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a blog by Chris Barrow

Shifting the workload

How do I ask / refer patients to rather see another dentist/therapist (in the same practice ) instead of seeing me the lead dentist? (minor work I don’t want to do)

A question raised just this morning.

The issue of “triaging” new and existing patients starts with a re-alignment of your brand and re-education of the patients concerned.

I have written previously about the three “floors” of the metaphoric dental building:

  1. The Emergency Floor – there to get people out of trouble

  2. The Maintenance Floor – there to help people keep healthy teeth and gums for life

  3. The Confidence Floor – there to help people improve their confidence by improving their smile

So what my client is really asking here is “how do I send all/most of my time on The Confidence Floor?

And the answer is to create a brand standard and patient journey that clearly states that the patient is a ”Member of the Practice“ and that, from time to time, they will be cared for by different team members, depending on their needs (depending on which ”floor of the shop“ they require).

I was in Selfridges, Manchester on Wednesday evening, Christmas shopping with my daughters.

I asked the girl in the computer department where the cameras were – she directed me across the floor to the hi-fi and camera department.

I didn’t complain that she knew nothing about cameras – I wanted to chat to the camera guy.

I can hear you saying ”its different – these patients have visited me for 100 years and they will be outraged and march down the road“.

Point 1 – if its explained properly and the ”benefit“ to them – WIIFM (what’s in it for me) is clarified

  1. less waiting time for appointments

  2. expertise focused where it is needed

  3. more time to engage with the individual

  4. lower overall costs

and that explanation will be on the web site, in the welcome pack – and well rehearsed by all the team members – word perfect.

Then they will stay.

Point 2 – a small number will leave – and they will be the ones you want to get rid of anyway – the ”messers“.

Point 3 – and your robust marketing systems will refill the book.

Point 4 – every fee-earner in the practice increases their average daily productivity – most of all you!

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