Lindcee Barrera

Lindcee Barrera

Full Schedule Project Manager

7 ways to keep your dental office schedule full

The patients in your dental practice are your most valuable asset and the reason you decided to pursue a career in dentistry in the first place. You entered into the healthcare field to provide 5-star dental care for your community, but as a dental practice owner it’s also important to recognize that the total profit from your patient’s treatment over time will make or break your practice. In order to keep your dental office on a successful path, you need to know how to keep your dental practice schedule full by improving your scheduling processes, increasing patient volume, and retaining your current dental patients. 

How can I improve my dental office scheduling?

Is your dental office schedule not as full as you would prefer? Does it start full, but end up looking like swiss cheese by lunchtime? Here are a few tips to improve your dental office scheduling: 

 Invest in smart marketing 

You want more patients who don’t just come in for one routine check-up and then never come back, right? Focus your marketing on attracting dental patients that will come to you for all their dental needs throughout their entire lifetime. 

  • Offer easy, online scheduling option for patients

While 85% of all dental appointments are still scheduled with a phone call, a study by Healthgrades found that 80% of consumers said they would prefer to make their healthcare appointments online. Offering an easy, online scheduling option for patients will put you ahead of the curve and make sure you are appealing to patients who don’t want to call the office.

Even with an online scheduling option, anywhere from 70-85% of dental appointments will be made over the phone. But here’s the kicker: nearly 90% of new patients that call your office and are sent to voicemail, put on hold, or not appropriately greeted, will not call back. If the largest percentage of your patients schedule via telephone, it makes sense to keep your practice telephone line open and available.

How to increase patient volume in a dental office

Your practice may be experiencing an influx of patients calling your office to schedule, which can seem like a great problem to have. But the hard truth is that the average dental practice patient retention rate is just 41%, which means that only 4 out of every 10 new patients return to your practice for regular appointments. This is why many dental practices are working to fill the schedule but do not achieve their targeted growth goals. Here are a few tips to increase patient volume in your dental office:

  • Use the unschedule treatment report in your practice management software

No matter your dental practice management software, you can find a list of patients with treatment plans that are not scheduled. This report — along with the standard recare cleaning report — should be worked regularly to welcome patients back to your office for the dental care they need.

  • Try different communication methods

Does your office use different communication methods to remind patients of appointments and treatment? According to a 2020 PCMag article, Soprano Design conducted a study in 2019 and found that 90% of people open a text within 3 minutes. On top of that, 65% of people view businesses that send reminders via text more favorably than businesses that don’t! 

  • Customize communication

It is no surprise that, when interacting with patients, a real human is always better than a robot. Patients want to know that you are about them and their well-being, so having a dedicated Scheduling Specialist to reach out to your patients in a cordial, professional manner that positively represents your dental practice is essential.

How to retain dental patients

The ideal dental patient retention rate is 85%, which is far from the industry average. Our personal research shows that an average hygiene appointment, and ensuing production from the doctor’s exam, leads to an average of $471 of income per dental patient visit. This means that if you’re not retaining your current and new patients, your practice is leaving money on the table.

Improve your dental patient retention_eAssist_Full Schedule

 

eAssist Dental Solutions is here to help. As the nation’s leading platform for remote dental billing services, eAssist has a network of Full Schedule specialists who are part of our platform and respect your patient’s time and personal boundaries, so you can have peace of mind in knowing that your practice is represented cordially and professionally. eAssist’s Full Schedule is a premier, personalized communication service used to fill your dental office schedule by contacting patients for hygiene recall and unscheduled treatment reminders. Our platform makes sure that no one slips through the cracks and offers a unique, patient-centered communication plan that positively represents your dental practice. Whether it’s been weeks or months since you’ve last seen your patient, your Full Schedule specialist will provide a personalized, professional message to them to welcome them back to complete their treatment. 

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