Most clients I have had the pleasure to work with have what seems to be a different concept of what patient leads are; as a number or as a resource for that matter.
The goal is obviously to get patient leads in order to get new patients, to get them through a treatment plan. How many patient leads do you get per week? How many of these convert into new patients? This is where the difference in opinion mentioned above usually shows up.
In an economy such as ours right now, where most people seem to have the feeling of instability financially (due to instability on the job, or business if they are business owners), the practice of shopping for the best deal on everything has greatly multiplied. You may or may not be keeping track of this, but a large percentage of the incoming calls are probably people asking a short question such as “do you take ‘blank’ insurance?”; “do you collect the co-pay or can you forgo it?”, etc. Now our front desk staff, bless their heart, answer the question and promptly hear the click on the other end, right?
I have seen very few practices that even get to count these calls in any way. They are a waste, why should they, right? Not quite. By doing this, you don’t even get to the level of knowing how much you are missing out on. And that is a worse place to be than knowing what you are missing out on. So the first step is to start to keep track of this. Once you do this for a few weeks, you will at least know the size of the problem. The next thing is to pay attention to how your front desk staff handles these calls. You might be surprised how much a little bit of attention on something makes a big difference.