The pandemic has thrown everyone’s recall process into chaos. Months of appointments were cancelled and many patients are not ready to come back. Now is the time to add as much automation and efficiency as you can to be ready when the patients come flooding back AND to make sure you can best serve the patients who are coming right now.

If you have not already done so, send a mass communication to your patients to let them know all of your infection control protocols and appointment availability. It is important to keep patients engaged even if they are not quite ready to come back.

Each recall patient should be set up with both an interval for hygiene and for insurance exam frequency, if applicable. If this information is currently found on paper in the chart (heaven forbid … followed by a big gasp), then now is the time to make sure it is transferred into Tracker. The information may have changed and may change again and again. It is no excuse to not have the most current information in the right place. Also, make sure to indicate patients who are not part of the recall program by unchecking the Cont. Care/Recall interval in the Patient tab of the Patient Profile. You can also indicate if they are a Short Notice, or Book Same Day patient here. This can help you fill a spot last minute, as we have to anticipate a cancellation rate that will be higher than usual.

Now is a great time to start billing and booking at the chair side. This will limit the amount of time patients congregate at your reception area. Automation of billing using Super Codes and notes using Smart Phrases and Forms can offset the time it takes to do this.

Schedule Column Groups and Schedule Templates can be used to make it easier to find the appropriate time and place to book a patient. If you are not familiar with the Search feature, it can help you find exactly what the patient is looking for in seconds.

The Appointment Manager remains the most important tool in Tracker. Every patient who needs a follow up should have a Pending or Waiting appointment with an appropriate follow up date. If a patient is not ready to return, then push their follow up date into the spring. Use email or texting for mass communication, or use Pending Appointment Follow up or Online Booking to automate the task.