5 tips for forward booking preventive healthcare and annual wellness exams


Dr. Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, CPA, shares ways to get started and why clients will love it.

Does your clinic forward book appointments for wellness plans and preventive healthcare? Are you not sure where to start, or think your clients won't be receptive to it? In the October issue of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association's Insider's Insights Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, shares tips for how to start implementing this process.

Shift your thinking away from believing clients won't accept this practice. A few pet owners won't like this change and won't make the appointment early but for the majority, it shifts the responsibility for making the appointment away from the client and this means it's much more likely the pet will be seen on a timely basis.

Decide who's going to say what. For example, the doctor may say to the pet owner as she's escorting them to the front desk “Susan will check you out here and make your appointment for next year so you don't have to remember to do it.” Susan will follow up by saying something like: “We have two appointments available on this day next year, one at 3 p.m. and one at 4 p.m.-which works best for you?”

Invest in appointment cards to send home with the clients so they can put the appointment on their calendar.

Practice dealing with client pushback. For example, if the pet owner says “I'm not sure I want to book this right now; I don't have any idea what I'll be doing next year,” a good response would be “Yes, I totally understand, I'm the same way. But let's get this scheduled as a starting point; you can always change it as the time gets closer. I find that really helps me stay on track with my own dentist appointments.”

Set up reminders several weeks and then several days in advance of the next year's appointment so the client can change or cancel if needed.

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