This may sound strange, but many PCCs have this consideration when working with patients:
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink”?
When working with a practice, PCCs have said:
“Well, if they want to come in, they will; I shouldn’t have to force them to do it.”
They’re partially correct because they shouldn’t have to use force.
But it IS their responsibility to get patients to come in for an evaluation appointment.
I stand firm in my belief that it’s the whole practice’s responsibility to ensure that all patients have the best chance of recovery, and we’re all here to help them live their very best life.
To do that, patients must arrive for their initial appointment to be evaluated and learn more about what’s causing their symptoms. And have a plan for recovery so they can make the best decision about what they will do next.
But when we’re talking about a potential new patient and the evaluation appointment, this responsibility falls solely on the PCCs because the patient hasn’t seen the provider yet.
And just because a potential new patient schedules an evaluation, doesn’t mean they’re committed to arriving for it.
Recently many practice owners have reported a significant decrease in new patient arrivals.
This is bad. Really bad because it doesn’t just leave a hole in the schedule. It keeps another new patient from getting in, and the more new patients who cancels or are no-shows in one week, the more unstable your schedule becomes.
That’s because each evaluation appointment means 10-14 visits are added to the schedule, so multiple new patients who cancel or no-show could mean a loss of 30, 60 90, or more visits in the coming weeks.
And this destabilization also means loss of revenue and more work to recruit more new patients.
Or if you’re like many of the practices I’ve worked with, and your scheduling evaluations many weeks out, it could mean one patient waiting far longer because another took up a spot that they didn’t even bother to use.
It also creates more work for the PCCs, and you’ll hear them say something like: “I’m overwhelmed, I have too much to do…”
To take full responsibility for their position, PCCs need to ensure that potential new patients arrive, as scheduled, for their evaluation appointment.
That means they need verbal confirmation of the potential patient’s arrival for care.
Unfortunately, they often see the confirmation call as “one more thing they have to do”, and if that’s the case, they’re missing the purpose of the call.
- To get verbal confirmation of the patient’s arrival for the evaluation appointment.
- To handle objections when they want to cancel.
- And to have enough time to get someone else in for the care they deserve if that patient cancels.
A big part of schedule control is managing people and handling their objections.
Why training your PCCs is vital to patients showing up for their evaluation appointment:
But it can be scary, especially if one has ever taught PCCs how to do it. And their natural inclination to be nice can make them fear handling objections even more because they don’t want to upset a potential patient.
Remember, our staff comes to us with their own fears and objections, and we either need to weed that out during the recruiting process or provide training to help them overcome these obstacles.
You can help your PCCs by providing training to help them learn:
- The overall purpose of their position
- How to effectively manage patients
- Successful objection-handling techniques
- And the overall goal of their actions
If you’re struggling with lower-than-expected new patient arrivals, I can help with that.
In The Front Office Guru Training Academy, I offer specific training on how on correctly confirming a new patient’s arrival and handling someone’s objections or desire to cancel during the confirmation process. The training will also teach how to ensure that new patients arrive as scheduled and are ready to go so your clinicians can get started on time and the schedule can flow.
You don’t have to do it alone. CLICK HERE to learn more about my virtual training and how it can help you and your team take control of the schedule and maintain control, even during difficult times. With my training, your patients will come for their evaluation and succeeding appointments.