We Remembered Your Birthday!

We Remembered Your Birthday!

happybday_1

 

How do you feel when someone unexpected remembers your birthday?

What if you were that unexpected person who pulled through in the clutch and remembered someone’s birthday? And what if you could wish that someone a happy birthday from 20 miles away? What if you could do that for 1,000 people all at once?

Keeping your existing patients engaged and involved with your practice has never been less expensive, less time consuming, and more meaningful. Reaching out to a patient when it matters will increase patient satisfaction, which will increase patient loyalty and will inevitably increase your revenues. Patient engagement has already done exactly that in every other business space, and it’s now doing the same in health care.

I know what you’re going to say. The fact that all these automated messages are being sent out by a cloud software system make them so impersonal!
That’s a valid theory, but I’ll tell you that we recently sent out a bunch of birthday messages for a new practice, and here’s what one of the patients wrote back: “This is unbelievable, I’m so very grateful for this, thank you all and God bless you for thinking about my birthday!” Someone else wrote, “This is a wonderful gift, I really appreciate it, thanks a lot!” These are patients for life, and I don’t have to explain the monetary value they represent.

You can do so much more than birthday wishes.

Send out holiday greetings at the right time of year, a get well message after a complicated procedure, or anything creative you can think of! (Just make sure you don’t overdo it and end up in the spam folder.)

So jump on the engagement bandwagon and surprise your patients. After all, they’re the most valuable asset your practice has, so why not take care of them as best as you can? See how you can make your patients feel warm and fuzzy in no time, with Patient Communicator’s all-in-one automated messaging system.

So how do you go out of your way to make your patients feel special?

Patient Communicator is a state-of-the-art system especially designed for health care practitioners. A win-win system for both your patients and your practice, its sophisticated features make no-shows a thing of the past. At the same time, they make it easier for patients to book appointments online, and for providers to build stronger relationships with their patients, increase revenues, and grow their practice.

About the author: Sheryl is the Technical Support Manager at Patient Communicator, a simple but feature rich platform that helps medical and dental practices of all kinds to better communicate with their patients. She loves solving problems, putting out fires and helping her clients apply best practices to ensure optimal results. Learn more about Sheryl and Patient Communicator here.

Why is May the Time to Appreciate Appreciation?

Why is May the Time to Appreciate Appreciation?

brussel-sprouts-healthMay is the official month of appreciation for some of the important people we take for granted throughout the year. In addition to Mother’s Day, the month’s most famous (for good reason) and popular appreciation day (especially among mothers), May includes, National Teacher appreciation Week, and Military Spouse Appreciation Day and most poignantly: Memorial Day. This year, the month of May also plays host to national Blame Someone Else Day on Friday the 13th. While it’s a nice ace to have up your sleeve, it’s hardly the kind of appreciation people like to receive.

People like to be appreciated.

William James, the well-known psychologist and philosopher, said, “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.” Whether or not it’s the very deepest principle of human nature, you cannot deny that when you’re appreciated, for anything, it’ll put a smile on your face and an extra bounce in your step for the next few hours.

Blogger Todd Smith writes, that “When you express your approval or gratitude for something they have done, you will not only enhance their lives, but you will enrich yours as well. You will feel more fulfilled because you have done something to make someone else’s life better.” I’m sold.
Believe it or not, your patients also possess human nature, and as such, they crave appreciation. And just as someone who craves ice cream will enjoy inhaling a tub of Ben & Jerry’s no matter what the flavor, even you can enhance your patients’ lives by showing appreciation for them and their patronage.

I don’t mean thanking them for their credit card payment, rather by recognizing and appreciating the fact that they chose you and your practice over the myriad of alternatives available to them. While a simple “Thanks for choosing us” and a smile from you and your staff is a great start, it doesn’t take much to go the extra mile: With today’s automated patient engagement systems, it’s never been easier to reach out to your patients and say thanks.

