If you don't feel comfortable discussing finances and costs with patients, you may be able to utilise the role of the treatment coordinator within your practice. If you have someone who is exceptionally good at talking to patients in a calm and friendly manner, you can provide the clinical information about the proposed treatment while they work alongside you to answer patient queries. They can discuss fees, explain the extra benefits like enhanced quality of life, and help to convert the treatment plan into a booked appointment.
Follow it up
In many cases, the patient will want to go home with their treatment plan and discuss it with a spouse or other family member and/or friends. In this respect, you need to ensure that the information you have provided is full and clear, perhaps with advice for extra research from reliable online sources if they feel it is required.
If a patient leaves the practice without booking their treatment, follow-ups are key. It is important not to see this as 'hassling', and more of a gentle prompt instead. This could be a great job for a friendly member of the team to take on board, spending one morning each week contacting patients who haven't taken up their treatment plans, just to touch base and see if they have any questions that need answering to help them to make a decision.
For this to be effective, it is essential that you and your team are aware of what treatment plans are still outstanding. In a dental environment it can be difficult to keep on top of open treatment plans when you have patients arriving, phone calls to attend to, and everything else that comes with the day-to-day running of the practice.
In this respect, some practice management systems have built-in functionality that can help you and your staff see the plans that need following up. The CS R4+ practice management software from Carestream Dental can help you do all of this and more with its built-in features that use real time data to benefit your practice in numerous ways. This will allow you and your team to get a list of the patients without appointments, enabling you to contact them and discuss further questions they may have and try to book them in.
Turning treatment plans into booked appointments is not a concept that all dental professionals find easy or natural, but employing these tools and techniques can help boost your conversion rates and, importantly, your profits.
For more information on CS Solutions or any other products or services available from Carestream Dental,
please call 0800 169 9692 or visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk