21 Jun Your Well Intentioned Policies Might Be Creating New Patient Obstacles
“We don’t extract teeth, we like to save teeth.”
These are the words from the mouth of a well-trained and well-intentioned team member to a prospective new patient who wanted to “get a tooth out”. As you might suspect, the caller did not schedule an appointment.
Interesting, I thought. Would the doctor really not even want to see this patient? I send the call to the dentist who was, of course, disappointed to have lost the lead. In fact, this dentist does extract teeth despite his preference to save them. So how does this happen?
Misunderstandings like these happen every day on your phones. Dentists make statements about philosophies and preferences and the translation to action often goes without notice. While this doctor would encourage a patient to try to save teeth, he would gladly have seen the patient to establish a relationship, treat the problem and encourage future preventive care. Luckily, we were able to catch this lost opportunity on recording and have a discussion about what should happen next time.
The moral of the story is this: The next time you are communicating a new policy or philosophy to your team, make sure each team member understands exactly how this applies to them. Especially your phone team. Be specific and give examples. Make sure that they understand that the ultimate goal of a new patient inquiry is to get the patient appointed and that the course of treatment and your restorative philosophies are to be discussed by you and your patient.
If you don’t currently record your phone calls, ask your phone team what types of calls and inquiries they are getting. Ask how they are answering common questions. Make sure you are on the same page and that your intentions aren’t misunderstood. The cost of simple misinterpretation is just too high!