So how is your practice doing when it comes to the number of active patients on your books? If your practice anything like the national average, your numbers are on the rise.
Despite tales of patients who may not be returning to the practice or those who are falling off the books for reasons such as relocation or inactivity, Sikka Software data suggests that today’s dental practice has more active patients than the dental practice at the start of this decade.
We recently combed through data from Sikka’s collection of numbers taken from Sikka Software that has been logged from more than 12,500 dental practices from around the United States. For definition’s sake in this article, an active patient is a patient who has visited the practice in the last 18 months.
Let’s take a look at the numbers and how they are trending upwards in the average dental practice across America…
2010 – 2194.4
2011 – 2206.9
2012 – 2213.5
2013 – 2231.5
2014 – 2251.9
2015 – 2335.3
2016 – 2403.8
Of course, the key to the rise in these numbers is patient retention. Without the ability to retain patients, not only will your numbers drop but your business will suffer as well. That’s a rule of thumb that holds true in any economic climate.
So what can you do to ensure you are retaining your patients? We asked Dayna Johnson, founder of Rae Dental Management, for her thoughts.
“When it boils down to its very essence, patient retention is about marketing and how patients are treated when they walk through your doors,” Johnson said. “Do you have hours that fit the lifestyle of your patient base? Do your patients get a warm, welcoming feeling when they come into your practice? Are you living up to your mission statement? Do your patients feel like a human being rather than just a piece of your bottom line? Questions like these are important to not only bringing patients into your practice, but keeping them there as well.”
Johnson spoke highly of “Everything is Marketing,” a book by Fred Joyal, as not only a daily mantra for dental practices but also a good thought to keep in the back of every team member’s mind.
“I read that book and it really hit home that everything done in the dental practice is really an arm of marketing to the patient,” Johnson said. “Everything that is said and everything that is done, either verbally or non-verbally, is a message that the patient consumes. If he or she doesn’t feel comfortable in the practice and feel like you and your team have his or her best interest in mind, that patient will find somewhere else that does.”
While new patients are always an important number to know, an even more important number to know is how your active patients are fluctuating. If you are seeing a drop in those numbers, it might be time to look at the message your business and team members are sending out.
Practice Mobilizer is a free app that lets dentists send HIPAA-compliant video messages, tracks patient arrival times, provides ZIP code-specific fee data, and more. Dentists can check out store.sikkasoft.com or the mobile app at www.practicemobilizer.com.
This article was originally published October 31, 2017 on DrBicuspid. You can view the original article here: http://bit.ly/2A3czln
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