By Clint Johnson
Acceptance, scheduling and completion of treatment is among the most important factors in a profitable practice. Without a high rate of case acceptance it is very possible for a one-doctor with multiple hygienists to struggle with low production.
Over many years in dentistry I’ve observed that one of the causes of low case acceptance is a patient who doesn’t feel any sense of urgency. Thus, the patient reaches the front desk, is asked to schedule treatment and replies that they “need to think about it” and will call back or just do the treatment in the future.
There is however a single sentence that we have found will significantly increase case acceptance. What is it? Very simply, it is to make eye contact with the patient and then to say:
“I’d like to see you back within 2 weeks to get this taken care of.”
This simple sentence conveys not only importance to have the treatment done in a timely manner but also YOUR desire as their healthcare provider to have it done quickly so that it doesn’t progress further and result in more complicated and expensive treatment. Furthermore it creates a very clear understanding of what you want them to act on.
This simple sentence and approach is optimally used 3 times in an appointment:
1. Doctor talking to patient: “I’d like to see you back within 2 weeks to get this taken care of.”
2. Hygienist or assistant to front desk person when passing off the patient: “Doctor ___ would like to get this taken care of within 2 weeks.”
3. Front desk person to patient after the hygienist/ assistant has departed: “Let’s see what times we have available within the next 2 weeks.”
As the saying goes, small hinges swing big gates. Putting this simple sentence into your normal routine takes almost no time but can pay BIG dividends. Why not discuss it with your team in your next morning huddle and begin using it quickly to increase your practice profitability?