When you look at your Lapsing Patients detail report each month do you feel so overwhelmed with all the great information included that you don’t know where to start? If so, you are not alone! This report is an appendix to the Practice Overview Report and is an absolutely amazing tool for improving patient care. I worked at VetSuccess as the Practice Success Coach (full disclosure, I am now the Director of Operations at Vet2Pet) and this was one of my favorite reports to work with practices on because it is so useful.
As a former practice manager and CVPM, I believe that the Lapsing Patients appendix is very possibly the most practical report that VetSuccess provides to its members. Each month, this spreadsheet tells you everything you need to know about the patients that have not been into your practice in the past 14 to 18 months. Below are some tips and ideas that will help your practice gain the most benefit from it!
Step-by-step guideline for using the Lapsing Patients appendix most effectively
Utilize the Lapsing Client Toolkit as a guideline for contacting clients.
It’s available as a free download from the VetSuccess website. This resource provides sample email and voicemail scripts, as well as other ideas for ways to communicate with clients and encourage them to schedule an appointment.
Make this document more printer friendly, or less overwhelming, by deleting columns that you don’t need.
This will make it easier to identify who the lapsing patients are. You’re going to have to look them up in your practice software anyway, to determine what they are overdue for, so you may not need the client addresses, phone numbers etc. on your spreadsheet. Remember, any changes you make to this document will not affect the original version that you downloaded.
Add columns to help gather even more data as you are contacting your clients.
Change the page orientation to landscape.
This will allow room for notes before printing.
Determine if you will call every lapsing patient every month, or only call patients from certain months.
For example, some practices will call only patients in the 14 months and 17 months lapsed period. This ensures that patients will receive a maximum of two phone calls. You can decide what will be best for your practice and your clients.
Sort your spreadsheet by the client’s last name.
You may identify clients with multiple pets in different lapsing periods, which gives the opportunity to schedule more patients with one phone call.
Give a list of patients to each team member with a deadline to make calls each month.
Make sure that each person making calls has a copy of the Lapsing Client Toolkit that you downloaded from the VetSuccess website.
Keep track of how many appointments each person scheduled.
You may identify one or more team members who have a very high success rate. Have these people share success tips with the rest of the team.
Take notes on why clients don’t schedule an appointment.
You may identify a pattern developing that could indicate an operational problem.
Gather missing email addresses.
Keep the email column on your printout and take advantage of the opportunity to use a scheduled appointment to capture and update emails.
Keep track of the revenue generated from appointments scheduled.
You’ll want to make sure you’re seeing a good ROI on staff time spent making calls.
What else can you do to bring more lapsing patients back to your practice?
Consider implementing an incentive program to motivate your team members for success. For example, you could think about sharing a percentage of the total invoice with the team member that scheduled the appointment, even 5%. The more appointments they schedule, the larger the bonus they get!Team incentive programs help bring back more lapsing patients. Share a small percentage of the final invoice with the team member who scheduled the appointment! Click To Tweet
VetSuccess also provides an automated email solution called RETRIEVER, which is designed to bring lapsing patients back to the practice. A series of three emails is sent to lapsing patients who have had no transactions in your practice for 14, 16 and 18 months, encouraging them to bring their pet in for a wellness exam. Partners for Healthy Pets also offers a do-it-yourself inactive client program.
Finally, remember that even though calls like this can sometimes seem tedious, the reason you are doing them in the first place is because it is in the best interest of your patients. They are overdue for a physical exam and (possibly) other preventive care treatments that they need, to live in the best of health for as long as possible.
This blog has been updated and was originally published on April 13, 2016.