How to Reduce Emergency Visits
Reducing the number of emergency visits an office sees can dramatically change the patient flow, reduce the stress level of the office, as well as decrease the negative image this may project. The clinicians can focus on scheduled procedures and maintain a high level of patient care. Having additional patients and procedures added to an already full schedule can challenge the most efficient practices.
The orthodontic practice rarely sees a true emergency. Patient education can reduce the number of “emergency” visits and office receives calls for. The use of the term emergency can be replaced with repair appointments for additional visits such as loose brackets, loose bands, or broken appliances. Unless a patient is in pain (i.e. loss of a second molar bracket with a wire extending) the repair appointment can be accomplished in an appointment slot or possibly at the patients next scheduled visit. Andrea will assist your practice in developing consistent guidelines and scripting to educate the patient and parents. She can also direct you on how to utilize your website to present emergency information and instructions to virtually eliminate after hours emergency calls.
If an office is experiencing a high number of emergency visits Andrea can implement a tracking system to gather information to assist in decreasing this number. The information can pinpoint areas for improvement for the office. Are the emergencies daily loose brackets or wire pokes? Are they higher for one assistant, one chair over another or one office of another for a multi-office practice? The information will help determine if more clinical training is needed, are curing lights and equipment being maintained, are adhesives and products being used properly?