TOO ASSERTIVE OR NON-ASSERTIVE
Case presentation hinges on an ability to balance your approach for each and every patient. Also, it would be a huge mistake to think that these articles about case acceptance are pointed just towards the doctor. In fact, your staff is more important in each of these steps than you are. Share the articles with them and use them as impetus for a super-productive staff meeting. Case acceptance begins with that first phone call from a prospective patient. Following close behind that is the first time they come in and interact with the front desk team and then eventually a hygienist or assistant. Case acceptance is a process, not a specific point in time at which you tell the patient what they need. This process needs to be staged in such a way that we get patients to show up, pay for their treatment, and refer everyone they know. Invest the time to run and study the reports on undone or uncompleted treatment. You will be surprised that you will have 45-60% of the treatment you diagnosed going uncompleted. This is a symptom of flawed protocols reflecting the mediocrity of your case presentation systems.
I want to take the time to set the stage with how your personality, as well as the personality of each staff member in your office, drastically affects case acceptance success. In broad general terms, there are two types of doctor personalities (you can extend this to hygienists and other staff members, too).
The bottom line is that neither approach works well with patients. Our goal is to have a more balanced approach with each patient. Ideally, you want to embrace the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would be done unto. Each patient is handled based on his or her individual personality and needs. This balanced approach, if coupled with an attitude of trying to give them more of what they want than focusing solely on what they need, leads to a huge boost in case acceptance. If you are not willing to happily give them what they want you will never have the opportunity to finish all of what they need.
The final point is that we need to partner with our team to make sure we maintain a balanced approach. The best team members can (and hopefully will) take an assertive doctor and make him or her look caring and compassionate. Likewise, they can (and hopefully will) help the non-assertive doctor come off looking more competent.
This is how you Summit: Practice management done right.
Michael Abernathy, DDS
PS—Ever wonder why I sign off these articles with my personal email and personal cell number? I want you to reach out, call, start a dialogue and consider what you can do now to grow and preserve your financial future. There is a way and it begins with a call and a frank discussion of where you are and where you want to be. That is how you Summit.