What's your PARVB?
Put into a way that you may understand better, let's call this your Patients' Appointment reason to Return - the Value and Benefit to them.
Or another way to say it from your patients point of view may sound like this "What's in it for me?"
All day long you are asking your patients to schedule for treatment or possibly just their six month routine cleaning.
Now I will ask: "What's in it for your patients?"
Do they really understand the urgency and true value, the benefits for them to return for their next appointment?
Do you have patients calling every day to "re-schedule" or "call back later" to schedule their treatment and/or hygiene appointment?
What will you say that helps your patients understand the true benefits and value for scheduling, keeping and paying for their dental treatment?
What we are teaching our clients is PARVB. This is an acronym for Patient Appointment Return Value & Benefit.
Here is an example of a PARVB:
Mrs. Jones (45 yrs old) has not been seen for a hygiene appointment in over nine months. Lucky for her, everything looks healthy except for bleeding upon probing and a few 4mm pockets on the upper left molars. During the periodontal evaluation (The hygienist completed a full mouth six-point probingwhich included checking for areas of: recession, furcation, mobility, etc., etc.), the hygienist noted 4mms on the URQ and BOP in 4 areas of the URQ. Mrs. Jones also has a family history of heart disease.
The hygienist did complete the appointed prophylaxis appointment however, during the appointment they discussed more frequent hygiene visits at the end of the hygiene appointment Mrs. Jones scheduled a 4 month hygiene Prophylaxis appointment, not the usual 6 months Prophylaxis appointment.
The reason for this was Mrs. Jones area of inflammation, the bleeding upon probing, and 4mm pocket depths. Mrs. Jones also has a family history of heart disease and considering her oral health condition today, this could mean a health problem in the future.
Once the 4mms and BOP were discovered Mrs. Jones's hygienist (aka: Sally) took intraoral photographs of the bleeding. Sally then sat Mrs. Jones up in the chair so they could both look together and see the bleeding on the photos taken. The hygienist also showed Mrs. Jones her perio chart with the 4mms in red so they were easy to distinguish from the other areas of health.
Words that were used during the conversation were: active disease, inflammation, relationship between oral disease and systemic disease, prevention of other diseases such as heart disease as well as breast cancer, colon cancer, etc., etc.
Mrs. Jones heard her hygienist say these words and her hygienist Sally, was able to understand that living a long life is very important to Mrs. Jones because she looks forward to being a grandmother in the very near future. Mrs. Jones never heard about the relationship between bleeding gums and her total health. This was all new to her!
What words do you believe are important for them to understand the value of completing treatment and returning for routine hygiene appointments? Are you able to explain the long-term benefits to your patients even if they have healthy mouth and need to return in 6 months for a Prophy appointment?
"What's in it for them?"
Once you discussed the PARVB with your patient always write a PARVB statement on the last line of the patients record.
Having a PARVB statement easily available, means that when your patients call to "Change" or "Reschedule" their next appointment the person answering this phone call can always check the PARVB and then state something like:
"Mrs. Jones, I know Sally our hygienist and Dr. Sparrow, are very concerned about this area that was bleeding on the upper left back molars at your last hygiene appointment. Do you remember Sally took pictures of the bleeding area? I understand that your mother has a history of heart disease and keeping this appointment is going to most likely help prevent heart disease from affecting your body. It is so important to keep your gums healthy because this will prevent other diseases such as heart disease. How can I can help you keep this appointment?"
Ending with this question "How can I help you keep your appointment?" is going to stop all those late minute changes (cancellations) to your schedule. Try communicating a PARVB statement to your patients and then follow-through writing this statement in the patients record.
We are healthcare providers and we want to know how we can "Help" or best "Serve" our patients.
If you don't know how you can benefit them to live a longer and healthier life just ask: " Mr./Mrs. Patient, How can I help you ________________?"
ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS
Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder of Dental Hygiene Solutions, which is powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie has been called "One of Dentistry Today's Top Leaders in Dentistry" for 11 years in a row. She speaks at most of the national dental meetings and works with clients worldwide to help them create a profitable hygiene department. You will find that working with Debbie brings customized solutions to your practice and the highest level of service to you and your team.
Consider that you will learn to be the best, from the best.
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