Dental Treatment Coordinator Training

As the liason between the patient and the dentist, a dental Treatment Coordinator is a high profile position. In this role, you work closely with the doctor to ensure that the patient understands the treatment itself and why it is needed. Organization, exceptional communication skills, a positive attitude, consistent follow-through and the ability to multi-task are keys to your success.

Dental Treatment Coordinator Course Outline

What does a dental treatment coordinator do during day to day dental practice operations? This training module begins with their purpose, then takes you through the entire dental patient experience – from planning to discussing money! There is more to the treatment coordinator’s role than simply assisting in treatment presentations. They have important conversations with patients about care acceptance and insurance. Is your dental treatment coordinator prepared to communicate effectively with patients? They will be. View the Treatment Coordinator Course Outline.

Dental Treatment Coordinator Documents

What forms, policies and documents does your dental treatment coordinator need while driving toward patient case acceptance? We have exactly what you need, including Payment Agreement Forms and how to effectively manage the “next day review.” Find everything you need in the dental treatment coordinator document library. Need a template for treatment coordination, click here. 

Dental Treatment Coordinator Webinars

Don’t miss a single thing when you attend our monthly webinars. Use these live events to supplement what you are learning through the foundation coursework and join us as we take your training to the next level. Dental treatment coordinators use this additional resource to see and hear what Laura recommends and what their colleagues in other offices are doing to boost case acceptance and manage outstanding treatment plans to drive higher productivity. Get your patients to say “Yes!” with these treatment coordinator webinars.

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Start your online training today. Click the enroll button below and gain access to hundreds of training videos and critical resources. 

“The person that presents treatment and treatment plans to the patients is an invaluable team member to a dental office and to the patients.  The dental treatment coordinator is the liaison between the dentist and the patient and has their hands in confirming the patient understands the treatment that they need, helping the patient get their financial arrangements made and ensuring the patient will schedule, show up and pay for their treatment.  It is important in this role to be well-trained, proficient at communicating, working with the doctor and the patients and ultimately understands their role, which is to help patients get the dentistry they need and help them achieve and maintain good dental health.”

THE TOP 6 DOCUMENTS FOR TREATMENT COORDINATORS

The role of Treatment Coordinator is patient facing and is tasked with the responsibility of attending patient consults and subsequently scheduling the patient’s prescribed treatment, and keeping clinical records accurate and well documented.   Your priority is to assist the doctor in getting patients to understand and accept the recommended treatment and subsequently coordinate the treatment plan to work for both the patient and the office.

Please note you must be logged in to access documents 

[mepr-active memberships=”629,630″]  TREATMENT COORDINATOR DAILY DUTIES  [/mepr-active] [mepr-show if=”loggedout”] Treatment Coordinator Daily Duties [/mepr-show]

use this list to stay on track and ahead of the day

[mepr-active memberships=”629,630″]VERBAL SKILLS TO CONFIRM PATIENT PAYMENT  [/mepr-active] [mepr-show if=”loggedout”] Verbal Skills to Confirm Patient Payment [/mepr-show]

Learn how to get patients to pay for treatment during the consult.

[mepr-active memberships=”629,630″] TREATMENT PLAN FOLLOW-UP POLICY [/mepr-active] [mepr-show if=”loggedout”] Treatment Plan Follow Up Policy[/mepr-show]

Use this policy to outline what steps need to be taken for each patient that requires treatment plan follow up

[mepr-active memberships=”629,630″] PAYMENT AGREEMENT FORM  [/mepr-active] [mepr-show if=”loggedout”] Payment Agreement Form [/mepr-show]

Use this form to confirm an agreement between the practice and the patient to receive payment for treatment and services.

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[mepr-active memberships=”629,630″] NEXT DAY REVIEWER  [/mepr-active] [mepr-show if=”loggedout”] Next Day Reviewer [/mepr-show]

The purpose of reviewing the schedule a day ahead is to make sure that we maximize tomorrow and we do all we can today to make it run smoothly

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[mepr-active memberships=”629,630″] LETTER AND EMAIL SAMPLES TO SEND TO PATIENTS  [/mepr-active] [mepr-show if=”loggedout”] Letter and Email Samples to Send to Patients [/mepr-show]

These templates are a good starting point for creating your own library of templates or using them just as they are to communicate effectively with your patients.

