The case acceptance problem
Whether we want to believe it or not… we have a case acceptance problem in UK dentistry.
Did you know that 54% of patients don’t follow through with treatments they were seriously considering? This is according to a patient study we ran in 2022 with the Boston Consulting Group, wherein we surveyed over 500 patients who had been thinking about high-value treatments.
In another study with 90 dentists, we found that 70% believed patients did not go ahead with the high-value treatments they had recommended.
This is a huge missed opportunity both for patients and practice owners, who at four to five patients a week could be losing between £200k-£500k every year. If you’re investing money in marketing to generate new business then this is an even bigger loss.
What’s driving the conversion problem?
Unsurprisingly, money was by far the biggest reason that both patients and dentists gave.
With the ever-increasing cost of living and limited availability of NHS appointments, patients need help getting access to funds for their treatments.
Even more concerning is that many patients are resorting to cheaper, lower quality alternatives with unhappy patients having to spend even more money to get poor work fixed when they come home. The Denplan Oral Health Report revealed a mere 50% success rate among those who sought dental treatment overseas, which is frankly unacceptable.
Secondly, our patient study found that 26% of respondents decided not to follow through with treatments due to a combination of insufficient knowledge and anxiety surrounding the procedures. One undoubtedly informs the other, as we know that the more patients understand about a procedure (ie the number of sessions, after-care etc) the less anxious patients feel.
We also know from the hundreds of hours of user research and interviews we’ve conducted with clinicians and practice owners that from a workflow perspective, many industry professionals don’t have access to technology that would help them proactively manage new business and convert a pipeline of leads into new patients. Many enquiries simply fall through the cracks, even with dedicated support from a treatment coordinator.
As the landscape of dentistry shifts further towards a private model, there is a consumerisation happening, wherein practice owners need to seize every new opportunity and develop strong commercial acumen to really thrive.
What can dental practices do?
Offering an ethical treatment finance solution is the first thing to consider. Whether regulated finance (more than 12 months) or unregulated (less than 12 months, less than 12 instalments and no interest, fees or charges), allowing patients to pay in instalments makes complex treatments more accessible and significantly increases case acceptance.
Knowing your treatment finance is from a trusted partner is also really important, so you can introduce finance to your patients, safe in the knowledge the funds are ethically sourced, and patients will be treated fairly throughout.
Next, we know that ‘what gets measured gets managed’, so tracking all your new business in one place with an automated system means you don’t have worry about losing track of another lead again. By systematically tracking conversions and having easy access to analytics, you can identify areas for improvement and focus your efforts on where they will have the greatest impact.
Introducing patient finance that works harder to convert patients
If treatment finance is on your mind, then the Practi platform will allow your team to efficiently manage leads, prime patients for case acceptance with treatment education, seamlessly embed finance into the patient experience, track conversion rates and gather valuable patient feedback.
Practi is proudly partnered with Denplan, and is part of the Simplyhealth family. As a B-Corp non-profit, offering fair finance at competitive and reliable rates for both practices and patients is an absolute priority for us. We’re in the business of making our client’s lives easier, which is why we take care of all the FCA admin for you, with no recurring fees to manage the regulatory aspects of maintaining compliance.
We’re very fortunate to be invited to partner with new practices every week, and help them build out their businesses to be thriving ventures. If you’d like to discuss how we may be able to help you also, let us know and we can start a conversation.