patients chairside, ask them about their oral health goals—and tell them about the services you offer that can help them reach those goals. It’s also a good idea to market these services throughout your practice. Put brochures and posters in the reception area, and include before and after photos of successful cases you’ve completed. This shows patients how you can improve their smile—and that will help them see value in dentistry.
- Provide patients with a detailed summary of the visit. Before patients leave, give them a breakdown of everything that went into their appointment. The summary should include all services performed, a review of the hygiene evaluation, recommendations for follow-up treatment and home care instructions. Don’t forget to list every free product the patient is going home with as well, along with their estimated value.
I know this sounds like a lot of extra work for the team but it really isn’t—and it’s well worth the effort. To make it quick and painless to put this together, I suggest setting up a standard template that can easily be filled in with specific details for every patient. Then, hand the summary to patients as they’re checking out or use it as a reason to send a follow-up email. Trust me, this will give patients a new appreciation for what you do, and it won’t be quite so easy for them to justify skipping their next appointment.
When patients see the value in the care you provide, they’re more likely to become loyal patients who show up for their appointments and accept treatment—reducing stress in your practice and growing your bottom line. Follow these four tips to show patients the value of dentistry and your practice will reap the benefits.
Sally McKenzie is CEO of McKenzie Management, www.mckenziemgmt.com, a full-service, nationwide dental practice management
company. Contact her directly at 877-777-6151 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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