A 1-31 day box is a simple, efficient method to follow up with patients. This is a low tech, super easy solution that staff love – and it solves the issues of “How will I remember to follow up with this patient?” for all types of toipcs including:
This simple tool cleans up your front desk area – no more saving treatment plans or other papers off to the side of your computer. This system also eliminates all the extra fake appointments scheduled into the dental software reminding staff of various tasks. This system also works great for when you try to call the patient to follow up – if you do not talk with the patient, make a note on the card ‘left message’ and the date, then stick the card back into the box for the next day to try again.
If you are using an ideal day, each day someone is assigned the task of checking the 31-day box.
To create your own 1-31 day box, just buy a recipe box that will fit 3×5 index cards and order the Oxford 1-31 index files on Amazon, and buy a blank set of index cards your staff can use. Then, put your numbered index files in the box and all the blank cards at the back of the box. Train your team to pull a blank card out & write the patient name & follow up information on the card – then place it behind the date (let’s say you need to follow up on October 17th, then you would put the card behind the 17). Even if this is for November 17th, put the card on the 17th and you will just leave the card in the box until the correct date.
Here are the links to Amazon to order your recipe box & the numbered index cards so your team can get started now:
Now that you have a system for patient follow up, how about one for vendors? The free website Followupthen is great for following up via email. The way this works is that when you send an email to a vendor (or you can even email yourself), you blind copy a future date or future time and the Followupthen company will automatically email you on that date. Hence, there’s your reminder. For example if you enter: firstname.lastname@example.org in the blind copy section of your email, you will receive a copy of your original email one week later. Isn’t that cool?
Follow up then is a great system to use – especially if you’re dealing with vendors. Let’s say you think of a project you need to tackle with a vendor – you need to talk with your janitorial service about something, but you only see them on Mondays. You can create an email to the janitorial service letting them know that you want to talk with them on Monday, and you can blind copy Monday’s date @followupthen.com and then that email will show up in your inbox that day. My only concern with using Followupthen for patient follow up is that if the person who checks that email address happens to be out that day, the system doesn’t work.
This 1-31 day box idea and the system for how to use it are part of the Online Dental Staff Training Levels. If this idea was helpful for you, you are welcome to subscribe to this online training content to discover dozens of other ideas that will help in your practice.