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With growth, optimization, and ROI at the forefront of every boardroom agenda, dental leaders find themselves under immense pressure to do more with less. All in a very competitive sector where reputations and patient retention can be threatened by the click of a mouse or a keyboard tap.

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Regardless of what the economy or market does – retaining your patients is a priority. It’s consistently relevant to achieve your goals for patient retention using data and technology.

And the best use of your patient-facing technology is to analyze your new patient data. Comparing your retention data with your acquisition data can reveal demographic trends and more to help you retain patients over the long haul.

 

Retention perhaps isn’t as “sexy,” but it’s still essential

Maybe it’s better to say that coming up with new and fresh ways to keep patients on the schedule isn’t as compelling as the initial acquisition.

But the statistics pack some motivation:

  • On average, a dental practice loses more than 20% of its patients
  • Calculating lifetime patient value by assigning a relevant cost-per-patient figure to active patients can reveal how much opportunity is lost by not retaining patients.

Sure, a well-executed dental marketing plan for 2021 and beyond will likely bring new patients in. But how consistently they schedule or how quickly they become inactive or leave must be considered in the plan.

 

Make patient retention and the data surrounding it a more appealing process

Becoming more intentional about keeping your dental patients will naturally result in two things.

  1. Better patient engagement
  2. Increased practice and/or organizational revenue

Here are a few patient retention strategies to implement.

 

Digitize your patient connection points

The digital age is now. And it’s not likely to diminish.

The days of paper shuffling and asking your patients to do the same are…well…done!

Your practice(s), organization, and certainly your patients won’t tolerate the hassles.

Start with how you onboard patients.

Basic appointment information, insurance claim forms, billing data, and more can be digitized. Why?

  • Easier and more secure access for your patients
  • Improved workflows and tracking for your team(s)

 

Give patients a simple, secure way to schedule

Online scheduling and virtual access to your expertise via teledentistry are becoming the norm.

  • Online availability gives new and current patients 24/7 access to schedule – when it’s convenient for them.
  • Virtual consults using teledentistry allow patients a safe, secure, and time-efficient solution for asking questions and determining next step treatment options.

 

Use online “channels” to build and deepen patient relationships

Your social media savvy patients will reflexively reply, comment, and share what they find helpful to their lives (and health). You must be present online, so you’re aware when they do.

  • Monitor your social media platforms for patient comments, shares, etc.
  • Engage with them conversationally while guarding your clinical trust with them
  • Encourage online reviews and be prepared to welcome the good and bad input. Respond to each while making whatever improvements are necessary.
  • Keep your dental marketing strategies consistent with your “brand” and the trust your patients place in you. Deliver value more than you promote.

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Energize your patient engagement

It’s easy to be all high-fives when a patient schedules. But the greater props are due when active follow-up deepens your relationship with them.

Patients trust you or they wouldn’t schedule. Their trust is sustained when you make it clear that you’re invested in their ongoing (lifetime) oral health decisions.

  • Prioritize your hygiene recall system
  • Perfect your follow-up protocols, so they feel natural instead of annoying
  • Plan your face-to-face patient conversations in advance. Use available patient data to frame and focus your conversations with them
  • Promote good communication by determining your patient’s “channel” preference (e.g., email, SMS, mail, phone, etc.).

 

Maximize your patient satisfaction

Patients somewhat expect to be treated efficiently. Their time in your office will confirm your team’s efficiency.

Quality customer (patient) service is an extension of your dental practice workflows. Speed is admirable, but it mustn’t be at the expense of patient satisfaction.

  • Monitor your patient wait-times and look for time drains you can improve
  • Track patient data relative to when they prefer to schedule, how they prefer to pay out-of-pocket costs, etc.
  • Train your team(s) around your discoveries and champion outstanding service providers

Patients will reward your efforts to provide a satisfying dental experience. Synch each department across your practice(s) or organization to assure patients are consistently satisfied with your services.

 

It really is about patient engagement!

Check out the following resources to gain insight into how you can improve your engagement-focused systems:

 

Choose the tools that help you achieve success as a DSO, group practice, or solo private practice

The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on track during your morning huddles and overall practice or DSO goals.

Jarvis…

  • Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform
  • Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups, and DSOs

Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!

 

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