Implementing the role of the Treatment Coordinator

It is the doctor’s and hygienist’s responsibility to make the treatment plan and document it in the chart; however, after the treatment plan is entered into your patient’s chart, it then becomes your responsibility to manage it.

Your priority is to assist the doctor in getting patients to understand and accept the recommended treatment and subsequently coordinate the treatment plan to work for both the patient and the office.

Implementing the role of the Treatment Coordinator has many benefits to your dental practice. 

How Case Presentation Affects Your Practice

One of the major mistakes in clinical charting is the lack of documentation when giving the patient treatment options. When the doctor is consulting with a patient and discussing the options — for example, a bridge, implant, or partial — this not only needs to be documented in the clinical note but also laid out in the patient’s treatment plan options.

The role of Treatment Coordinator is patient facing and is tasked with the responsibility of attending patient consults and subsequently scheduling the patient’s prescribed treatment, and keeping clinical records accurate and well documented.

THE TOP QUESTIONS

EVERY TREATMENT COORDINATOR

NEEDS TO KNOW

We recommend watching all the video modules in each unit, but if your team is in a crisis and needs answers now…

How Can I Improve Scheduling?

For the management team, I would start...

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By examining your current schedule first.  There are so many factors that go into building a great schedule, and so many things that can and do happen on a daily basis to wreak havoc on it.  If your office does not have a scheduling policy in place or good control over your schedule, I suggest training for both! Start by doing a time study to ensure your time slots are accurate. Once you know how long an appointment will take – adjust the appointment slots in your dental office scheduling software. Next, we would recommend watching the basics of how to schedule for production by using the goal tracking sheets.  Have a team huddle regarding the schedule and watch basics of building a productive schedule webinar as a team. Discuss the webinar with your team and identify what type of scheduling issues pertain to your office and create a scheduling policy for those common obstacles.

Whether a patient is scheduled for a filling, a perio procedure, or a crown, the patient’s commitment to getting the work done is based on your recommendation and their trust in you as a dental professional. Or, in some cases, the patient scheduled the work that you recommended just to get out of the office, because they weren’t sure they were really on board with the treatment plan but didn’t want to say so.

We can reduce cancellations by having a game plan. It’s impossible to 100% reduce cancellations. They’re going to happen, but you can reduce them through communication. Find out the real reason why someone is cancelling their appointment. The key is to identify which specific patients are likely to cancel or no-show, so that you can appropriately address it at the right moment, whether that’s in the initial visit, while scheduling maintenance appointments, and when patients call in to ask for schedule changes. By planning ahead and getting your team on the same page about how to handle these common issues, your office will have the upper hand when it comes to reducing the frequency of no-shows and cancelled visits.

It mostly comes down to the patient wasn’t onboard with the treatment or they don’t have the money to pay.  We recorded a webinar on top 10 ways to decrease last minute cancellations and no-shows, because this is such a hot topic in the dental industry.

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For your front office team, we recommend...

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Talking with your team about the importance of the schedule and understanding your scheduling policy. It’s important for your team to understand why certain steps are taken, like confirmation calls and how an appointment is offered – and how they impact the overall schedule as well as how to put blocks in the schedule.

Having a morning huddle every day to get the team on the same page is crucial.  This is the time and place to review things that may present an obstacle. Ensure your team has a block for lunch. Discuss how to handle emergencies and what qualifies as an emergency. Of course you want to get emergency patients into the office and take care of their needs, but you should bring them in at a time that works for your schedule. During the morning huddle, ask the dental assistants to identify the best times to schedule possible emergencies. The key is to keep a list of scheduling issues as they arise so you can identify which need a written policy.

