Retaining your patients is a very important component for a successful dental practice. However, providing outstanding oral care might not be enough for your patients to remain yours year after year.

According to the Dental Economics article “6 Reasons Why Patients Are Dissatisfied”, having bad experiences at the front desk, long waits in the reception area, and not accepting a patient’s dental insurance are three reasons for patients’ dissatisfaction affecting the loyalty to their dental practice. These factors could cause your patients to leave your practice if you are not doing anything to mitigate them. So, what can you do to avoid or minimize these undesirable circumstances?

Ways to reduce patients leaving your practice

Bad experience at the front desk

For front-end staff, the most important thing they can do is try and make the experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible for your patients, yet with everything they must accomplish in their day-to-day, this may be difficult for them to attain.

A simple solution would be to implement a practice management software such as ADSTRA Dental software that allows certain daily processes to be automated:

  • SMS and Email appointment confirmations and reminders can be scheduled, allowing patients to easily confirm an appointment through email or text by simply pressing the confirmation link, freeing the time spent calling patients to confirm appointments
  • ADSTRA provides dentists a paperless solution where claims can be submitted electronically through ADSTRA Management, eliminating the need to prepare and submit paper claims
  • The provider’s dashboard in ADSTRA Clinical lists the patients by appointment day and time providing quick access to all patient information required when administering dental care, on one screen, eliminating the need for front-end staff to have to gather and organize charts for the next day’s appointments

By automating a few of the daily tasks front-end staff have to complete it provides them more time to be involved with and interact with patients, improving their experience.

Long wait in reception area

According to Dental Economics, patients do not like waiting 10 minutes or longer to see the dentist; yet, it is difficult to be precise when allocating the amount of needed for an appointment and as a result, the dissatisfaction and decreasing loyalty patients may experience from longer than expected wait times needs to be mitigated:

  • Front-staff can inform patients of appointment delays, which according to Dental Economics is the best thing your practice can do as patients appreciate the problem being addressed
  • With ADSTRA Dental Software, front-end staff can inform the dentist when a patient has arrived by using the inter-office messaging features. This helps improve the dentist’s sense of time, making them more mindful of their other patients

Collaborative work amongst front-end staff and providers can have a significant impact on reducing the wait-time therefore increasing overall patient satisfaction.

Not accepting a patient’s dental insurance

Some patients are highly dependent on their insurance coverage. Luckily, ADSTRA Dental Solution is compatible with numerous insurance providers reducing issues your practice may face when submitting claims, especially since they can be submitted electronically. Additionally, ADSTRA’s ability to set up very specific details about the coverage mitigates undesirable circumstances for patients as it limits their need to pay out of pocket for services rendered, increasing their satisfaction and loyalty to their dental practice as they can rely on their coverage as intended.

As a dentist, one of your main priorities is to care for your patients and ensure they are getting the best treatment and service possible. However, it is equally important to look at how your practice is currently being run and what you can do to make it run smoother. Implementing ADSTRA Dental Software which automates various processes will allow you to have more time for your patients improving their experience, and ultimately increasing the retention rate of your patients.

Your patients are the lifeline of your practice. Take into consideration what you can do to increase their loyalty, and avoid driving them away!

Source: Christenson, Glenn. “6 Reasons Why Patients Are Dissatisfied.” Dental Economics, 1 May 2013, www.dentaleconomics.com/practice/article/16393555/6-reasons-why-patients-are-dissatisfied.