Your patient database is one of the most important assets you own!
How you approach patient management can make all the difference to your business.
Think you know all about patient management and nurturing? Have a read. I guarantee you will be surprised.
Maintaining and increasing your patient database is of critical importance to the business of you, the dental practitioner.
Yet far too many of your peers in this highly competitive industry neglect or ignore the fundamental business requirement of patient retention. It costs more to get a new patient than to nurture an existing one.
In LOVE THY PATIENTS Jan Gray provides an easy-to-follow, commonsense plain English guide based on his decades of experience in the dental industry.
Love Thy Patients - Preface:
Why do we need to have reappointment and recall effectiveness? First things first. I am so glad you have taken the time to consider Love Thy Patients. Hopefully it will help you to understand why patient management, nurturing, reappointment and recall effectiveness rates in a dental practice are so important.
I have tried to write this guide in such a way as if we were sitting down and discussing the subject. Over the past 40 years I have found that people generally like complicated issues to be explained in plain English. As a client said to me one day: “Don’t fluff it, up just tell me how it is.” The issue of reappointment and recall effectiveness is one of daily concern to me, and that’s because in this job I perform two related functions.
The first is to ensure dental practices are both “best in their class” as it were, and also exit ready for sale at any time. At some stage in your career, you will find yourself in the position where you will want or need to sell your practice. The sale process takes time, including an average of three months just to get everything to enable us to make a final decision about actually putting the practice on the market. So what happens if you don’t have that time?
Over the years, I have been involved in many cases in which an urgent sale was needed but we had insufficient time to really do the practice justice. Naturally this was reflected in the sale price. As the saying goes, “Every time a coconut” and you can count on that. The second function is advising dental practices in reappointment and recall effectiveness.
“We need new patients” is a plea I’ve heard from virtually every practice principal I have met during my years in this industry. When I reply by asking about their existing patients the answer has usually been the same: “No worries, they’re under control”. Then I suggest we look in their appointment book and lo and behold, there are gaps everywhere.
As you will appreciate, these two functions overlap quite a bit. So, with that in mind, and understanding that both issues are widespread, I am going to help you to understand how they may be dealt with. Understand too that you’re not alone. Any business that relies on return or repeat custom – legal, accounting, retail, and 1000 others – all grapple with these same difficulties. So, let’s journey through the next fourteen chapters to see if we can make sense of it all, and maybe come up with a workable patient management system at the end.