Hi guys, and welcome to another episode of the Delivering WOW Dental Podcast. I actually wanted to come and talk to you guys about hygiene reappointment rate. So that is the number of patients, or the percentage of patients, that have a next appointment scheduled for dental hygiene. Now, what's been really interesting is I am going through Q3 planning with our inner circle, and we've got a few new people that have just joined our inner circle, and a few of them are really rocking their hygiene reappointment percentage, and we had a few that are not quite there yet. And what's really interesting that I tell people is that there's always going to be something that you're focusing on. You might be focusing on learning how to do a new service, so you're taking CEs, right? You might be focusing on creating a process for how you answer the phones, right? So there's things that you're going to be focusing on, and because you're focusing on that, you're not even thinking about other things.
But, however, once you have processes in place, or you have a coach or your mentor, or you have tools, such as scorecards, to be able to look at things consistently, that's when change can really happen, right? And so I wanted to talk to you guys about a simple and easy process to be able to have consistency with your hygiene reappointment rate. Now, why do we want to do that? The reason why is that we have patients who are coming in. Our role is to keep them healthy, and if patients are slipping through the cracks, meaning life happens, time passes, and before you know it, a year passes, they are no longer in the healthy zone for many of them, right? Years pass, and again, bacteria's continuing to grow and grow, and they're missing lots of places, right? So we start looking at how can we help our patients to be more consistent. How can we create processes that patients do not have their healthcare slip through the cracks? And it is really looking at how do we have processes in our practice that can help hold our patients accountable.
And so I just wanted to share a process with you that has allowed me and my practice, as well as the practices that we work with Delivering WOW to be able to consistently have at least a 97%, 98% hygiene reappointment rate. Now, why do I say not 100? Because there are going to be patients who quite simply cannot have a pre-booked appointment. A few examples in my particular practice is we have some people who live all over the world, so they may live in England, they may live in Canada, they may live in parts of the Caribbean, they may live in different places. And so they may not be able to set their next appointment, because it's only when they come in and they travel on specific holidays where they have their dental work done. We also have students who are in university, and so we're not 100% sure when they will be back in town. Same thing, we have students who are in boarding school, and so those students will typically come home for Christmas, and they'll come in the summer, and we'll see them during those specific times.
But outside of that, I really want to make sure that all of our patients have a next appointment on the schedule, and so what we have done is we created a process, and how it works is when Mr. Joe comes in, we say, "Hey, Mr. Joe, I'm going to go ahead and make your next appointment for six months, and if it does not work for you at the time, then we can always change it. But we found that a lot of times, life happens, and what happens is that in the past, before we were pre-making appointments or pre-booking appointments, a lot of times patients just, life happened and things slipped through the cracks. And we want to make sure that we keep you on track, because as you know, when you're cleaning your teeth at home, you're not able to get everything. You're doing your best, but when you come in, we have mirrors and we have lights, and so we want to make sure that we keep you healthy and keep you consistent."
Now, there are going to be patients, of course, that say, "Well, I don't know where I'm going to be in six months," and so this is a process that will allow them to feel comfortable still making the appointment. So what we do, or what we have done, is inside of our practice management software, there's always a color where you can have a customized, for example, you will have an area that says left message, and it will be a customized color. Maybe it's going to be purple. You have one that says confirmed. You have all of these different colors that can be there to code your appointment. So what we did was we actually created a new code, and it was called pre-booked. So we have Dentrix. We went in and we created an additional one called pre-booked, and we actually chose the color red. And so what we do is when we make the appointment, we will always want to make the appointment if possible the same day that the patient is in, and around the same time. And if we're always doing that, then that appointment time and day will pretty much always be available, right?
So we'll go ahead and put that in, make sure that works for the patients. We will go ahead and choose the pre-booked color, and then what we do is fast forward six months every month, sorry, every Monday. What we do is every single Monday we look at, the front desk looks at, the next week's schedule, and anyone who has a red as a color code, we know that they were pre-booked six months ago. And so the front desk calls them, says, "Hey Mr. Joe, just reminding you that we had scheduled an appointment for you. It's going to be next week, Tuesday, at 2:00PM. Confirming that that time works for you. We look forward to seeing you then." And they'll say, "Yes, sounds great. I'll see you then." And we'll go ahead and get them confirmed. And if they say, "Oh no, I'm traveling," we say, "Not a problem. We can go ahead and move that appointment for you," and we go ahead and say, "When are you coming back from your travels?" And they'll say, "Well, I'll be back on a specific date," and we'll say, "You know what? Let's wait about a week, because I'm sure you'll be busy when you get back, and if you'd like we can schedule it the following week, if that works for you. We can do either morning or afternoon. Which would you prefer?"
And so the goal here is to never let the patient actually come off the schedule. If they cannot make it, you find another time, because what you want to make sure, and this is the verbiage, is that you don't have their healthcare slip through the cracks, right? And what we have found is that when patients say they will call back, life happens, and before you know it, they're three months, four months, sometimes a year, even, past due. And you can tell the patients that, because that's the truth, right? And it makes sense, and they're like, "You know what? You're right. Let me go ahead and make that appointment." And so that is the process.
