Making the Most of Your Observation Program

By Roger P. Levin, DDS

Observation patients represent future production. Now, more than ever, a well-run observation program is one of the best, most productive approaches to growing your practice in this post-recession economy.

The following five steps will help you develop a High-Value Observation Program:

1. Create value.

During initial consultations with new patients and parents, The New Ortho Treatment Coordinator should use Value Creation Scripting to convey the importance of observation for those who qualify and to answer all questions about the program. The New Ortho Treatment Coordinator, trained in the most advanced techniques, can build value for the ortho practice and bring about extraordinary growth.

2. Attract siblings to the practice.

Siblings of any new patient are excellent potential patients. Invite them into the High-Value Observation Program, explain to parents why it makes sense and stress that it offers a great deal of value at no cost. Ongoing observation provides many opportunities to build a strong relationship, increase trust and build value in the doctor and practice. This makes it much more likely that the siblings will remain with your practice when it is time for treatment.

3. Confirm appointments.

Confirm observation appointments by phone 48 hours in advance. The staff member making the call should be trained to effectively counter any objections and reinforce the value of keeping the appointment. During the appointment, the entire team should create the perception of value for the next observation visit.

4. See observation patients every six months.

When you see patients this often, it is much easier to establish and maintain relationships. In the new economy, ortho patients and parents are much more likely to shop around. Next to creating value, relationship-building is the most important tool for moving patients from observation to treatment.

5. Use effective marketing strategies.

Develop five or six marketing strategies aimed exclusively at observation patients and families. This will build value, strengthen relationships, retain observation patients and increase referrals.

 As the ortho market becomes more competitive—with consumers shopping for deals and competitors getting more aggressive—a High-Value Observation Program presents a golden opportunity for increasing production. These five action steps will make your observation program even more successful in the post-recession economy.


Roger P. Levin, DDSDr. Roger Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the Chairman and CEO of Levin Group, Inc., the largest dental practice management and marketing firm in the world. As a leading authority on orthodontic practice management and marketing, he has developed the scientific systems-based consulting method that will increase ortho practice production and profitability, while lowering stress.

Dr. Levin has authored more than 60 books and over 3,000 articles. He presents 100 seminars worldwide each year.

Visit the Ortho Resource Center for valuable tips, whitepapers, videos and much more, at .

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