Quotes & Notes:Sandy Pardue: Are your appointments broken? - RD Podcasts

  • She is the director of consulting at Classic Practice Resources and is really an authority on creating systems for practices that really help them develop efficiencies and all and all become more productive.
  • We are sharing a lot of tools to help them be more productive and have more fun.
  • They [cancellations and no shows] are causing a lot of stress, and they are having practices that have a lot of missed opportunities.
  • They are just not good for the practice.  And many times they can be prevented.
  • The biggest reasons for broken appointments are, no real concrete financial arrangements, the patient just doesn’t value the service, and the appointment wasn’t really confirmed properly.
  • When the patient starts asking questions, and if those questions don’t get answered, then guess what, they are a no show.
  • First of all, a lot of patients are asking for automated confirmation calls, and some of them know how to utilize it.
  • We have to keep a hold of the fact that people do not really love to go to the dentist.
  • We recommend sending a physical card three weeks in advance, send an email/ text three days in advance when they can confirm, and if they don’t they get a phone call the day before.
  • If they confirm and no show, from now on they get the call.

The more control you have over your schedule the higher your production will be.

  • Determine how much every unit of time is worth in your practice for each provider.
  • The worst thing you can do is when you have an opening, call others to try to fit them within that time, for you are teaching your patients that it is ok to cancel.
  • “We have worked on this schedule, we know you need this root canal and we have worked it out for you to come in tomorrow at two.”
  • For the appointment wrap up, the dental assistant or the hygienist needs to sit the chair in an upright position, and keep the patient seated, and you must leave the patients bib on.  Once you take the bib off they think the appointment is over.
  • Give them a summery of the procedure that happened today.  Its an opportunity to reinforce the future treatment needs and benefits of returning to complete what was started.
  • Always, always ask the patient if they have any questions.
  • Never send that patient wandering down the hall.  There is a hand-off.
  • If you want people to keep their appointments, then they have to realize that it is going to get worse.
  • They [receptionists] need to be able to control and minimize broken appointments, and this is done through their actions and words, and avoid using the word cancellation.
  • The first thing I am not going to do is say “Oh that’s ok.” No.
  • Show them compassion.

You can learn more at classicpractice.com, and you can reach Sandy Pardue with her number (800) 928-9289, and email her at sandy@classicpractice.com.

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