What questions do you have for me?
These 7 words are very powerful and will open lines of communication that might otherwise be absent.
What questions do you have for me? After diagnosing and recommending treatment, coming from the doc the patient fully feels on an emotional level that you care and gives the opportunity to make sure that the patient fully understands the necessity of treatment, and allows you to instill the sense of urgency with a time frame.
What questions do you have for me? Coming from the assistant or hygienist after the doc leaves the room, a guarded patient might feel more comfortable asking questions they couldn’t ask the doc. It allows the team to reinforce doc’s recommendations, sense of urgency, and time frames along with TLC –
“Mr. Jones, Dr. Smith is very conservative – if he says you need a crown on tooth #2 I would recommend we go ahead and get that scheduled for you. We will take such good care of you -we treat you just the way we treat our own families!”
Give the patient an intra -oral photo of the tooth in need – along with verbage to help the patient understand the consequences of waiting –
“Mr. Jones, delaying treatment could possibly result in an increased risk of discomfort, a potentially higher investment for further treatment, a decreased chance of success, and an increase in the time investment of treatment.”
At this point, a well-executed seemless hand-off between clinical and the treatment coordinator can actually make or break treatment case acceptance.
“Mr. Jones, if you have no further questions in regards to the treatment Dr. has recommended for restoring tooth #2, Mary, our talented treatment coordinator is going to go ahead and get you scheduled. Mary, Dr. has recommended a crown on tooth #2 for Mr. Jones and would like to see him within the next 3 weeks to get that started. Thank you Mr. Jones for taking the time to visit with us today – We know you are dedicated to your oral health and we really appreciate patients like you! “
What questions do you have for me? Coming from the treatment coordinator, it brings round any hesitance a patient might feel in regards to scheduling treatment and allows us the opportunity of helping the patient desire the recommended treatment. If a patient is still hesitant at this point and it’s related to a clinical understanding it’s time to bring the doc or assistant/hygienist back in to help the patient better understand their necessary treatment. You cannot “close the deal” so to speak with a patient who does not fully understand their needs, or trust the dr’s recommendations.
“Mr. Jones, I see you’re a little bit hesitant in this recommendation from Dr. With your permission, might I bring Dr. back in to answer your questions?
If the patient completely understands and trusts the recommendations, their question will be “How much is it?”
The next step is having a payment option that best fits their needs. Being prepared with every option you have available and the patients remaining dental benefits is yet another step in the positive direction of getting the patient scheduled.(This is where pre-appointment FA’s come in very handy!)
THE PERPETUAL STATE OF PREPAREDNESS
“Mr. Jones, great news! I have taken the time to personally contact Delta Dental, and it looks as if you have $486 in remaining dental benefits for the year! With their assistance we would be looking at approximately $138 a month for the next 3 months. How well does this work for you?”
By personally knowing your patients you may be able to better foresee what option will be best for them, but never assume a financial situation for anyone. Your treatment coordinator should go in with the attitude and assumption that the patient is GOING to schedule, not “gee I hope they schedule”. If your treatment coordinator goes in with a knot of failure, no matter how much the patient understands clinically they are not going to schedule!
Treatment coordinators should never own the patients finances, or presume failure. The attitude is one of positivity, believing in dr’s recommendations for the patients optimum oral health and “I am the one who CAN help you by securing the most affordable option for your treatment” It’s another benefit of coming to your practice because you do work so hard to offer affordable options for everyone!
With all this being said my friends What questions do you have for me?