7 steps to a recheck
Dr. Ross Clark has lectured for years on the subject of improving client communication. And one of his successes is his practice's high recheck rate—upwards of 50 percent.
The biggest difference between his recheck scheduling and yours is probably his doctors' involvement in scheduling rechecks.
Here are seven of his tried-and-true tips for getting clients back into the practice for crucial rechecks:
1. Educate the client. In the exam room, be sure to explain the disease or condition and the importance of the recheck. What negative things could occur if the problem isn't monitored? For example, "This condition is a delicate balance between good health and a severe problem."
2. Make the recheck convenient. Establish in the exam room what day of the week will work for a recheck.
3. Set the date. Pick a specific date that falls on the convenient day of the week. You can immediately consult your personal calendar to make sure there are no conflicts (CE, meetings, or vacations).
4. Fill out an appointment card. Put the appointment directly into the computer and partially fill out an appointment card for the client (the hour is still to come).
5. Follow the client to the receptionist. Accompany the client to the front desk to set a time on that day. Don't leave until the scheduling is done.
6. Mail/email a reminder. Send a postcard or an email one to two weeks (your preference) before the next appointment.
7. Make a call. Ask the front desk to call the client the evening before the appointment.
Doctors at Dr. Clark's practices, Woodland West Animal Hospital and Woodland Trails in Tulsa and Edmon, Okla., keep close to clients to arrange rechecks, and it makes a big difference.