If you’ve been wondering whether your orthodontic or dental practice could benefit from a treatment coordinator, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find out what the role involves and the all-important benefits it can deliver to your practice.
Clinicians and practice owners in particular are often guilty of taking on too much, and can sometimes find themselves moving away from what they do best to focus on other roles such as customer service and sales. While they will undoubtedly have a vested interest in these areas they don’t necessarily have the right skills or enough time to give them the attention they deserve.
A patient’s initial consultation is perhaps their most important appointment. Often they’ll have a whole host of questions to ask and they’ll be experiencing different emotions ranging from excitement to trepidation. However, with limited time it can be all too easy to focus on the clinical aspects of the appointment, leaving little time to build a rapport with the patient.
What is a treatment coordinator?
If this scenario sounds familiar your practice might be in need of a treatment coordinator (TC) to help share the load. A TC’s role is to focus on the patient, to ensure their first appointment exceeds their expectations. They’ll take the time to really get to know the patient, discovering their motivations and concerns, and providing answers to all their questions. They’ll also help the patient to complete all the necessary paperwork and go through any finance options that might be available.
The TC role isn’t intended to replace the clinician’s involvement in new patient consultations. Instead, its aim is to enhance the patient experience and improve efficiency for the clinical team. While there will undoubtedly be questions that only a dentist or orthodontist can answer, there will be many more that a trained TC will be equipped to deal with, saving the clinician precious time.
How can a treatment coordinator benefit your practice?
Introducing a TC at your practice can provide a number of benefits, including:
Better customer service – TCs can afford to spend more time with patients, building a valuable bond and making sure they don’t feel rushed.
Value for money – if you’re charging patients for their consultation, they are likely to perceive a longer appointment as better value for money.
Improved efficiency – a TC will free up some time for the clinical team, helping to improve availability for other patients. They can also help to avoid no-shows by contacting patients personally before their first appointment.
Competitive advantage – if other practices in your area aren’t utilising TCs you can create a strong competitive advantage and differentiate yourself based on your customer service.
Increased turnover – by spending more time with patients during their first appointment, many of the practices we’ve worked with have increased conversions and ultimately profits.
Finding your treatment coordinator
The great thing about introducing a TC at your practice is that you’ve probably already got the ideal candidate. Receptionists, nurses and even practice managers often have the knowledge and skills to make excellent TCs.
In the beginning you may want to trial the role part-time, so often it makes more sense to develop the skills you have, rather than hiring a new team member.
Some of the skills and experience you should look for when choosing a potential TC include:
- Fantastic communication skills
- The ability to sell without being forceful
- Excellent organisation skills
- A warm and friendly personality
- Someone who knows your services inside out
- Someone with a good knowledge of dentistry
If you don’t have these skills in-house, you may want to recruit somebody who fits the bill. You might be lucky enough to find someone with TC experience, or you could decide to hire someone with the right personal qualities.
Either way, we can help you to find the perfect candidate and provide them with the skills they need to excel as a TC. We’ve been helping practices to find and train TCs for years and we’ve seen first-hand the positive impact they can have on a practice’s performance. For more information on how they can benefit you, contact our friendly team.