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Episode : #400: The Best Way to Follow Up With Patients

Podcast Description

It’s time to talk treatment trackers! This episode covers why tracking procedures in an organized manner will increase case acceptance, find patterns, and improve work ethic across the board! Kiera touches on three benefits of treatment trackers:

  1. Tell you which hygienist/doctor duos close cases best

  2. Tell you which cases are being closed and which aren’t

  3. Provide a quick call list of who to follow up on

Admittedly, these can be a pain to set up and stay consistent with, but the return is SO worth it. And to make it a touch easier, we have a sample for you.

Episode resources:

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Listen to Episode #325: Increase Your Case Acceptance With 2-2-2

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Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. I’m your host Kiera Dent. And I had this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member’s perspective because let’s face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives.

I’ve been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, biller, office manager, regional manager, practice owner and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to over 165 different offices, coaching teams. Yep. We don’t just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress, and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast.

Hello Dental A Teal listeners. This is Kiera. And you guys, all right, let’s talk treatment trackers. I call them a gold mine, because treatment trackers are a pain in the bootay, but they’re amazing, amazing if you are going to utilize them for following up with patients.

So think about this, all right. You guys go to buy a car. Okay, I’m just going to walk you through a story. You guys are going to the car lot, you’ve picked out your dream car, you know what it’s going to be, and you finally get the guts up and you go to the car lot and you start looking for it. Awesome. You’re so pumped. This is going to be your dream car. Fantastic. Well, you go in, you talk to them about how much the car is going to cost. And you say, I’m going to think about it. What does that car dealership do? I bet you get a call that night, you get a call the next morning, you get a call the next afternoon, you get a call the next day. Then they start emailing you. You guys, I’m still getting emails from a car dealership that I went to in, guess what? December. And we are into July. Brilliant.

Okay. So I’m not saying dental offices should be car dealerships. But what I am saying is, let’s look at patterns of other industries and figure out what they do, why they do it, and how can that apply to dentistry and healthcare. Something that I find, just like in corporate dentistry, you guys, I think corporate dentistry has the best systems out there. They’re brilliant. They run it like a business, and then I think we add our private practice spin to it. So treatment trackers to me, are a gold mine of the patients that we need to follow up with.

There is a reason people have sales funnel. There is a reason people go into email campaigns. There is a reason that people go on automated lists, where it tells the office when to contact and call that person. Because guess what? Just because you didn’t buy today, doesn’t mean that in seven months, you’re not going to want to buy a car, or in a year, or in a year and a half. And they want to be, what is that? Front of mind. So again, you guys are not car dealerships. We are not selling cars and I am not in any way, shape or form equating dentistry to cars at all. I just like you to have an experience that I know we’ve all experienced, so you can understand the benefit of a treatment tracker.

So for me guys, there’s a lot of softwares out there. Dental Intel, Practice by Numbers, Divergent, any of those are great softwares. I honestly am not partial to any, I’m partial to the software that you use and that you execute on. So a treatment tracker is annoying. I’m going to just warn you guys. It’s an annoying piece and item to use. However, it’s literally a goldmine for so much information for you.

So what a treatment tracker does is every, yes, you heard that right, every procedure that comes through your practice gets tracked and you guys, it’s real fancy schmancy, probably could never, ever, ever build it in your life. It’s on Google Docs. Google Sheets is where we build it. So it’s an Excel spreadsheet and we literally have the TCs name or initials, so the date the patient came in, the initials, the patient’s name, so we can follow up with them, what the treatment was presented. I also will sometimes go a step further so you can have dollar amounts and you can also put what it is. So, if it’s crowns, implants, keep it really basic here. And there’s a reason why. I usually will do the doctor and the hygienist duo, if I’ve got multiples in a practice. And then if they close or don’t close, so if they schedule or if they don’t schedule, and then the reason why. And then I do a two two two follow up, so two days, two weeks, two months.

Once we get that done, now your treatment tracker is ready to go. It is a pain in the bum. It’s terrible. I hated doing this you guys, I’m not going to lie to you. However, it is insanely effective, and there is so much value within this treatment tracker. So what it does is, if I’m tracking this and I write every patient down, one thing I did for myself was I made it real easy for the ones that closed, and I made it real easy for the ones that didn’t close. And I did that intentionally. I’m a person who likes ease. Most human beings like ease. So if the ones who close are really, really easy to fill in on the treatment tracker, bingo, I’m going to be excited to put those on and get my gold stars.

