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Patient Prism's Dental Industry Blog

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  • by: Almarie Burch
  • 10 min read

The Art of New Patient Scheduling

July 20, 2023

What can phone receptionists do to get more new dental patients in the door?

Almarie Burch, Patient Prism's Director of Client Success, recently answered that question on an SMC National podcast. We think you will both enjoy and benefit from her answer. 

Have the Mindset of “Someone needs my help.”

Scheduling more patients begins with the recognition that every time the phone rings it is because someone needs our help. We need to be passionate about asking the right questions so we can help.

Typically, people are not excited about going to the dentist so the first conversation is very important. When we pick up the call, we need to be in the mindset of “I’m going to help this person.”

We always want to know who has called and the best way to call them back.

Some things are universal. All receptionists need to know the name of the person who called and the best number to reach them if they are disconnected or want to call back with additional information.

Ask probing questions.

I believe in asking probing questions. Most people don’t know exactly what they need so we need to be prepared to ask the right questions:

  • What prompted your call today?

  • Do you have a concern?

  • Do you feel something is urgent?

Those types of questions are going to help us determine the type of care they need. It could be that they moved and want to get back into a dental care routine and their first thought was to get a cleaning. It could be that there is a concern that needs diagnosis and treatment. We need to ask probing questions so we can schedule them for the right type of appointment.

We want to verify that we have understood why they called.

We can ask more questions to make sure that we are providing them with the right appointment for the services they need.

We want to make them feel:

  • immediately comfortable about coming to our care team and
  • that they will get Wow service

We demonstrate empathy and understanding of their needs, and then we give them access to great care. Even if we can’t answer their questions and concerns about treatment and fees, we strive to make them feel as if the answers will be forthcoming just as soon as they are examined by the care team.

It’s about creating a conversation that is a Wow experience. Ultimately, what new patient callers care about is that service.

This one phone scripting shift can multiply your number of patients:

“I’m here to ensure you get the care you need, and our great team is going to take care of you.”

What does the Patient Prism platform do to support receptionists?

Patient Prism's constant AI feedback automatically trains receptionists to become better managers of new patient phone calls. By that, I mean that they learn the optimal way to direct the conversation, glean the relevant information, and provide the compassionate messaging and service that patients desire.

Patient Prism alerts the provider and front office to new patient opportunities for follow-up, within one minute of call completion. The alert contains a DeepLens text summary of the conversation.

Did the potential patient want more information? Did the patient need a specific appointment time? Was there a concern about being out of network or not having insurance? The AI text summary and tracking of the call for follow-up assist your team in calling back and conducting the most effective conversation to schedule the new patient. 


I don't think many people know that a significant percentage of called-back patients will schedule an appointment. Using Patient Prism's AI intelligence to routinely make follow-up calls results in 25% to 30% more lead conversions. We've had clients increase new patient revenue by more than 30%.

A caller who failed to book an appointment is most likely to be converted to a scheduled patient if someone on your team calls them back within 30 minutes. But Patient Prism clients have found that a callback within 60 minutes to a few hours can still result in a booked appointment.

Patient Prism analytics also surface scheduling issues for a quick resolution. For example, does an additional team member need to answer phone calls during high-call-volume times of the day? Do more appointment slots for new patients need to be opened on the schedule? 

If you are not yet using Patient Prism, we'd love for you to see it in action. Simply click on "Schedule a Demo" below.

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Patient Prism is A.I.-driven software that helps dental practices grow new patient revenue by booking more first-time callers.

Instantly increase new patient revenue by 30% on average.

Patient Prism provides your front desk team or call center with the tools and coaching they need to book more new patients on the first phone call. 

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