Dos and don'ts for increasing production: Bring inactive patients back

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Bring inactive patients back into the practice

A certain percentage of inactive patients will never return to the practice, but many others will if you approach them correctly. Rather than leaving it up to patients to reconnect, take a proactive approach. Pull together a complete list of patients not seen in the past 18 to 48 months and task the front desk coordinator to systematically contact them. The message should be that the practice is concerned about their oral health, since they haven't received care for some time.

Do

Use the rule of 3 communication technique. To urge inactive patients to schedule, the front desk coordinator should begin with a phone call (preferably to cellphone numbers) every week for three weeks, followed by an email a week for three weeks, followed by one letter per week for three weeks. Patients who do not respond to these messages should be removed from the patient base.

Don

Don't hesitate to offer an incentive. It's worthwhile to offer a free examination for inactive patients who schedule an appointment. It will cost the practice nothing -- aside from several minutes of the doctor's time -- to do this, and it sends a dual message of value and concern for the patient's well-being.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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