A.A. Milne, English humorist and creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, once said, “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” Knowing what you need to do before you do it helps ensure that things flow smoothly. This is especially true in a dental practice, where some forethought will set the team up for success.
This first area this is evident is with the new patient intake form. If the front team gathers new patient insurance information during the initial call and then contacts the insurance company for benefits prior to the first visit, the new patient experience will flow even better. When teams do not plan ahead, they rush to get dental benefits while trying to put together the treatment plan estimate. This is how mistakes happen.
The second time when planning helps a dental practice is when the clinical team accurately enters treatment recommendations chair-side. The clinical team is in the best position to prioritize treatment per the dentist’s diagnosis in addition to providing the reason(s) for treatment. Organizing treatment in this way makes it much easier for the front team to schedule patients.
The final way advanced planning helps is with “tough” conversations. Some team members understandably struggle when asking patients to pay at the time of service. However, when you plan out your words the process goes much more smoothly. Asking, “Do you want to pay today,” sets you up for the yes / no showdown, and it’s not very effective. Instead, guide patients where you want them to go with, “How would you like to take care of that balance today, check or credit card?”
A.A. Milne was correct in observing that planning ahead prevents future mix ups. When dental teams incorporate this concept, they will not only grow stronger as a group, but they will also provide an even better service for patients.
Learn more about how our dental consulting can help your team plan for success.