Now, there are going to be some patients that you're not going to get on the phone right away, so you do have an opportunity to make a few attempts. Also, as you know, there are automated processes, so we have that in place, as well. That can send an email reminder or a text reminder to the patient, and so we have that process in place, as well. But it's really nice to be able to have that phone call, because that's when patients will say, "Oh no, I'm traveling," because sometimes what happens, I know I've had this happen, as well, I'll have an appointment and I mean to call, I mean to call, but I get busy and then I'm like, "Oh no." Like it's the day before or two days before. And so if somebody called me a week ahead, and I knew that I was traveling, then I could just move the appointment, and you would have less opportunities there, in terms of the practice, to have people who are no-showing or are breaking appointments.
And it's also an opportunity, as well, to be able to look at unscheduled treatment that they have not actually completed within the six months' time, and you can go ahead and get that scheduled while they're already there. Again, "Mr. Joe, you're coming in for your cleaning. We noticed that you still have two fillings that have not been done in the last six months. We'd like to get that scheduled for you while you're coming that same visit, if that works for you, so that you don't have to miss more work. We can just get it all done while you're here, and you'll be done with all of those fillings."
So that's kind of the verbiage, and again, that allows you to be able to increase the production on the doctor's side, while you are also, of course, keeping your hygiene schedule consistently booked and filled. And you know, it's really interesting, a lot of times we focus on marketing, and you'll have 10 patients a month that you're getting from marketing, or 20, or 30, or 90, or whatever the number is, and a lot of times, practices are not actually checking what's happening in the back door, and you have patients that are falling through the cracks and just as you're getting 20 patients a month, you have 20 that are becoming inactive every month or have not come in for the last 18 months. And so this is a really great process that's going to allow you to be able to keep your patients healthy, keep them on track, have a really great process for communicating with your patients, making sure that you are not having patients slip through the cracks, as well as allow you to be able to do more restorative work and get that unscheduled treatment rescheduled.
So I hope that helps for you, and I really love being able to share all of these amazing tips and strategies with all of you. You are my people, and I love our Delivering WOW Podcast listeners, and our Delivering WOW community. Now, if you haven't had a chance, please make sure you're joining us inside of our Facebook group, which is deliveringwowhangout.com. And if you haven't had a chance already to sign up for our next marketing and practice growth challenge, you can do that by going to deliveringwowchallenge.com. All right, guys, that is it for today. Take care and keep Delivering WOW.
Hi, guys and welcome to another episode of the Delivering WOW Dental podcast. Today is going to be a little bit of a coaching session and today, we're going to be talking about how do you assume leadership? How do you level up, to be able to run a successful dental practice? So, what I see happening, so many times, is doctors are reaching out to me and they're blaming their team, right? They're like, "Oh, well, my team does not want to do vision boards. My team does not want to do scorecards. My team does not want to stay past 4:00 PM. My team does not want to, my team does not want to." Right?
Then, I look at practices where the teams are super pumped up and excited to actually help the business grow. I want to talk to you guys today about, how do you get that team that is excited to be able to work alongside you, to be able to create a really amazing place inside of your community? What I see happening, so many times with practices, is that, to be honest with you, you have not necessarily done due diligence in hiring.
What I mean by that, for you who are practice owners who are listening to this podcast, it's super important, before you even think about hiring a team member, that you're super clear about what you are expecting out of them. What is going to be their job description, right? Also, making sure that they are clear, in terms of what is expected of them, right? For example, if they are an office manager, it's not going to be possible for them to say, "Well, I can't come in until 10 o'clock." Or, "I can't work on Thursdays." Right?
It's not going to be possible, because the office manager or the team lead, they are the one who is essentially running the business for the doctor. Taking the doctor's vision and carrying it out, ensuring that all projects, in terms of community service and marketing projects are being done, whether they're doing it or not, right? Overseeing to make sure that it's done. Making sure that processes are continuously being built, systems. Written documentation of processes, making sure that the practice is growing week-to-week. That scorecards are being done right.
If you're getting resistance, doctors, from your office manager, saying that they are not able to do the things that need to be done, to be able to run the business, then either, to be honest with you, you've made a bad hire, right? It's not the right person for your culture. Or even more so, what happened is that a lot of times, we have not been clear about our expectations. What I find a lot, is that doctors are really amazing people and they are very kind. Sometimes, they're very afraid to step up and be a leader. If they are not happy with something that they're seeing in their business, they keep quiet.
I can tell you one thing that I've always said in my business, is that if somebody is going to be disappointed, it's not going to be me. It's not going to be me. I'm going to make sure that what we believe in is going to happen. If that means that, for example, we have made a decision that we are going to do one marketing campaign every month to help all the community, then it has to be done. Or, if we're going to give headphones and iPads to our patients while they're having a procedure done, so that they can listen to music, it has to be done, right?