Now, the ones who don’t close are harder to track. I’m going to actually be more likely to close patients, just because I don’t want to have to write them down. It’s a crazy psychological game. You guys, if you don’t know, my background’s in marriage and family therapy, I studied a lot of psychology. I actually am so, so, so excited. There’s the book called The Choice Factory by Richard Shotton, and he’s actually going to coach me guys, pretty soon, and it’s all about psychology. Truly, something crazy cool is you can have the exact same brownie and I can serve it to you on a paper towel, I can serve it to you on just a regular plate or a paper plate, and then I can serve it to you on fine China. All the same size, all white, and you will without fail, the brownie that it served on fine China always comes back as better tasting brownie, regardless of the fact that it’s the exact same brownie. It’s all psychology.

So by having this treatment tracker and making it a little more uncomfortable to fill in patients who don’t schedule, that’s great. We do that on purpose, because psychologically it’s something we’re like, oh, I don’t want to do that. Okay. So that is actually one of the number one reasons to this. So it’s going to help increase your case acceptance. It’s also going to tell you true case acceptance, and it’s also going to find you patterns. Yes. Dental Intel you guys, is amazing at this. However, I have literally found by hand tracking, I am intimate with those numbers and I actually become better at closing cases. This is how I went from being a $5,000 closer to a $50,000 closer, was honestly by looking for my patterns in my treatment tracker.

So a treatment tracker is going to give you a lot of information. It’s going to literally at a glance, I usually track this per month, and we follow up with patients. So the benefits of a treatment tracker are number one, it’s going to tell you which hygienist and doctor duo can close cases better. Awesome. Record those exams, record how that’s teed up and share it with the rest of your team, so the rest of your team is able to then get more of those cases closed. That’s one perk to this treatment tracker. Number two, it’s also going to tell you which cases our doctors are closing and which ones they’re not.

How many of you have wished that there was an easy way to get that dang operations manual, then? Well, guess what? We are here to deliver. That’s right. Join us for an entire eight hours and get eight hours of CE Friday, September 17th, for our operations manual creation. That’s right. We are literally going to walk you and your team through step-by-step, workshop style, it’s virtual, and you are going to get that operations manual started and quite a few pieces completed. So join us on Friday, September 17th, utilize our coupon code podcast ops, that’s podcast O-P-S, head on over to thedentalateam.com/events. I cannot wait to see you. Let’s get that operations manual done, done, and done. Bring your entire team. And I’ll see you guys there.

I was in an office with three doctors. One of the doctors was only closing fillings. They could not close crowns, they could not close implants. And I saw that because I was able to see all the data sitting there in black and white of the type of procedures, so when I looked at what this doctor was closing, yes, they were getting 100%case acceptance or 90% case acceptance, but only because they were only diagnosing fillings, they weren’t presenting crowns. Well, that’s an immediate opportunity for doctors to calibrate on exams and see, why would this start? I mean, you guys, I can’t imagine that many patients being seen and none of them needing crowns and implants, that just feels very, very, very lucky or unlucky odds. Sure enough, doctor wasn’t wasn’t confident on presenting those, which is why we weren’t presenting. So that was a quick, easy turn. Well, guess what? Now, patients getting better patient care, doctor’s happier because they’re able to diagnose better and more confidently. And that became a doctor calibration piece that they were into. So that’s another pearl of it.

And another pearl of a treatment tracker is, it now gave you your quick call list of who to call and who to follow up with. So, and guys, follow up with them. We have to remember that people are human and they forget, I don’t know any person out there who doesn’t forget. So I just follow up with them and it’s not a, I want to get you in here. It’s a literal, check-in like, Hey, how are things going? I know you want to talk to your spouse about the costs, I wanted to see what questions you had, I wanted to follow up.

You guys, that VIP customer service, I feel is what setting more and more and more dental practices apart in today’s day and age. It’s that human touch. It’s the human element. It’s calling our patients. It’s checking in with them. It’s getting them scheduled for this care, because we know that they need to get it taken care of and we know there’s a solution and we’re the best practice to do it for our patient. So we are obligated, we have a moral obligation to take care of our patients, to follow up with them, to give them that experience. And so that’s why I love this two two two follow up.