Stop leaving your schedule to chance and start implementing a system that’s going to get  your patients to show up for their appointments. It starts with the how your staff handled the first phone call, how your staff is trained, how the initial consultation was handled, giving your staff a reason behind their actions, and practicing the checkout process.

Identify who your treatment coordinator is and who your financial coordinator is. We understand that not every office has one person that fully handles this role, and this role alone. If your Front Office staff are pulling double duty – these modules will help.

It’s our job to help the patient fully understand the treatment plan, their insurance benefits, and that the office will work with them to maximize those benefits, but that the ultimate goal is to get them and keep them healthy.  And, this comes down to our communication skills, Scheduling Course, Module 3 – How to handle cancellations.

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How Can I Offer Better Customer Service?

For the management team, I would start...

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People don’t like getting dentistry done.  Patient retention and generation is improved in the same way any successful relationship is; by having positive touch points. We are in the business of selling oral health to patients that would rather be anywhere else.  The least we can do is value our patients and offer the best customer service possible.

It starts with the first phone call and how your front office is answering the phones. Are they jumping right to asking for insurance information, or giving out diagnosis and prices over the phone? It’s important your team stops whatever they are doing, takes a breathe, and smiles before picking up the phones. Then build up rapport with the caller and find out their name, what prompted them to call and take great notes. In our office, we hold appointment blocks for new patients so we can appoint in 48 hours. If it’s urgent and their are no appointments left in your schedule – what is your policy? Does your team know how to handle this scenario?

During the morning huddle, your team should go over who is coming in to the office that day along with any notes taken during intake. Are they new to the area? Do they have a husband or children that could become patients? These are all conversation starters for when the patient arrives.

When the patient arrives, stand up and greet them with a smile and handshake. Truly welcome them to your practice. Make conversation with the patient while they waiting to be seen, again a communication policy would be good to have on hand so your team knows how much to say and what’s appropriate to discuss.

Practice patient handoffs as you guide your patient through the appointments.

Watch for body language signals if they seem upset, uncomfortable, or nervous and talk to them about what’s happening or going to happen.

At no point should a patient be left alone to wonder if they’ve been forgotten, or where to go to exit the exam area. If there’s a delay, communicate this to the patient and wait with them.

As much as we would like our patients to judge us just on our clinical knowledge and skill, most of the time patients don’t.  They judge us on our office décor, our smile or lack of smile when they arrive, how we greet them in the lobby, and all the intangible things that make them feel that they either have or have not been well taken care of.  Most of the time, it has very little to do with the dentist and mostly to do with the staff. Because of this, it is important that you are always top-notch.

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For your front office team, we recommend...

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Think about it.  What happens in a dental office?  We put drills and needles in their mouth, and they are going to pay us thousands of dollars for something nobody is going to see—and half the time, it didn’t hurt before you touched them.  On top of that, many front desk teams behave in the same manner as a doctors office: “Sign in, take a seat, and wait to be called back”.

Whether  it’s the receptionist or the dental assistant, it is vital that your team understands what an important role they play with offering each and every patient great customer service.  They are many times one of the first employees the patients meet and most of the time have the most interaction with the patient.  The way they talk with the patient, take care of the patient and make sure they are happy while they are in the dental office, can make such an impact on whether the patient loves your office or not.

If you are concerned your team isn’t offering the best customer service, I would start with making sure you have the right policies in place ( see management response above first) and then watching this webinar together as team: How to Communicate With Dental Patients, followed by Creating The Ultimate New Dental Patient Experience. After you’ve watched the webinar recordings as a team, talk with your employees about what they think can be done differently. By including them on the discussion you are actually getting their buy-in that their voice is important and you value them. When your team is apart of the decision making they feel vested in your business and want to see it succeed. Discussing customer service as a team also gives you, the manager, the opportunity to explain the “Why” behind answering phones quickly, with a smile, and building rapport. Why handoffs are important.

We do not offer scripts. What you see through Front Office Rocks training is an understanding of how to communicate – when you know what to say – it just comes naturally.

These five videos should be a top priority for your team to watch:

Articles for Dental Treatment Coordinators

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