One such system is Patient Communicator, possibly the most powerful patient engagement system on the planet. Using a set-it-and-forget-it automated messaging platform, wish your patients a happy birthday, happy new year, or happy national chocolate chip day (May 15th). You can also thank new patients for choosing your practice, or tell existing patients how happy you were to see them for their return visit.

You might think that all of this automated messaging is canned and impersonal, which would sort of defeat the purpose of showing sincere appreciation. The reality is quite the opposite, as patients sincerely appreciate the thoughtfulness you show by sending them that message. These are a couple of actual responses to automated birthday messages: “This is unbelievable, I’m so very grateful for this, thank you all!” Someone else wrote, “This is a wonderful gift, I really appreciate it, thanks a lot!”

Wouldn’t you appreciate it?

Patient Communicator is a state-of-the-art system especially designed for health care practitioners. A win-win system for both your patients and your practice, its sophisticated features make no-shows a thing of the past. At the same time, they make it easier for patients to book appointments online, and for providers to build stronger relationships with their patients, increase revenues, and grow their practice.

Here’s What Your Dental Practice Needs to Keep on Growing

Here’s What Your Dental Practice Needs to Keep on Growing

brussel-sprouts-health Why are dental hygiene recall systems a lot like Brussels sprouts? Because as much as you want to avoid them, you can’t deny that they keep you healthy and strong. I wish that was a joke, but that’s exactly what recall does for your practice – keeps it healthy and strong. So how effective is your recall system?

Some Recall Numbers

According to a study by Practice Analytics, most dental practices average recall rates of only 60% to 70% (practices should be consistently hitting the 80% mark), and have over 200 overdue patients in their overall recall cycle. I recently came across a large practice that had 2000 “active” patients who had not been to the practice for over a year!

Big deal, you say, how much revenue am I going to miss out on because of a few missed hygiene appointments? Well, practice benchmarks suggest that 20% of exams result in the need for restorative treatment at an average of $500 per patient. In fact, about half of the adult population in the US will need at least one crown in their lifetime, with an average price tag of $750. Clearly, neglecting to optimize your recall system impacts far more than the profitability of your hygiene department.

There Is Hope

The good news is, implementing protocols to improve a practice’s recall system has shown to increase recall rates by more than 25%, while increasing patient retention by up to 15%, and improving incremental revenue by $4k to $5k per month. Even if you’re not a “numbers” person, this should be enough to convince you that effective recall needs to be a priority in your practice.

Because every practice has unique dynamics, it would be incorrect to present one magical cookie-cutter solution and claim that it will turn every practice into a recall champion. Nevertheless, there are some basic, yet fundamental steps that must be taken in order to have a chance at success.

Accountability, Consistency, Automation

Recall involves several activities that need to be repeated and followed up on regularly. The activities themselves are pretty straightforward (keeping a recall schedule, pre-booking appointments, following up), but who in your office is in charge of recall? If you can’t answer this question on a dime, then you need to make a change. There should be one (and only one) person in your office who is fully accountable for the entire recall process. That doesn’t mean they have to do it all, but that they are responsible for ensuring that it all gets done.

A successful recall strategy also requires the understanding that recall is a marathon, not a mad dash to fill some open slots during a slow month. As a patient, I care about my next hygiene appointment about as much as the international ice fishing championship. So if no one’s going to make it a point to be on top of me until I schedule my next appointment, it may never happen. But polite consistency and persistence will pay off, and eventually I, along with all of your elusive plaque-loving patients, will come back.

In order to help your office staff handle the daily grind of the recall marathon, some tools have recently been developed that make recall easier and more effective. You can now automate the entire recall reminder process by sending out timely email, text and voice messages to remind patients about their upcoming recall date.

Instead of long list of recall phone calls, patients can be contacted in the way they prefer (60% prefer text messaging over any other method of communication), and can respond by making an actual appointment. This will ensure all recall patients are communicated, and your staff focuses their time only on those patients who haven’t already scheduled appointments. One such tool is Patient Communicator, a system that not only sends out these reminders, but enables patients to click on a link in the message and book an appointment online, 24/7.

