The Herd

Dental Recall Phone Call Best Practices

receptionist at dental office calling patients

Why are Recall Systems Important?

Dental recall systems help keep track of patient progress when undergoing specific treatments, keeping the status of your patients’ wellbeing correct and up-to-date. Scheduling regular recall appointments can ensure your patients receive the best quality of care.

Recall systems usually include phone calls, text messages, and emails to make and keep appointments with patients. Although integrating all forms of recall is important, there are specific ways to ensure your telephone recall etiquette and systems are achieving the best they can.

Strategies to Implement

When you’re calling your patients, you should implement certain things to ensure you’re hitting the mark every time.

Best Times to Call

Most working professionals have the same or very similar working hours, the typical 9 AM – 5 PM. When calling patients, it’s important to consider this as it’s often inconvenient for patients to take a call while they’re at work. 

Although leaving voicemails can facilitate a few callbacks and appointment requests, it may be more effective to have your staff call your patients in the evenings or weekends, when they are most likely to be able to answer the phone.

Maintain Professionalism and Compassion

At times, your patients may be in vulnerable states due to pain or other issues affecting their well-being. With these types of situations, it is important to treat patients professionally but also with compassion.

Resources like customizable call scripts help standardize recall language so you can be confident your staff is communicating effectively and courteously with your patients.

Multi-Lingual Support

Dental care is something that everyone will need at some point in their lives. Different ethnic backgrounds and cultures may speak various languages, not to mention Canada features two national languages (English and French). Additionally, 13.4% of the US population speaks Spanish at home.

It’s difficult to find quality healthcare services in a community that doesn’t speak your first language. For individuals that don’t speak English fluently, if they can communicate effectively with your staff, they will be likely to stay with your practice as long as they can.

dentist wearing gloves smiling and high fiving a young patient

Schedule Family Members at the Same Time

Depending on your practice, patient flow, and business model, families and children may be a big part of your patient base. Even without children, couples that live together may both attend the same practice – so keeping that in mind can make recall easier.

When reaching out to patients, offering to schedule their family members at the same time or on the same day can make your patient’s lives easier. It’s unlikely your patient will miss an appointment if their spouse or child has an appointment the same day.

Follow-Up Calls and Reminders

Even after securing the appointment with your patient, having a recall system that sends out reminders or schedules follow-up calls can be extremely beneficial. 

A study from the University of San Diego states that SMS reminders are a cost-effective and efficient tool to prevent missed appointments or no-shows.

Other Forms of Recall

Reaching your patients through a phone call is important, but there are many different forms of communication. Depending on the target demographic of your practice and the general population of the area, utilizing email and text message alerts can make it easier for your patients to book and keep their appointments.

Additionally, discussing the importance of regular follow-up appointments with your patients can ensure continued success in recall and retention. Physical signage may also assist in having your patient book a follow-up before they leave their initial appointment.

Implementing a CRM (customer relationship management) tool in your practice can track and automate the process of communicating with your patients. Book a free, no-obligation trial with RecallMax today to see how we can benefit you and your patients.

Written by Leah Dennis

Director, Client Success

Leah’s passion lies in ensuring our clients thrive. Thriving clients have a great experience, and our company builds lasting relationships that drive our reputation as the authority on Dental Management Systems. Systems create an organized, predictable environment in which team can flourish. Leah’s years of experience as a Practice Management Consultant has given her key insights into what works well by putting RecallMax to work in the real-world and understanding what our dental teams face on a daily basis.

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