September 11, 2019
Congratulations! A patient who hasn’t stepped inside a dental office in seven years has decided to come in for an appointment. No particular reason. They just need to see a dentist. Are alarm bells going off? A patient that doesn’t warn you before coming in that they have a massive problem will take way more time than planned. The schedule gets backed up, patients get unhappy, and then the team gets unhappy.
You Need an Office Rule
To avoid having a reactivated patient blow up your schedule, you need to have a rule in your office that, when a patient has not been seen in X amount of time, you will treat them as if they were a new patient and schedule them for a full exam. The X is your office rule, which is a time frame that is completely up to you. Once you define your rule, you have to communicate it to all the schedulers and stick to it.
Dentrix Ascend can even help you enforce your rule.
1. When a patient contacts you, type their name in the patient search bar. When you select the patient, the patient Overview page opens automatically.
2. Check the patient’s appointment history. Click the Appointments widget, and then click the Past Appointments tab. It should be easy to see whether your reactivation rule applies based on the last appointment date.
3. When you set an appointment for this patient, make sure the doctor has time for a full examination. New and reactivated patients should be evaluated using the Quick Exam feature, which allows the doctor to record conditions and existing work and to treatment plan all in one place.