Increase Number of Active Patients and New Patient Flow
Active patient count and new patient flow are extremely important to buyers in evaluating the health and goodwill of a practice. We have often heard that, on average, patients switch dentists every seven years. Therefore, an easy way to determine if your patient base is growing or declining is to divide your number of active patients (seen in the past 24 months) by seven and compare the result to the number of new patients you have seen in the past year. If the number of active patients leaving your practice each year is larger than the number of annual new patients, then your patient base is shrinking and may be cause for concern.
We recommend conducting a periodic analysis of your active and new patient counts to evaluate the health of your practice and identify trends that may need to be corrected. Enhancing the patient experience and maintaining an effective recall system can ensure maximize patient retention, while implementing an internal marketing strategy (asking for referrals from existing patients) and an effective external marketing strategy (such as a website or direct mail) can improve new patient flow.
This is Part 2 of a 7-part series. Please watch for future articles over the next several months, and of course, feel free to contact Jean at any time with questions or comments.