How complete is your on-boarding process for new and prospective patients? Many people expect to be presented with a sheaf of forms the first time they set foot in a dental office, but if you are constantly presenting returning patients with more paperwork, it can get annoying. Does your office need to revamp the paperwork to streamline data entry, save patient time, and ensure that your new patients have all the information they need? Use our library of form templates to onboard patients, present cases, and ensure that everyone has the information they need as they come back to the practice after COVID-19.
New Patient Welcome Kit
Before a patient ever arrives in your office, you should send them a new patient welcome kit. The goal of this kit is to make sure that new patients are at ease when they come to the office. Each kit should include:
1) A letter of welcome from the dentist with a bit of information on what to expect at the first appointment. Include a picture of yourself with your team, and be sure to convey that you’re excited to meet this new patient and help them with their oral health goals.
2) A walk through of their appointment, explaining what will happen at each step in your office. This reduces patient anxiety and ensures a positive first experience with your office. Include pictures of the office team with masks on and off, and a short introduction like “Denise Jones, Reception. Denise has 3 kids at the local high school and enjoys gardening and Zumba. Denise will greet you when you enter the office, do a quick COVID-19 screen, take your forms, and let our hygiene team know that you’re here and ready for your appointment.” SEE SAMPLE
3) A handout explaining your COVID-19 safety measures and what is expected of patients to keep everyone safe and healthy. This should include details on your PPE, air filtration, and cleaning protocols, but also should outline when a patient should cancel their appointment. SEE SAMPLE
4) Patient information forms. These include a general information form, insurance form, HIPPA forms, dental health history, medical health history, and payment policies. SEE SAMPLE
Remember to keep extra copies of the new patient welcome packet and the forms at the front desk, in case you’re either seeing an emergency patient or your patient has forgotten to bring their forms along with them. If this happens, they’ll see the forms you have on hand as a favor to them (since they forgot to bring their forms along) rather than a chore.
Additional Forms for Existing Patients
Once you’ve seen a patient, you often need extra forms to cover specific situations related to their case. For instance:
1) Insurance breakdown for a procedure. Your team fills out the insurance breakdown form when talking to the patient’s dental insurer, but it can be helpful to have it with you during case presentation to explain what their benefits are. Most patients do not understand their dental insurance or how it differs from their health insurance. Taking the time to explain this can help increase your collections and decrease stress for your patients. SEE SAMPLE
2) Patient education form. This should include a small form for a patient to sign saying that the hygienist explained their expected home-care to them, and a patient copy listing your office’s standard home care instructions for the treatments received. Make sure to duplicate these instructions on your website, for when patients lose the piece of paper. SEE SAMPLE
3) Teeth whitening waiver. Teeth whitening is a procedure where patients enter with unusually high expectations and are likely to become unhappy if they’re not met. A good, comprehensive teeth whitening waiver can go a long way towards managing patient expectations for teeth whitening and protecting your team during the process. SEE SAMPLE
4) Treatment and payment plan form. This form can help a patient understand the stages of a complex treatment, the cost of each stage, and when their payment is due. If you keep a copy in their file, you can also quickly answer questions during appointments. SEE SAMPLE
Dental care is often confusing and intimidating for your patients. By using the correct forms at the correct times, and making sure that patients understand what’s happening and are comfortable with what comes next, you can improve patient experience, increase case acceptance, and help all of your patients achieve the smiles they want.