One of the procedures we are really proud of at Active Dental is how we refer our patients off for specialist dental care.
So much so, that we incorporated this courtesy into the Ultimate Patient Experience Programme as the Ultimate Referral Procedure.
Let me explain…
Firstly, at Active Dental, we’ve always prided ourselves on being able to have visiting specialists come to our rooms, in the first instance.
And having visiting specialists available in your office is the Ultimate in Patient Care, because you are offering a One-Location, one place venue that your patients are already familiar with and comfortable visiting, for all their dental needs.
However, as times and personnel change at your office, it may not always be possible for you to offer in-house care, and in these instances it is necessary to refer our valued clients and patients out and away.
So does your office have a procedure and protocol for referring patients out?
What I see mostly at other dental offices is the patient leaves the general dental office with a referral in hand, and no real idea of what they are to do next, and with what form of urgency.
And often, this is where a major breakdown in communication occurs.
Often we’ll see a dental office where patients have been referred out to a specialist, only to disappear into the ether, never to be seen again.
Seems the patient in these instances does not have any perception of urgency of treatment. They have been given little if any information or shared knowledge about their treatment required, and its importance, and have not been informed of the consequences of a delayed treatment, nor of the consequences of them taking no action at all.
When patients fail to attend to their referral in a prompt manner, they are doing themselves a disservice as well as doing our office a disservice as well.
And this is why we developed and instituted The Ultimate Referral Process.
You see, there are no winners when patients fail to act on a referral promptly. Decay, infection, and periodontal disease, do not diminish with time. In fact, with time, they only get worse.
So prompt action needs to be taken, to ensure minimal damage and to ensure best outcomes for the patient and for their condition.
So here’s what we developed as The Ultimate Referral Process….
Firstly, as part of our Front Office Post Treatment protocol, the patient is made fully aware of and has accepted the reasons and the urgency for them to see a specialist for their condition.
From this point, the Front Office Person at your dental office then moves into action, with exemplary World Class Customer Service.
The Front Office Person then weaves her magic….
Rather than send the patient off into the ether, our Front Office Person there and then, in front of the patient, calls the specialist office and organises the appointment for the patient right then and there in front of them.
This process is always done including the patient in the telephone conversation with the specialist office.
The patient of the practice is very appreciative of the referral being organised right there right now. The process is underway….
The phone call, that our patient hears and sees right there between our office and the specialist’s rooms is always a very friendly and amicable one, like two friends chatting. This really helps to make our patient feel at ease.
The call is completed courteously, and arrangements are made to forward necessary images from our office for the patient.
Once off the phone, the Front Office Person then makes sure the patient has a record of the appointment time, and that the patient knows exactly where the specialist’s rooms are located. Our patient is asked their means of transport, and we make sure they have very clear instructions and directions for finding the specialist’s rooms.
Our patient is also informed about the urgency of treatment, and any follow up treatments that are required following seeing the specialist. Our endodontists always emphasise the need for full coverage restorations to be placed as soon as possible after completion of root therapy.
Our valued clients are so appreciative of the virtual “hand holding” from our Front Desk Person in organizing these specialist appointments.
Because no other dental office around does this!
And medical practitioners don’t do this either?
Can you imagine the barbecue or party conversation when your patient tells their friends that not only did they get referred to a dental specialist, but that the Dental Office rang and arranged their appointment there and then, emailed all necessary records and radiographs, and placed them on a priority stand by list in case an earlier appointment became available?
Imagine that! Imagine the feeling for your patient…
Because no other dental office around does this…..
What do they say in the classics?
Keeping in touch is just one of the many straight forward and easy to implement modules that make up The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple to build system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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