What is your process for confirming a patient?
I have seen a wide range of definitions for what some consider a “confirmed patient”. Leaving a voicemail, sending an email or text, even leaving a message with a family member.
To me, confirmed means, “firmly established, unlikely to change”.
In other words, you have heard straight from their own mouth that they will be at their appointment.
Repeat after me: Leaving any form of a message does not count!!
You need an actual answer. If you are using an email or texting service, it’s only valuable if you get a response. If you do not receive an answer through this method, please follow up with a phone call.
48 hours before the appointment you can say,
“This is a courtesy call to confirm the time you reserved with Katie our hygienist at ____. Please call back to verify the time.”
If you still do not get a response, try again 24 hours before the appointment. This time say,
“Mrs. Jones, I left a message yesterday regarding your appointment. We need to verify that you will be keeping this time. Please call back before noon today to verify.”
Notice that we escalated the request. If you do not receive any type of response, you will have learned 2 possible pieces of information regarding this patient.
- You do not have the correct contact information or
- This person has not intention of keeping this appointment.
If you are comfortable with it, leave a final message that you may need to release this time to another patient. Whether or not you actually release this spot is up to you. Have a system in place to decide what’s best for your practice.
In the future, double check your patient’s contact information. Also, let them know they will not need to receive phone calls if they simply click on the email or text reminder.
Responses are game changers. Repeated requests for response will allow you freedom to be strategic with the schedule and give you advance opportunity to fill an impending opening.
Interested in more information like this, tailored specifically for your practice? Let’s meet for coffee and chat – in person or virtually! I’d love to help your practice become as profitable as possible. Send me a message and we’ll talk!