The acceptance of treatment plans is key to any successful dental practice. A provider cannot hope to survive if they are unable to convince their patients to follow the recommended plans that they develop for them. However, getting a patient to follow-through with treatment plans can be delicate. Treatment plans can be expensive, the procedures involved can be painful and scary to many people and dentistry is not always seen as a necessity. Providing your patients with all of the information and details they need to see what their plan involves, will help them to decide what they are willing to proceed with immediately and what treatments will have to wait.
Here are four ways to increase your acceptance rate for treatment plans:
- Get to know your patients
Getting a patient to accept a treatment plan is much easier when you create one based on their dental goals. The only way to know what these goals are, is to get to know your patient. It is good practice to conduct new patient surveys with follow-ups every 18-24 months as priorities do change. Through these patient surveys you will be able to determine what their overall oral health goals are and whether they have any specific concerns that need to be addressed, such as grinding of their teeth when they sleep, misalignment of their teeth or clicking sounds when they chew – all issues that won’t necessarily come up during a regular visit for cleaning. By knowing that they want something specific addressed, you can create a treatment plan based on their needs thereby increasing the chances of the plan being accepted.
Also, remember that it is important to find out why a patient might reject a treatment plan. If it is due to cost, you can offer them financing options. If they are afraid of pain, you can explain sedation options and pain management techniques. If they just don’t see the importance of the treatment, you can outline the potential long-term impact it would have on their oral health if not addressed now. Oftentimes, being properly informed is all it takes to get them to change their minds and commit to their treatment.
- Educate your patients on the treatments proposed
The better informed a person is, the more trust they will have in you and the more likely they are to proceed with any treatment plan proposal. Spend the time needed to go over each proposed treatment with your patient. Make sure to answer all of their questions frankly and honestly. Talk to them about the importance of maintaining their oral health and provide resources on everything from their condition to the treatment and the associated costs. By taking the time to explain everything to them, your patient will see that you care. It will help them feel more connected to you and your practice and will increase the likelihood of them accepting the treatment plan you propose.
The better informed a person is, the more trust they will have in you and the more likely they are to proceed with any treatment plan proposal.
- Focus on the benefits of treatment
Be sure to emphasize the benefits of oral health and hygiene to your patients. Try to keep the focus off the costs because the minute you start talking about money, that is all your patient will hear. It will also make it look as though you are only trying to sell them dentistry instead of being concerned with their oral health. You want them to know that you are invested in providing them with the best possible dental care available. You want them to understand that proper oral health leads to improved overall health. And you want them to realize that what you proposed in their treatment plan will improve their lives.
You can certainly discuss their financial options and then, if you have the kind of treatment plan that Zuub can offer – one that your patients can interact with to see how different scenarios will impact their bottom-line, you will be able to get an even higher acceptance rate than the current national average.
Naturally, cost will be a concern. You can certainly discuss their financial options and then, if you have the kind of treatment plan that Zuub can offer – one that your patients can interact with to see how different scenarios will impact their bottom-line, you will be able to get an even higher acceptance rate than the current national average.
- Be sure to follow up!
Patients generally want to think over a treatment plan and discuss it with their spouse before making a decision. Once they leave your office it is very important to follow-up with them within a week or so. It gives them time to think it over, do some research on their own, discuss it with their family and make a decision. By following-up with them you will be able to answer any lingering questions they might have and provide assurance if they are simply fearful of what needs to be done.
By demonstrating your interest in each patient by getting to know them, by educating them, by providing them with the benefits of oral health and by following-up, you will definitely increase your case acceptance, which in turn will lead to a more successful practice.