Are All Patients That You’re Seeing Each Day Leaving With Their Next Appointment Being Made For Them?

I wrote an article at the start of the year about the Five Essential Numbers I’d be tracking and measuring in my dental practice as we start into the new year of 2021.

The third number of the five that I’d be tracking is this one:

Are all patients that you’re seeing each day leaving with their next appointment being made for them?

If your practice is NOT TRACKING this number, you seriously need to ask yourself, why not?

Thirty years ago, I was gifted this mantra:

“The purpose of an appointment is to make another appointment.”

The mantra came from a distributor with the Amway Corporation.

Amway was/is an American and global MLM or network marketing company, whose growth was dependent upon members signing up other people to become members, who then all purchased their day to day consumables from Amway.

To help in this recruitment drive process, members would meet with prospective members to convince or persuade them to join the programme. And it was important then to follow up on all leads or prospects in this process, to maintain the recruitment drive.

One of the things that Amway members did in this recruitment process was give their prospects an audio-cassette about the benefits of the programme to listen to, and then another, and then another, as needed. The thing was, the giving of the audio-cassettes wasn’t about the cassettes. It was about the connections, and the appointments, and maintaining a continuing contact or connection with each prospective member.

And so it was very important:

“The purpose of an appointment is to make another appointment.”

And it is the same in dental practice.

Every patient who completes an appointment needs to schedule a subsequent appointment.

In order to maintain their dental health.

Failure of the patient to schedule an ongoing appointment results in the patient [possibly] slipping through the cracks and never rescheduling, which is not in the patient’s best interests.

At the dental practice, we need to know which patients are leaving without scheduling their next appointments. And we need to know why they are doing this.

We also need to know who on our team is allowing patients to leave without their next appointment being made?

What we are looking for here is patterns of behaviour that are not in the best interests of our patients, and are not in the better interests of our practice.

I want to see a list each day of every patient who leaves without their made and scheduled appointment.

And the shorter the list, the better….

A long list at the end of each day just creates unnecessary follow up work for our dental front office staff.

A short list is far more desirable.

Days where we have zero people on our list are actually what we are aiming to achieve.

It’s in everybody’s best interests to be scheduling every patient their next, ongoing appointment with our dental practice.


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