Question: Do you have scripting to use when rescheduling patients?

QUESTION: Do you have some scripting to use when rescheduling patients? We have discontinued any non emergent or urgent treatment for the next 3 weeks. My office administrator is fairly new and seems to have a little bit of a difficult time explaining this to them…I was going to put a script together for her but if you have something that would be great.

ANSWER: We are in a weird time where we are having to cancel a weeks worth of scheduled patients or they are cancelling on us, depending on the status of your office.  I suggest that you still follow the foundation of what we teach at Front Office Rocks but understanding that this is not a normal scenario, so some tweaking might be needed.

1) We don’t think you should have your team members read from a script.  That is cold and does not sound like it is coming from the heart, however, they do need some guidance as to what to say to your patients.  I suggest that you decide for your office what you are going to tell your patients and then have each person practice the words or a variation of them so they are comfortable with what they are saying and then let them use their words to explain to the patients of what is going on.

2) You should always try to never let patients leave without their next appointment and this is the same right now.[mepr-show if=”loggedout”]Members only resources[/mepr-show] [mepr-active memberships=”629,630,37388,37393,37672,37676,37670,37668,37674,44674″ ifallowed=”show” unauth=”message” unauth_message=”Answer hidden, please login or purchase a membership to view.”] As patient’s appointments are being cancelled, you should attempt to get them to reschedule while you have them on the phone.  The biggest concern with this is that most offices do not know when they are going to open again so my suggestion is to schedule them out a month or so, to be safe and let them know they will be the first patients you will call when you know for sure of when you are opening back up and they can move up if they want.  It is easier to move patients up in the schedule than it is to try to reactivate them later when they totally fall out of the schedule.

3) Keep a list or a way to identify all the patients that were scheduled during this time the office is closed so that you can move, reschedule or whatever is needed to get life back to normal with them when this shut down is over.  It is our responsibility to get in touch with the patients to remind them once we are back up and running that they need to get back in.

4) Lastly, plan a big reactivation campaign for now and when you get back.  Right now your team members could be reaching out to all the patients that have not been in for over 9 or more months and attempt to get them to schedule.  They might not want to come in soon but getting them in the schedule months from now is better than not having them scheduled at all.  Make sure your team is updating all the contact information for the patients so that when it is time to confirm their appointments, you have all the right information.  Also know that you will have patients just fall out of the schedule all together during this shutdown and when life gets back to normal, their needs to be a campaign in the practice to get those patients back in the schedule too as soon as possible.

The good news is hopefully all of the patients will understand and nice about having to reschedule their appointment.  They will understand so just help your team members be confident in this is the best decision for everyone’s safety and health.

I hope this helps.[/mepr-active]

To learn more about scheduling your patients and dental scheduling best practices, visit our Scheduling Mastery Course here and following foundation course module! [wpcourse course=”2″ module=”2″ module_desc=”true” /]