Use these tips to create process every team member should follow when confirming patient appointments.
Making sure that patients come for their appointments and arrive on time is an important part of the front office team’s job. Having patients miss or forget appointments can be costly to the office, resulting in lost production and lost revenue. One way to make sure that doesn’t happen is by having a method in place for confirming patient appointments.
Here’s six things you can do when confirming patient appointments:
- Confirm appointments two days in advance. On Monday, confirm Tuesday and Wednesday’s appointments. That way if a patient cancels the appointment during the confirmation call, you have given yourself additional time to fill the opening on the schedule. Call Monday appointments on the Friday before to confirm them.
- Consider using a service to confirm appointments by text and e-mail. In today’s world, many people prefer reminders this way and it saves your office time by not having to contact these patients by phone. Patient Engage offers options for these services.
- Request a confirmation call back. When leaving a voicemail, I find it beneficial to request the patient call the office back to confirm that they will be coming their appointment.
- When creating or updating patient accounts in Dentrix, request more than one phone number for patients. When possible, get an alternate phone number such as a work number in addition to a mobile number. This gives you more opportunity to reach the patient directly.
- Use appointment statues to indicate how the appointment was confirmed or if you had to leave a message, so you know which patients to attempt to contact again. Appointment statuses can be customized in the Dentrix Office Manager.
- If you want to make note of anything unusual that transpired during the confirmation call, the Dentrix Office Journal would be a good place to do that. An example of something unusual I would make a note of would be if I left a message with a person, such as a caregiver.
Successfully confirming appointments can help to ensure that patients make it to those appointments. Broken appointments results in lost production and revenue. Minimizing broken appointments is beneficial for your practice.
For additional information, read the following topics in Dentrix Help:
- Confirming Appointments
- Setting a Patient’s Status
- Customizing Appointment Status
- Adding Office Journal Entries
By Charlotte Skaggs
Certified Dentrix Trainer and The Dentrix Office Manager columnist
Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for over 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.