How to promote direct access… With the introduction of direct access for dental hygienists and therapists, practices now have the chance to offer more varied treatment options to their patients. But in order fully utilise this opportunity, it is important to promote the services available in an effective and proactive way. For a start, information on websites or in leaflets about treatments should focus on the benefits available to patients, rather than on the clinical procedures. The wording used is also important, as it can grab potential patients’ attention immediately. For example, instead of advertising for a ‘dental clean and polish’, call it a ‘diamond clean’. It could to be presented almost like a spa menu – easy to read but immediately enticing. Another way of promoting these services is to effectively market the hygienists as their own department within the practice. Depending on how big your practice is, this could involve different uniforms, décor and maybe evening waiting areas separating the hygiene department from the dentists. The details of your marketing campaign will of course depend on your target audience – for hygiene services this will generally be the 25-45 year olds, so all treatment advertising and presentation should be designed to appeal to this age group. To encourage patients to keep returning to the practice, you may even want to consider some sort of treatment scheme or maintenance package, so that patients can pre-book their hygiene check-ups or treatments over the course of 12 months. However you choose to promote these extended services, it is essential that you do so proactively in order to make patients aware of all the options available to them, so the very first thing you should do is get your team on board. They will be integral to making a success of this change in the patient journey! If you have any questions about Direct Access, how to promote it at your Practice or any questions concerning your practice management, please feel free to join Karl on Tuesday 13th August for his Open Mic’ Conference Call! Click here for details!