blog

Overdue Recall: Get Patients Back on Track

Posted September 6, 2018 by Jennifer G

dentist appointment on calendarLife gets really busy, and it’s easy to forget about taking care of ourselves. Patients don’t always schedule a next hygiene appointment, and in the daily whirlwind that drives our productivity for the day, we overlook this. Even more importantly than this huge lost revenue source is the fact that patient health and preventive care is declining. Establishing an effective recall system that includes current patients, as well as focusing on past due ones, is important. Specifically, reach out to patients who have been dormant for several years. You’ll be surprised at how many are eager to get their oral health back on track.

To get started, consider this when reviewing your current recall program:

What does your staff say when calling a past due patient? A personal call goes a long way, and of course, we don’t want to shame anyone for letting preventive visits lapse. It helps to use phrases like we’re concerned for your oral health and we look forward to seeing you soon. Allow team members at least an hour at a time to sit down, review patient accounts, and make phone calls.

Are your patients so busy with long work hours they can’t make it in before 6 pm? You could consider offering a special extended day (or two) when you keep the office open 1-2 hours longer for hygiene patients only. Teamwork allows for a rotation of office staff to alter their hours once per week to accommodate an evening. This option for busy patients is one more way to get the appointment set.

Is the staff feeling incentivized to bring in those lapsed patients? Think about an incentive or treat such as bringing in bagels and coffee at the end of the month if your recall visit numbers reach a new high.

Pre-appoint every hygiene patient who comes in, or at least ask. This is the first step toward improving your retention rate. Soon, patients will come to expect this at their hygiene visits and your recall rate will show it. Encourage them to get the best selection of date and time and schedule it now to get one more thing off the to-do list.

Have you considered making the switch to an automated recall system? Once set up, it can manage how you are reaching out to patients with texts, emails, or postcard reminders about unscheduled visits. This is a great way to save staff time, increase response rate, and connect with patients who have previously been difficult to reach. Automated systems like Lighthouse 360 are designed to manage your current recall and reminders, but also focus on reactivation outreach.

Taking a look at your own recall program and setting aside time each month to focus on overdue patient’s is sure to be successful!

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Electronic Dental Records, XLDent Patient Experience, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,,

A Look Back and Ahead, Part 2

Posted December 26, 2017 by Jennifer G

2017_2018In the first part of this blog, we discussed how XLDent helps Administrative staff gather year-end totals, review practice metrics, and maintain the patient database. These areas can demonstrate trends, and inspire new ideas for increasing loyalty from your patient base, and further engaging your office team in the everyday goals you lay out.

For the Clinical Team, we look at different factors: Patient acceptance of treatment plans and consistent hygiene production are good indicators of practice growth. The Treatment Plan report allows you to see all plans that were created for the year, and the current status of each case. Hygiene production on the Production Analysis report can be generated with a comparative date range, so you can see trends in production increase (or decrease). You will want to see how many new patients you attracted over the past year, and how many of them have become repeat customers. Looking forward, you can be thinking about how best to market your practice and attract more patients next year, using the Referral reports as guidance.

Perhaps you will note that there are unfavorable trends that point to changes needed to increase success in a particular area. Your case presentations can always be improved, on tablet pc’s, using XLDent’s patient-friendly clinical features. You can present a treatment plan to a patient, answer their questions, and have them sign their acceptance (and financial arrangements) right on the tablet.

Wondering how effective overall your team’s efforts were for the past year? The Clinic Production and Collection Report as a Summary totals production, collections, debits and credits for each month with grand totals when run for the year. It’s much easier to set goals for the new year when you have a clear, reliable picture of the overall successes and trends that occurred over the past twelve months.

If you really want to keep a finger on the pulse of your practice’s growth and progress, the brand new KPI Dashboard gives you an analysis of key practice areas, is compiled and presented in easy to read graphics, and is updated in real-time. This dashboard works with mobile devices, so you always have a window of access into the health of your Practice’s performance.

