Richard Scarborough looks at the ways you can increase uptake of your treatment plans…
Patients saying yes to your treatment plan is the ideal outcome for every appointment. Not only is it best for the patient’s dental health but also for your business, in terms of patient satisfaction and revenue.
So, how can you improve your chances of patients taking up the plan you suggested? The way you present your plan plays a big part in increasing the likelihood of it being taken up.
For example, spending the time to go through all the options thoroughly and talking through your patient’s concerns or answering any queries they have, can have a big impact.
Often, due to time constraints, this can feel like it needs to be rushed, and this is where having someone who can be responsible for this conversation, such as a treatment coordinator, can be invaluable.
Not only does this free the dentist up for clinical work but patients can be more willing to ask questions of a non-clinician. This is key, because a patient who doesn’t feel confident about what the treatment entails will be less likely to say yes.
One of those questions that patients may have, especially when it comes to more advanced, costly treatments, will undoubtedly be about whether they can afford it.
By having patient finance in place, and bringing it up early in the discussion about treatments, you can head these kinds of barriers off at the pass.
Sometimes, clinicians can feel awkward discussing prices and money, therefore leaving it to the very end of the conversation or not bringing it up face-to-face at all, preferring simply to include the price in a printed-out plan.
However, the danger is, that, by the time the patient does find out the cost or that there is the facility to spread payment over months, they may have already decided they cannot afford it. Bringing it up early, as part of the general discussion about treatment, can ensure that the patient remains open-minded to all the possible options.
Ideally, these discussions should be done face-to-face, but having something tangible that you can hand over is also worthwhile as it adds value – if presented correctly.
By coming up with a creative or unique way of presenting your plan, such as via a video on a USB stick that comes in a nice box, the patient will attach more value to it, and therefore, be more likely to take it on board.
Another thing to bear in mind about how to present your plan is to ensure you are ‘speaking the patient’s language’.
Whether it’s during the face-to-face conversation, in a video, on a USB stick or in a printed-out plan, it’s important to make sure you use plain English and avoid using dental jargon. Explain the issues and the proposed solutions in words that any layperson would understand.
If it is too technical the patient will switch off. And, if they don’t understand what is being suggested, they are unlikely to go ahead with it.
Increasing the uptake of treatment plans is good for both your patients and your practice. The key is to make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.
Richard Scarborough is the Head of Medenta, a long-established provider of patient finance. Medenta has been supporting dental practices for over 15 years with finance solutions that help patients to say ‘yes’ to the treatment they want. Offering some of the lowest subsidy rates in the market, Medenta is one of the few providers that offers its practices a comprehensive support wrap-around service, which includes an online patient application portal and an e-learning suite containing a range of learning modules, many of which come with vCPD and have been tailored specifically to the dental industry.
If you’re interested in learning how Medenta can help you to improve your patient experience, give us a call on: 01691 684175, or visit: www.medenta.com
Medenta Finance Limited is a credit broker and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Medenta Finance Limited (Registered in Scotland No SC276679) Registered address: 50 Lothian Road, Festival Square, Edinburgh, EH3 9WJ. Tel: 01691 684175.