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Improving Dental Compliance

Improving

Dental Compliance

By May L. Berg, BS, LATG, RVT, VTS (Dentistry)

 


What you can do to help

Advertisers realize that a potential customer needs to hear a message seven times to ensure the message is received. It is no different for pet health. Pet parents need to hear the message repeatedly to understand the importance of veterinary care ranging from vaccines, heartworm prevention to proper dental care. 

 

Making the most of every opportunity

Each member of the veterinary office staff must deliver the same message, beginning with the first phone call taken by the receptionist. The veterinary technician meeting the client in the exam room has an opportunity to speak to the client about proper veterinary care. So does the kennel staff handling the pet prior to and following the medical procedures or while boarding, and of course the veterinarian when diagnosing and treating medical problems. Each team member’s role is important. This continuous message tells the pet parent the importance of the message and therefore increases the likelihood of compliance. 

In the case of dentistry as well as any preventive or wellness program, it is necessary to communicate the importance of dental treatment and home care in many ways. Each visit, wellness or otherwise, should be an opportunity for a dental evaluation and home care recommendation. Soon the clients will understand the need for regular dental exams and cleanings. This same philosophy can be adapted to all areas of wellness and prevention. The use of proper terminology – delivered in a format that the owner understands – is critical. 

Practices can deliver the message beyond just the office visit through social media outlets such as Facebook, on hold messages, the office website, text messages to clients, and even phone apps that can help remind an owner when it’s time to give heartworm prevention. Practice management software programs can also be used to track compliance.

 

Role of the distributor sales rep

Distributor representatives can assist the veterinary team by providing the tools necessary to educate clients with accurate information. For instance, Virbac offers pamphlets and posters that demonstrate many forms of prevention from dentistry to parasite control, and the company is thrilled to share them with its distributor partners. Midmark has also done an outstanding job with the creation of a Success Kit for veterinary clinics that contains posters, pamphlets and a USB with useful handouts, letters and other tools to communicate the importance of dentistry to clients (see page 41). The good news is, all the important information is ready and available, so the clinic doesn’t need to spend valuable time creating documents.

As a former practice manager, I always appreciated the help that distributor representatives gave me – not just on the product they were promoting that visit, but in other areas as well. A truly successful distributor sales rep not only promotes products, but offers assistance to veterinary practices that help create a successful practice. Be the go-to representative for your practices!


 

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