While taking a look back at 2017, now is the perfect time to think about the New Year that is upon us. What areas of your practice would you like to see improve? What goals did you meet that you want to continue into the New Year? XLDent has solutions to meet all needs; to help you be completely paperless, bring your patient experience to the next level, and tools to better understand and manage your practice performance. Here’s to a prosperous 2018!

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Electronic Dental Records, XLDent Patient Experience, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,,,,

A Look Back and Ahead, Part 1

Posted December 12, 2017 by Jennifer G

2017_2018Happy 2018! Well, almost! Are you ready for a fresh start, cleaning up your books, and setting new goals for the new year? There are so many features embedded right in XLDent that it’s the perfect place to start.

The Administrative Team can dig into wrapping up your year by running reports and reflecting on what worked. There are many tools in XLDent that help you analyze, clarify, and set new goals going forward. Which Marketing ventures were most successful? How many new patients did the practice gain each month? Which insurance plans are no longer in use? Which key demographic saw the most growth in your patient database?

Start this process by running the Production and Collection reports for the year. The XLDent Production and Collection Analysis Reports easily break out details for types of procedures completed, and serves as a comparison report for this year against the previous.

Thinking in terms of your ‘Patient Experience’, what improvements could be made for the new year? Almost every new patient who wants to come to your practice will start by calling for an appointment. Are they hearing dead silence or scratchy music when you put them on hold? XLHold could just be what you need to turn that around and create a better first impression on potential new patients. Pleasant music, information about your practice, team and services offered, or even advertising your new whitening special could make the difference of whether they stay on the line or drop off.

How paperless is your office? XLDent has paperless forms and digital treatment consent forms all in one easy to use system. And, we can digitize any custom form that your office currently uses. Start off 2018 right by eliminating your paper forms or old-school signature pads. Start streamlining treatment plan presentation and capture paper-free forms and signatures – all with one solution!

Perhaps you need to step-up your Accounts Receivable collections. XLDent has a patient web portal, which allows patients to access their account online, make payments, see treatment plans that need to be scheduled, and view the most recent statement they have received. You can offer a helping hand to busy people with this online access, right from your practice website. To top it off, the Doctor Portal is included free to give your doctor access to review patient records and appointment schedules on a mobile device, any time.

Is your patient database in need of some cleanup? Take a look at patients who should be inactivated. How long has it been since they’ve been seen? Have they responded to any of your recall efforts? Patient statuses can be quickly changed to inactive, or auxiliary (if they are still the subscriber for another patient’s insurance plan). This will help streamline your recall system, so you are focusing effort on patients who are engaged in their dental health.

If you want to learn more about XLDent or about turning on any of the eSolutions already embedded in your software, contact us today. Consider gathering your staff for a team building day of shared learning, and use the library of webinars to optimize and maximize XLDent’s powerful tools to give you a great start in 2018.

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Electronic Dental Records, XLDent Patient Experience, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,,,

Technology Can Make It Grow!

Posted August 31, 2017 by Natalie L.

There are thousands of articles written about how to grow your practice, expanding your patient base further into your community. Referrals are your best source of new patients, but when they walk into your office, will they feel that your care is top-notch and state-of-the-art?

The modern dental practice has seen remarkable advances in technology in recent years, but which ones make the most difference to your patients? And how much can new technology add value to your business?

Here are the technologies where you can expect the biggest bang for your money:

  1. Digital X-Rays
  2. Intra-Oral Cameras
  3. On Hold Marketing
  4. Online Access
  5. Tablet Computers

Digital x-rays have probably been the biggest game changer for offices in the past 10 years. X-rays have become portable, enhanced images that are easy to duplicate, and eliminate the handling of chemicals during maintenance. Of course, patients are getting up to 80% less radiation in the process, which is always a great selling point! ImageXL provides a seamless view of digital images from the patient chart. ImageXL includes enhancement tools to view images in a variety of ways and the ability to integrate most any digital technology. Cone beam x-rays have changed overall case management, taking a 3D approach to the teeth and jaws’ relation to the rest of the skull, though they are still a hefty investment for a practice.

