Episode 9

Patients need to understand their treatment plan | Sending narratives and additional information

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On this episode of the Dear Laura Show

In the 9th episode of the “Dear Laura” show, Laura addresses two questions from dental office front desk staff. The first question is about handling a patient in front of them while the phone rings. Laura disagrees with the doctor’s advice to let the phone go to voicemail and emphasizes the importance of answering the phone. She suggests politely asking the patient for a moment, gathering caller information, and promising to call back. Laura highlights the significance of not ignoring the phone, as it represents potential patients. She also emphasizes having a system in place for phone calls and minimizing interruptions during patient checkouts.

The second question is about putting patients on hold and the hold message. Laura prefers avoiding putting patients on hold, as it often takes longer than expected and impacts the patient experience. She advises training the team to handle calls efficiently and having backup systems. Regarding the hold message, Laura suggests using informative recordings but warns against repetitive or irrelevant content. Throughout the episode, Laura stresses excellent customer service, managing in-person and phone interactions, and respecting patients’ time. She acknowledges the challenges of multitasking but encourages finding a balance that prioritizes patients in front of them while also valuing phone calls as crucial connections to patients and potential new business.

[00:05] Introduction

[01:08] Topic: Dealing with Phone Calls and Patients.

[02:10] Question 1: Handling Patients in Front and Incoming Calls.

[02:42] Importance of answering the phone and valuing patients.

[03:23] Balancing patient care and phone responsibilities.

[04:02] Suggestion: Asking the patient for a moment, briefly answering the call, promising a callback.

[05:17] Having a system in place to manage calls during checkouts.

[06:11] Addressing patient concerns and expectations.

[07:25] Question 2: Putting Patients on Hold and Voicemail Messages.

[08:33] Unanticipated delays when putting patients on hold.

[09:08] The patient’s perspective of waiting on hold.

[10:10] Conclusion: Training and effective systems for patient care and phone responsibilities.

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