Yes. I do think other softwares amazingly can automate this for you, so you just have a list of who to call. That’s a brilliant, brilliant way to do it. Again, there is a psychological fact of having to write it down. That’s my list. I used to hand write this guys. I would hand write my list of who I needed to call before they had ASAP lists. Computers have made us really smart, they’ve also made it so easy for us that we’re not intimate with our data and our knowledge and actively executing on it.

So every treatment coordinator, in my opinion, needs to have time every single day, not blocked time, you can if you want, but I think you can do it as your daily duties. I think this is part of a treatment coordinator’s job, is to make sure that they follow up with every patient on their call list. The treatment tracker is great, of which patients are to be called because you just put a date in there. So you filter your Excel sheet by the date and call all those patients, hey, this is Kiera, I was just calling up. Doctor so-and-so wanted me to call you. They were concerned about you. So I wanted to just give you a call. Give me a quick call back. Notice I use the doctor, doctor is concerned. We are always all calling on behalf of our doctors. And I also told them that, hey, we want to get you taken care of. I didn’t say what it was for. I’m keeping it HIPAA compliant. And so that can really help get your patients to call.

And then I usually will text them right afterwards as well. Can also use the magic phrase, calling regarding your account if you want. I don’t care how you choose to say it, just call and make sure that your calls are being effective and you’re sending the text messages afterwards. So I think every treatment coordinator, just like post-op calls are expected, I believe every treatment coordinator is expected to follow up with their patients as well. You guys, I recommend you follow up two days, two weeks, two months, and then after that you send them a letter. That way there is an end in sight of when you can stop calling these patients. But this treatment tracker will literally let you know who you’ve called.

You guys can take this one step further and create quote, unquote dummy codes. They are not billable codes, but they are codes that can go on a ledger, so you can see and run reports of how many first call, second call, third calls has your office made. That can be a great tracking tool within your software as well. Something I love to do, something I have implemented in many practices.

So if I have not convinced you that a treatment tracker is solid gold. Number one, gives you the data which duo, doctor and hygiene does really well on what procedures, so you can have calibrated training. Number two, it helps you see what procedures doctors are confident or … incompetent, is that the word we want? On what type of procedures they’re presenting and also, what their case acceptance is. Again, this shows you dollar for dollar, so if they accept, if we present $1000, they accept $100, I’m at a 10% case acceptance. Fantastic, I got to figure out a way to say this differently.

You guys, treatment tracking’s what taught me where I was weak, it taught me what I needed to improve, and it taught me how I needed to change these things up. If I keep saying the same thing, expecting different results, you guys know that that’s the definition of insanity. So don’t keep saying the exact same phrase. If my crowns aren’t closing and patients who are having crowns are always waiting, I might want to listen to myself, record it.

You guys, I do this with offices often in our coaching. I have them record it, and then play it back as a coach, and I listen to it with them and I change their verbiage, just one or two words, and instantly they’ll start closing cases. They might not be explaining a crown or a root canal or an implant in the easiest way for the patient to understand. You might be saying words that are planting seeds of doubt without you even realizing it. So this treatment tracker literally helps you see what cases you’re rock solid on, your verbiage is awesome and what cases you need to change that verbiage up on, so that way you’re able to execute more, more efficiently and effectively.

So, and then it gives you your call list, your immediate call list of what patients to get scheduled and where. It also shows you the dollar amount, so if you’ve got a dead day, go look for those higher treatment plans and call those patients first, then call your other patients.

Also, giving you guys the idea of treatment coordinators, this should be part of your job. You have time, I know we don’t have time, but this is so important that we need to make the time for it and just schedule it in. So for me on the schedule, I had every day at 3:00 that’s when I called my patients. Or you can have it at 11:00, because when you call your patient, so they call you back over the lunch hour. Or you can put it at 4:30, as you’re wrapping up the day, that’s when you do your followup calls for all your treatment plans. Get into the consistent habit of following up. That is how a treatment tracker has solid goldmines for you guys. And as always, if you need help, you want help implementing this, we have samples on our website that you guys can download.

Get a treatment tracker, execute it, implement it, have an incredible system. Cannot wait to hear from you guys if you need help, email me [email protected], and as always guys, thanks so much for listening. I’ll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.

And that wraps it up for another episode of the Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll talk to you next time.

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