Along with x-rays, intraoral photos have had a tremendous impact on both insurance approvals and patient case acceptance. “A picture is worth a thousand words” holds true here, and showing the patient the crack in their molar is so much more powerful than telling them it’s there, especially when it’s not hurting at the time. Patient education is the best tool we have toward fewer dental caries overall and raising awareness of the critical role that dental health plays overall.

Instead of sitting on hold with dull, muzak versions of old songs, your patients should be hearing about your services and approach to caring for their oral health. XLHold is a customizable solution that is designed to allow your style of dentistry to shine, while at the same time educating patients about the importance of their dental health. A simple piece of equipment that plugs right in to your existing phone system can get your practice started. A very small investment and a little technology with huge rewards!

The largest population group in this country, the “Millennials”, have come to expect 24/7 access to all the services they need for their busy lives. Add to that the challenges of starting their families and the need for an interactive presence; online becomes critical. XLPortal gives patients access to make payments, review their statements and treatment plans, and verify their next appointment, anytime, day or night. Almost all (93%) of Millennials in a recent poll said they preferred to work with the latest technologies, businesses with a strong mission statement, and great word-of-mouth referrals, which are also shared online.

Technology-Tablet-XLChartTablets are becoming ubiquitous in medical and dental practices these days, and with good reason. Simple to use, and so much easier than managing all the paper files of previous years. Information is at the ready, and the Microsoft Surface Pro offers your dental office multitudes of information at your fingertips, while allowing a paperless practice the ability to capture digital forms, a patient’s handwritten signature, and treatment plan acceptance, all chairside!

What technologies have you already invested in? With just a few short months to finish off 2017, if you haven’t taken advantage of any or all of these technologies, consider making the leap to grow your practice and set the stage for a running start to 2018.

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Dental Technology, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,

Energize Your Reactivations

Posted July 25, 2017 by Natalie L.

One of the best ways to grow your active patient base is to create a plan for reactivating your inactive patients. These are patients who have already visited your practice and, for various reasons, have not scheduled their next preventative or treatment appointment. How can you let your patients know that you care about their dental healthcare needs and show them you understand how busy life can be?

Reactivations fill empty chairs1.  Creating a plan for Reactivation is key to making sure there is a consistent designation of “who is doing what” in this process. It’s a good idea to assign someone the task of making sure that the process is being followed, and the calls are steadily completed and communications are being generated and sent regularly. Part of this planning must include gathering accurate data to show where the practice is at, and what goals can be laid out for the next several months. XLDent Reports like the Scheduled Recall, Recall Due, and the Production Analysis Report can make this simple and quick.

75% of the practices’ treatment plans are created from a patient’s hygiene visit

2.  Automation simplifies all aspects of Reactivation. Lighthouse 360 helps reduce the amount of time office staff is spending on calling patients by 94% on average, with 90% of offices seeing an increase in reactivations of 25% or more. Lighthouse is fully integrated with XLDent, and can be customized with your message preferences, style, and frequency.

3.  Make it a team effort! Get everyone involved in making sure every patient is pre-appointed for their next visit, whether that is hygiene recall or for necessary treatment. Have a goal of making a certain number of calls per day, and let everyone know about progress toward that number. Offer a team reward, such as having lunch brought in once per quarter (or sooner), or closing a couple hours early one day, if the reactivation/recall goals are met.

4.  Social Media goes hand in hand with Reactivation! Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have been called a “Loyalty Platform”, and for good reason. For the most part, advertisers on these sites are “preaching to the choir”, in that people generally “Like” or “Follow” pages for products they themselves are currently using. The Lighthouse solution can help simplify the task of getting patient reviews and helps get those great ones published to all the top social media sites, attracting new patients to your office.

5.  Focus on your mission of caring and make it personal. Have the doctor hand-sign reactivation letters and use words like “The doctor asked me to call you…” when making phone calls, especially those calls meant to re-engage an inactive patient.

Start energizing your reactivations today! Check out how XLDent and Lighthouse can boost your active patient numbers.

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Electronic Dental Records, XLDent Patient Experience, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
Tagged : ,,,,