You and your team have worked together to diagnose, follow up and deliver major treatment for your patients, so you are done now right? The answer to this question is definitely no. The final portion of this Treatment Coordination series will have your patient feel that they have made the right decision in proceeding with this particular treatment diagnosis.
Prior to prepping a tooth for major restorations, it is always good practice to take a “before” picture intraorally. This will allow you to have a record so that your patient can understand the journey of their tooth. Some practitioners like to take a “during” picture as well. Finishing off with an “after” picture will allow you to show the patients your fine work and also be used as a comparison with the “before” picture to show the patient how they have avoided further problems with their dental work.
How the fees for the treatment are handled will leave a lasting impression on your patients. Firstly, if any type of financial arrangement has been made with the patient for their payment then these notes need to be in the software in a place that everyone in the office knows to check before seeing the patient out. This information should be reviewed in the morning so that team members aren’t fumbling when dismissing a patient.
The other area your team will want to be careful around is the verbiage when taking payment from the patient. Some offices will ask for payment before the patient enters the treatment area, unless the patient has a poor financial history then you wouldn’t want to make this a practice in your office. Asking for payment prior to treatment is sending the message to patients that the payment is more important than the treatment. Verbiage when asking for payment should be at the end of your conversation and be refined to “How would you like to take care of today’s fees?”
The final recommendation is that a member of your team provide a care contact approximately two days after treatment has been delivered. This can be in the form of a call, email or even a text depending on the patient’s preferred method of contact. The content of this connection would be to ensure that the patient’s mouth is comfortable with whatever treatment they received and as well, you will want to ask if they have any questions that they would like answered. This extra step will be seen as great customer service and TLC by your patients.
If you have been following this series for the last four weeks you will notice that Treatment Coordination is a task best handled by the entire team with smooth communication from the clinical team to the administrators. Having a set system in place that your entire team is aware of will ensure that you have improved treatment acceptance. COVID changed Treatment Coordination in many offices, needing to change your systems shouldn’t be seen as a failure, it is another system to update in your practice.
Implementing a full system of Treatment Coordination can be very difficult to coordinate in an office, this is one of those tasks that you can bring a coach in to help with, it can be done as a single service in the office without a full overhaul of the office. The Return on Investment is immediate and will be felt on your bottom line.