What if you could say the right things to the right people at the right time? Would clear and compelling communications change your outcomes?

Everyday scheduling coordinators are working hard to fill openings, find out when the late patients are actually going to arrive and explain to the patients that the practice is running late.  We want to say the right thing to find the perfect words to help us in each of these moments.

This weeks installment of Communicate and Connect provides options for your use to have those clear and compelling communications for these everyday occurrences.  Ideas are a dime a dozen.  People who implement them are priceless!

The practice has a last-minute opening and the patient currently in the office has additional treatment needed: Mrs. Patient, as we discussed and planned for another appointment, you need <treatment> those 2 teeth have decay which agreed needed to be taken care of.  We have had a schedule change and have time available right now to take care of removing the decay and providing those beautiful tooth-colored restorations and save you a return trip, taking more time off of work and another appointment.  Will this work for you to stay today it will be another 30 minutes?

Office running late Scheduling Coordinator:    Hi, Mr. Patient, how are you today?  I tried to catch you before you left your office, but I was unsuccessful.  I wanted to let you know that an emergency came up and Dr. __________ is running 25 minutes behind schedule.  Please accept our apology, you know how important it is for us to run on time and not keep you waiting.  Will this appointment still work for you or would you prefer for me to reschedule it?  Please accept this Starbucks gift card as a token of our apology.  Thank you for staying please enjoy our refreshment station and I will inform the doctor and the clinical team, you have arrived and are willing to wait.

The case is not back from the laboratory Option 1: Mr. Patient, this is Suzie from Dr. ________ office.  We just received a call from the lab, and there is some additional work that needs to be done to achieve the highest possible quality result we want on your crown.  Unfortunately, the lab needs a few extra days, and we will need to reschedule your appointment.  Which is more convenient for you, Monday at 11 am or Tuesday at 3 pm?

The case is not back from the laboratory Option 2:  Mr. Patient, this is Suzie from Dr. ________ office.  We just received a call from the lab, and your crown is not going to arrive from the lab in time for your appointment.  I apologize for this delay and I know how much you want your new crown.  Which is more convenient for you Wednesday at 10 am or Thursday at 1 pm.  

The case is not back from the laboratory Option 3: Hi, Mrs. Patient this is Suzie from Dr. ________ office.   I just called the lab and evidently, there was a miscommunication for the time that your new crown would be delivered. The lab cannot have your crown here until tomorrow morning. I am so sorry, and I take responsibility for this mishap.  Which is more convenient for you tomorrow at 10 am or Thursday at 1 pm.

Never say in the 3 above scenarios that doctor has time available, the patient was just inconvenienced by the practice that is why you will communicate clearly and connect with your patient by saying which is more convenient for you and offer 2 appointments.

One of your scheduled providers calls in sick for the day and you have to reschedule the patients:  Mrs. Brown? Hi, this is ______ from Dr. ________ office. I know that we confirmed your appointment for today, but we have had a sudden change in our schedule and will have to reschedule you for another day. I apologize for the inconvenience and will make every attempt to find another time that fits your schedule.

Even though a patient may inquire as to what the “sudden change” is, it is not okay to disclose the reason, unless the parties involved have given you consent.

Wishing you improved communications that connect and create positive relationships.