Inform before Perform

Have you ever taken your car in for an oil change for $29.00 and when you pick up your car the cost is actually over $100.00? You discover they rotated your tires and added all your fluids. This can be very frustrating and you may lose trust in this company and their service because they didn’t inform you of the services they were performing until it was time to pay. This can create anxiety if you don’t have a means to pay the additional fees.

The same can be true in a dental office. For example, if the three surface filling procedure you discussed with the patient suddenly becomes a root canal, build-up and crown, you should stop the procedure and discuss the change in treatment plan and the financial obligation. Doing so will allow your patients to make informed decisions. It shows your patients that you’re sensitive to their needs and budget, which should in turn help build trust in the relationship.

Do you have a solid system in place to ensure your patients are well informed of all procedures and financial obligations in your practice? When is the last time you reviewed it and discussed why it is so important with your team? Does your team understand it’s really about the relationship and not money?

You should always include the full fee and the dates on which fees are due. These discussions should occur with your team at morning huddles to ensure everyone is aware of the payments due that day and to encourage staff to walk all patients out to the front desk.It is very important to have a solid relationship of trust, respect and integrity with everyone who comes into your practice in order to encourage them to want to be your lifelong patient. Open communication with the team and with the patient is the foundation of that trust.

OnTrack offers resources that will help support this strategy and track your results. Go to for more information or speak to your Patterson representative about how to use OnTrack in your practice.