Patient Communication

Get kids scheduled before they head back to school!

Updated 7/26/2022

It seems impossible that summer is more than half gone already. Many schools start back as early as the first week of August, which is just around the corner! Healthy habits may have become not so habitual for many of our youth during the past 18 months, and you may also have a lighter schedule than you’d like during the summer months, so getting those school-age patients in now can keep your patients and your bottom line healthy. In this post, we’ll be going through a few steps you can take to identify these students and get them scheduled for Recall or for any outstanding treatment they may need.

The Birthday List

Start with the Birthday List! Since students can remain on their parent’s insurance until age 26, you’ll be looking at students aged 6-25. Older students may be heading back to college and not at home in the fall, so you’ll want to prioritize their scheduling. 

Go to Reports, Standard, and under the Lists category on the right, select the Birthdays list. You can edit the date range to show all patients with birthdays from January 1 to September 30, and click Report, then look for patients between 6 – 25 years old.


The Recall List

In your Appointment Module, click Lists in the menu, then select Recall. You can click on the Age column to sort by age, and looking first at patients who are between 17 and 25 years of age to get them scheduled first. These students will likely be doing their own scheduling, so you’ll want to reach out to them directly. Next, contact parents of children age 6-16, especially those who may have been skipped their younger children’s last recall appointment due to COVID-related concerns.

The Treatment Finder Report

To see which of your patients may have unscheduled treatment, run the Treatment Finder Report. Go to Lists, Standard, then under Lists on the right, open the Treatment Finder Report. There is no age filter in this report, so you’ll want to cross-reference it against your Birthdays List. Let your 25-year old patients know they’ll want to take care of any needed care now while they still have coverage under their parents.

The great thing about using this list is you can let parents and older patients know they have sufficient insurance benefits to cover the recommended care.

  • Do a Google search for your local school district’s school schedule for the 2021-2022 school year. Teacher in-service days, conference days, and other school breaks are great opportunities to get students scheduled without interfering with their school schedule. This is even more important for middle and high school students.
  • College students living at home will have more scheduling flexibility in the fall, but if students only spend periodic weekends at home, adding weekend hours may really help those students keep their smiles healthy and bright. If you’re adding new weekend hours, follow up with all your active patients to let them know you’re expanding your availability to serve them better.

Need help with this or anything else in Open Dental, our Support Team is here for you!

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