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Making the Decision on When and How To "Deactivate Patients in Your Dental Practice"

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Making the Decision on When and How To "Deactivate Patients in Your Dental Practice"

Making the decision to deactivate patients in your Dental Practice is an important phase in the Growth process.

However, the term “Deactivation” often brings fear. Therefore, illuminating questions in our minds:

  • Is this the right decision
  • Maybe they will come back at a later date
  • Have all efforts in reactivating this patient been met

This fear can be overcome and the deactivation process will provide a more realistic approach as you reactivate current patients and welcome new patients into your practice.

The first steps necessary in the “Deactivation” process are vital

You must first “try” to reactivate the patient. Certain criteria will also coincide with the Deactivation process. An example might be that the patient is deceased, has relocated, or informed the practice that they will no longer remain a patient on record. By following steps to reactivate the patient, the Deactivation process will become more definitive.

4 Steps that will provide the accurate details in making the decision to Deactivate the Patient:

  1. Identify Overdue Treatment Plans
  2. Identify Overdue Hygiene
  3. Identify Patients that did not accept treatment at the time of Case Presentation
  4. Call Patients not seen in over a year

By following these steps you will make your Deactivation process effective on a clinical level.

Let’s take a few minutes to elaborate on “ How” to begin the 4 steps…You will want to compile the pertinent reports to adequately identify the patients by Overdue Hygiene, Overdue Treatment , Unaccepted Treatment at the time of Case Presentation, and Inactive Patients. Information found in these reports will be useful in the process moving forward.

Then you will want to make individual phone calls relevant to the treatment necessary. An example: If it is overdue Hygiene ask to schedule an appointment. If they do not schedule…Follow up with a letter…explain the importance of their Oral Health..their value as your patient…No response..Follow up with another phone call in 2 weeks…if they have failed to respond…assume they are inactive..and therefore, they meet the criteria necessary to deactivate them as your patient. It is imperative that you continue the process of elimination in order to deactivate the patients in a successful manner. Growth will come by inadvertently reactivating the patients. When you are making calls, sending out letters, and following up with the patients reactivation occurs. Allowing the fears of questioning your decision in the Deactivation Process to be effective, efficient, and clinically satisfied.

The key to success in the reactivation process is having great content to be used either in the phone calls or the email communications.  Meaning, if all you are doing is telling people they are overdue, you probably won’t see the success that you would like to see.  We have written very specific content for our clients to help with these steps.  The content has to motivate the patient to schedule.  Certainly calling stating a patient is simply overdue, might not accomplish this goal.  If you are writing your own content, take your time to make it exceptional, you will see far better results than if you rush this step.  Then implement it with passion.  

If you have a great plan and implement it with passion, the odds are strongly in your favor that you will be met with success.  The answer will always be “No” until you ask.


Watch the video below on this topic.


Michelle Gabrielson CDA

AMP Consultant



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Guest Thursday, 26 November 2015