As you're stepping into leadership, for many of you guys, it's super important that you understand that the business that you are running, you will get what you deserve, or you will get what you put into it. Or, you will get what you envision for your business, right? If you have a vision to be able to have a business where people are working alongside you, then first, you have to visualize that. Number two, you have to look at the employees that you have right now and think, "Are they there with my vision?"
One thing that we do inside of our platinum program and our inner circle, is we always want to make sure that we can get the teams aligned and we see who is on our team or not. Who's going to be a part of our practice vision or not. We find that out really early. Typically, what I find is, when we work with practices within the first year, there's changes in their team. Why? Because the doctors become better leaders. They know clearly what they want, they know what they're going to tolerate and what they're not. They're going to be better at hiring and being very clear and specific about what the roles are, right?
So, one of the things that we do with teams, of course, are the vision boards. Some people think that that's a little, silly exercise, but it's actually not a silly exercise. Having vision boards allows you to see what team members are going to give you pushback, or what team members are going to be excited, because guess what happens? Once the business grows and everybody works together, the team can achieve whatever is on that vision board. If they truly believe that they are in the right place with the right doctor, with the right teammates, then there's nothing that the team cannot do together.
As I start looking at, how can I grow businesses, how can I work alongside practice owners so that they can get to time and financial freedom? It is super important to be very clear, in your mind, about the business that you are going to have. Not one that you wish or hope that you're going to have. Not Looking at what others have and being envious. I see some of the people that we work with, they've got amazing teams and they come to us and they're like, "You know what? We've just flatlined. We have been in other coaching programs and nothing has changed. Our team wants to be able to get to the next level and we a need next level of training to be able do that."
I love when those practices come to us and then we have some that are, quite honestly, a mess. There's a lot of resistance and negativity on the team and the doctor is afraid to step up and be that leader. So, if you're listening to this and you are that leader or that future leader in your business, I encourage you, make that decision today, right? Make that decision today, that you're going to have that practice that you dreamed of. We spent a lot of time going into dental school and have put a lot of time, effort, expense and tears into building an amazing business that's going to allow us to be able to help a ton of people inside of our community. It's no way that we're going to be able to do that alone.
We have to have dedicated people who are working side-by-side, arm-by-arm with us, so that we can achieve the goals. We start looking at, "We need to have weekly scorecards done so that we can know if the doctor production per visit is high or low. We need to make sure that the whiteboards are being done. We need to make sure that the AR is kept below a certain amount." Right? There has to be consistent processes. If you have a team that's giving you pushback or making excuses, you're never going to achieve your goal, right?
A lot of those key metric tools that we utilize are there to be able to even highlight and see weaknesses. You look at, for example, if a hygiene production per visit is low, I can look at it and say, "Well, why is this so low?" When I'm reviewing scorecards at practices and then the doctors are like, "Well, my team member offered sealants to patients, but they told them 'no', so they're uncomfortable talking to the patients about sealants." I'm like, "Okay, well this is an opportunity for training." Like, "Don't accept that." Like, "Your team has to be trained on how to have verbal skills. They have to know that 4 out of 10 people are going to tell them 'no'."
Just expect that. So the first four, you're like, "All right, that was one of my four." Then, the fifth one tells you, "Yeah." You have prevented a health problem and them having a cavity, right? The benefit is definitely more than being afraid to have a conversation or communicate, you know what I mean?
Anyway, I hope this helps. I am just about to pull into my office right now, but I just wanted to send out that message today to you and I hope it speaks to you. We will chat soon. Again, if you have not joined us inside of our Facebook group, please join us at the Delivering WOW hangout. Once you're in there, please make sure that your introduce yourself so I can know who you are. I love Facebook Live videos, so if you can even come on and do a Facebook Live and introduce yourself, tell us a little bit more about you, we would love to get to know more about you and your practice. All right, guys, take care. Until next time, keep delivering WOW.
Have you ever considered hosting a virtual consult with a patient? This is still a relatively new concept in the dental industry but it’s really taking off for my guest on this episode of the podcast, Dr. Brian Harris.
Dr. Brian Harris is the Founder and CEO at Smile Virtual Consult, where he and his team provide treatment advice and guidance to patients via a 10-15 minute customized video. Patients simply submit a photo of their smile and a Smile Virtual Consult doctor responds with the answers to their questions along with recommendations for improving their smile.
Dr. Brian Harris is a cosmetic dentist based in Phoenix, AZ. He’s known for his ability to help patients achieve a beautiful smile and answering their questions for free in an open, honest and convenient way. In my discussion with him, we talk about how useful virtual consults are and why more dentists should leverage them in their practices.
On the podcast we discussed…
If you’d like to find out more about Dr. Brian Harris and Smile Virtual Consult, you can visit their website and check out the 'I’m a Doctor' tab to schedule a call with a member of the team and learn more about how Smile Virtual Consult can help you connect with more patients.
To listen to the full podcast episode, click here.