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Why Your Hygiene Recall System Is Critical To Your Bottom Line

Getting new patients is an important part of any practice.  But it is much more cost effective to keep your current patients—and make sure they come back for regularly scheduled appointments.

That’s why your Hygiene Recall System is an area of your business that needs continuing attention.  If you can get your current patients back again every six Woman Writing in Daily Plannermonths for a checkup and cleaning, you not only give them better care, but you create opportunities to provide additional services—both in fixing problems and in offering cosmetic improvements.

Ideally, every patient who comes in for a hygiene appointment should not leave without your staff making his or her NEXT appointment.  This is key, and it’s a practice that many offices can improve upon with just a little work.

Many practices have hygiene recall software in place that make it relatively simple to schedule future appointments and send patients prompts to remind them.  Yet in some offices, the software goes unused, either because of its complexity or lack of training.  This is a serious problem.  Insist your staff use your system properly, and if an employee struggles with it, provide guidance to correct the problem.

An often-overlooked area that can improve appointment setting is the language employees use to interact with patients.  “Recall” is an industry term—it means nothing top patients, or (worse) it implies that something has gone wrong.  Referring to the process in more patient-friendly terms, such as “preventative care” or “continuous care” is more beneficial.

As is working on the assumption that the next appointment is a foregone conclusion.  Instead of asking the patient “when would you like your next appointment,” which opens the door for procrastination, the proper continuous care program would instead have your staff member say “Your 6 months continuous care appointment is due June 1. Would Monday morning or Wednesday afternoon work better?”

Your patient walks out with the next appointment.  That’s a win for both of you.

In a future blog, we’ll look at how your recall system helps ensure patients keep this appointment. Would you like to know more? Use the “Ask the Expert” feature on our website.

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