Automation software is so easy and convenient that it can be tempting to just sit back and let your software do the work for you. Maybe you haven’t made a personal phone call in weeks! Don’t be fooled – it is a mistake to put your recall on autopilot.
The advantage of having automated software is that it does a lot of work for you, leaving more time for the scheduling coordinator to reach out and contact those patients that do require a personal call. No matter how effectively your recall system is run, there will still be patients that receive the messages but do not schedule.
If patients do not respond to your automated reminders, use YAPI’s Recall Manager to save the appointment. In fact, the best time to call a patient is right after they received an automated reminder and didn’t schedule. This is usually 3 to 7 days later.
The Recall Manager can be used to call patients, make notes about these calls and schedule a “to-do” if you make a plan to follow up with the patient at a later time. Once you setup your Recall Manager, YAPI will work behind the scenes to handle most tasks automatically. During setup you can choose:
- How often you want messages to go out.
- The preferred medium.
- The message you want to send.
Remember, your recall system is only as good as the person responsible for it! It is critical that you assign a well-trained team member to oversee your efforts and reach out to lost patients who don’t respond to automated attempts.
Working With the Recall Manager
Operating the Recall Manager begins with the click of the blue recycle icon (shown below) from the dashboard.
Select “recall due,” choose your preferred view and click the “get” button. This is where you will access your recall list.
There is no need to print a recall list ever again! The patients on this list are either due or becoming due but have no upcoming appointment on the schedule. The Recall Manager updates in real time – patients will be automatically removed from the list if they schedule an appointment.
The columns will show you the recall type, the patient’s due date, patient name, age and contact information.
The icons on the right will show you whether the patient has been contacted and how many times. Mouse over the column to see the date that they were contacted by each communication medium: email, text and postcard. You can click on “communication” under the patient’s name to view their full communication log.
This interactive list allows you to click on a patient’s name to open their file or chart in your practice management software. The Recall Manager provides you all of the information needed to reach out to patients to get them on the schedule!
To see further details that can help you in scheduling a future appointment, click on the patient’s name. You can view their appointment history, which will give you insight into their time preference. You can see if any family members have an upcoming appointment or are also past due. Offer to schedule the entire family at the same time when you call!
Scheduling the Future Appointment
Statistically, you have more success in scheduling patients over the phone if the call follows an email or text that was recently received. Typically, we don’t recommend leaving voicemails. We prefer to block the number and try again at a different time if you are unable to speak to a patient.
If you did get in touch with a patient and they asked you to call again next month, you may want to make a note of this conversation. Making a note is easy with the Recall Manager. Simply click on the patient’s phone number. Insert your note, including your initials and click “ok.”
The telephone icon will now appear with their information. You can mouse over the telephone icon to read the full note and you can add additional notes the next time you reach out.
Why Are There Patients On the List With Appointments?
You may encounter patients on the list that do have an upcoming appointment scheduled. The reason for this is because continuous care is not attached to that appointment. For instance, the image below shows that the patient has one upcoming appointment under column “A.”
This could mean that the patient has an upcoming appointment for fillings but they are past due for a cleaning that has not been scheduled. If there are openings in the schedule, this is a great opportunity to call the patient to come in earlier for a cleaning as well.
Daily Use of the Recall Manager
Once a patient becomes overdue, their name will move to the Recall Past-Due list. We recommend that you make an effort to connect with patients on both lists on a daily basis. You can contact them directly from the Recall Manager! Add a detailed note to remember what your next step should be.
In many practices, patients who have not been in for a cleaning in over 18 months are considered inactive. Don’t make the same mistake and write them off after only 18 months. Use the Recall Manager to bring them back.
Maintaining consistent recall and reactivation protocol is vital to ensure practice growth. The longer someone goes past due, the lower the likelihood of them returning to your office. Don’t wait! Reach out today and continue to reach out until scheduled!
Save time using automation but don’t forget to go the extra step when needed to maintain an effective recall strategy. YAPI helps you achieve the perfect balance between automation and the human touch.