RECALLS AND REACTIVATIONS
A question that often comes up is “What is the best way to approach patient
recalls” Everyone DC who has been in practice for a few years will look at their
stacks of patient files and try to figure out a way to encourage those folks to
come back to their office.
What often occurs is that a CA is told to “call and get them back in here” and
although enough calls will result in at least some reactivations, it is a painful
process often with a low success rate.
The same is often true with the use of reactivation letters and emails.
So a couple of thoughts and strategies on approaching this.
First and foremost, you want to address this in your new patient procedures and
new patient orientation. Make a mental shift to promoting “a lifetime of getting
your spine checked…and adjusted if necessary” with the GOAL of having the
person hold their adjustments longer and longer. When you talk about
“Chiropractic care for the rest of your life.”….that is a large and often
overwhelming thought to face…..it suggests that there is never any end in
sight…but shift your position to “lifetime checks…adjustments if necessary” and
that becomes must more manageable.
This concept (checking and adjusting if necessary, with the goal to have them
hold their adjustments longer over time) is a central theme in the report and in
the new patient workshop. Through a careful dialogue, where I am asking the
questions and getting them to supply the answer, they will invariable be able to
verbalize the importance of getting checked on a regular basis.
Once this is established, we then have a simple dialogue where we “obtain
permission” to help them stay on track through gentle reminders and
reinforcements. (phone calls, digital messages)
So, when the recall/reactivation is made, it is really NOT a recall, but rather a
reminder/reinforcement where the person making the call is simply “doing what
the patient/practice member” requested, ie help them stay on track.
Since there is a lot of difference in techniques and protocols, I will not get into
specific dialogue, but there will be some variations.
So, put that into place, going forward….meanwhile, what to do with all of the
people in the past—where maybe this was not firmly established
PART TWO (WHAT TO DO KNOW)
The best way to do recalls/reactivations is to engage the person via the phone.
This should and activity performed by BOTH the DC’s and the CA’s and initially, I
would advise that they do it as a team at the same time, so that each can see
and hear what the others are saying (because the dialogue will be very similar)
Set aside dedicated times to perform these calls—and it should never be during
office hours or when the person making the calls has other patient related
duties. (in other words, do not do this “between patients”)
DIALOGUE FOR A CA
CA: Hi Mr. P, this is Sally from Dr. Dudley’s office, is this a good time?
Mr. P (sure)(and if not, just say, I will try you another time and politely say
CA: The reason I am calling is that Dr Dudley was reviewing some patient files
and he asked me to call and check on you. (stop and let them talk)
Mr. P. (is going to talk, they will say any one of a number of things, they may say,
Oh, I know I need to get back in there, I have been meaning to, etc, etc) in which
case, the CA responds by saying, “I can certainly schedule an appointment for
you” ( and proceed)
Or, they may say, I am doing fine (which is a hint that they are NOT immediately
interested in getting back into the clinic…..at the present time---because they
THINK that is why you are calling them.
The CA responds, by “saying “That is fantastic to hear Mr. P, I will be sure to let
the Doctor know…..and then CHANGE THE CONVERSATION.......do a 180 and
ask them a simple question about them---ie, How are the kids, is work going ok,
(and some of this depends on the relationship you have with them and how well
you know them, ie if its an old file and you never met them…it is best not to ask a
follow up question)
Let them talk…and the more they talk, the more they engage….because you
did’n t push an appointment on them and you are taking an interest in them.
and what will happen-----a lot of times, is they will bring it back to their health
and Chiropractic….and often there was an issue that you were not aware of…..or
they have further questions, that either you can answer, or schedule a time for
the Doctor to contact them.
The patient may have some issue that needs to be addressed in detail, and it
may warrant a follow-up call from the DC.
Even if the conversation never comes back to Chiropractic, its still a positive
event, and you “re-engage” the person, which can lead to referrals and other
I cannot tell you how many times we have made these calls, the person is fine,
life is great. We have a quick conversation and say goodbye and…..with the next
few days, they call to schedule an appointment, for themselves, for a spouse,
If the DC is making the phone call, it’s the same approach, I am calling to check
on you and let them talk and take it where they want to go.
This overall approach is much more effective than “trying to get them back in”
over and over and over.