So take the recall challenge. Put someone in charge, stay consistent, and make it more efficient with automated messaging. You can even try out Patient Communicator completely free for 30 days with absolutely no obligation. Keep it up and your practice will end up like my brother, who actually ate his Brussel sprouts: Healthy and strong.

Have you introduced an innovative strategy into your practice that has improved recall results?

Sources
Improving Patient Recall Increases Practice Profitability, Practice Analytics, 2014
Creating a recall system protocol, Richard Kaiserin, 2011
The Untapped Power of Your Recall System, Tawana Coleman Aesthetic Dentistry, 2015
Does Your Recall System Scream “Unprofessional”? Sally McKenzie, 2012

Patient Communicator is a state-of-the-art system especially designed for health care practitioners. A win-win system for both your patients and your practice, its sophisticated features make no-shows a thing of the past. At the same time, they make it easier for patients to book appointments online, and for providers to build stronger relationships with their patients, increase revenues, and grow their practice.

Dentists’ Version of ‘Twas the Night Before Xmas

Dentists’ Version of ‘Twas the Night Before Xmas

dentist version

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when inside his house,
A hot drink he was stirring, his name Dr. Krauss;
All his patients’ teeth cleaned by the office with care,
The hygienists went home too, so no one was there;

The children brushed too, now they’re snug in their beds,
While visions of good dental hygiene danced in their heads;
With all his work done, he took off his cap,
Finally on vacation, he settled down for a nap;

When he lay for a moment, then his teeth turned to chatter,
His family said, Dr. Krauss what’s the matter?
Right out of his bed, he flew in a flash,
Tore straight for the front door, he made a mad dash;

I didn’t wish my patients merry Christmas, oh no,
To his office in mid-day, he sped in the snow;
An impossible task, it would so appear,
To reach five thousand patients, could take a whole year;

So he called in his staff, and asked to come quick,
They’ll work ‘round the clock, to be home ‘fore St. Nick;
More rapid than eagles his office staff came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name;

Now! Sasha, now! Francis, now! Francine and Dixon,
On! Janet, on! Ingrid, on! David and Nixon;
To the top of the list, all our patients to call,
A very Merry Christmas, we must wish one and all;

As they picked up and dialed, wild fingers would fly,
With a prayer for success, mounted to the sky;
When Francis now said, somewhat out of the blue,
No, I will not be doing this, and you shouldn’t too;

What? Said her friends, Dr. Krauss’ll hit the roof,
No holiday wishes to patients, is not a little goof;
Francis lifted her head, gave a smile all around,
We’ll be home before St. Nick, a solution I’ve found;

We will send out one message, a great one, a hoot,
It’ll reach all our patients, every last one to boot;
Let’s go Francis, do it! With a pat on her back,
Cause she’s an idea peddler, she has just the knack;

Her eyes – how they twinkled! Their worry she’d bury,
To the computer she went, with a speed that was scary;
Loaded Patient Communicator, and quickly clicked “Go”,
Found a Season’s Greetings template, with thistles and snow;

As she showed them the message, they gritted their teeth,
Wrote special well-wishes, added even a wreath;
I will send this to all patients, yes even to Kelly,
And as Francis hit send, all their knees turned to Jelly;

“So indifferent,” they grumped, like it’s sent from an elf,
And I’d laugh if I saw one was sent to myself;
A wink of her eye, she just twisted her head,
Soon showed us the Inbox, we had nothing to dread;

She spoke not a word, but showed just how it worked,
Replies fill’d all the Inbox, as if going berserk;
“Thank you!” “How thoughtful!” each one of us knows,
Patient Communicator’s greatness was just exposed;

Dr. Krauss he sprung up, to his team gave a whistle,
And home they all flew, left behind only thistle,
Dr. Krauss would exclaim as he drove out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

For more information on how Patient Communicator can ease the burden on your office staff and help you increase revenues, contact us for a live online demo or to get started on a 30-day free trial, or call 888-512-3452.