Okay – tap your heels together three times and repeat after us:
“We love all of our patients, we love all of our patients, we love all of our patients……..”
Do you? Recent studies have shown that the most important factor in a successful and growing practice is the retention of every single patient. You can’t pick and choose who to be nice to – everyone in your practice deserves the royal treatment. Do this correctly and the result will not only be more patients – the value of each patient will go up as well.
We talk about a famous study which proved this at our “How To Love Dentistry, Have Fun and Prosper” full day seminar. You better believe it’s true.
BUT……..every once in a while……we come across someone who just doesn’t belong in our practice. Maybe they abused you financially. Maybe they no-show even when they are on the “short call” list. Or maybe you just get nauseous (or actually barf) every time you see their name on the schedule. If that is the case, it is not fair to either you or the patient that they remain in your practice.
So what do you do when you finally decide that a patient needs to be “fired?”
We feel the best thing to do is to send them a registered letter informing them that you will no longer be able to see them as a patient in your practice. Then – pop open some champagne and celebrate!!
Over the years we have seen many letters used for patient dismissal. Most of them make one huge mistake – and that is giving the patient too much information. What you absolutely don’t want is to get involved in a dialog with this person.
If you tell them the reason for “firing” is due to too many no-shows, they will promise never to no-show again. If you tell them it is for non-payment, they will attempt to set up some kind of fakakte payment schedule only to fall behind the next week. And if you tell them it is for the strange behavior they exhibited at their last appointment, they will promise never to undress, kiss the hygienist, and scream “I love my bicuspids” over and over again.
A proper dismissal letter needs four components:
1. Statement of intent to withdraw from treatment
2. A designated date for withdrawal
3. An agreement that the dentist will see the patient for emergencies
4. A referral of the patient to an appropriate source where the patient can find a new dentist
So when it is time to fire a patient – make sure to cover these bases, but remember – you don’t want to give them reason to get into a debate with you.
At The Madow Group, we love helping you with forms and letters. We’ve got a great patient dismissal letter on our website which you are free to use and customize for your own practice.
It’s totally free, and you can find it right here: https://www.madow.com/forms-and-letters/the-ultimate-patient-dismissal-letter-1/
We have other letters and forms on our website as well – so check it out and keep checking back for more, including one coming very soon that will help you get tons more new patients!
So should you fire every single patient who you don’t like 100%? Probably not. That would leave many with a very small practice! So please remember to treat every single patient like they are the most important person in the world. And in the rare occasion where a patient just does not fit in with your practice, do your very best Donald Trump and say – “You’re fired!”