Simple follow up system for recommended treatment

Patient Follow Up: Introducing the 1-31 Day Box

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:

  • Call a patient to follow up after their endo to see how they are feeling and if they are ready to schedule their crown
  • Call a patient who has been presented a treatment plan but says they aren’t ready to schedule today – train your team to arrange a follow up date (and time?!) with the patient – then you can make a note to follow up using this 1-31 box
  • For hygienists, when a patient seems really close to scheduling for in-office whitening, but says she is going on vacation. Make a note on a card and put it into the box for when you think your patient will return from vacation so you can follow up.
  • For assistants, when you cannot pre-schedule a seat appointment due to complications with the lab or the case, make a note on a card and put it into the box to follow up with the lab and then schedule the patient.

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.

Create Your Own

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:

Plus, an Idea to Follow up with Vendors

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: 1week@followupthen.com 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.

Want more training ideas like this?

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.