What and why you should be Tracking for your Dental Practice

tracking dental patients

With 2018 behind us, let’s get a fresh start to the New Year. We don’t want to make your eyes roll by saying “new year, new you,” but seriously, this month marks a new beginning. Is it time to put any bad habits to rest, or begin a new initiative at your practice? There’s one thing you should be doing and now is the perfect time to start – tracking. Bryant Consultants, a consulting firm offering services from website and Internet marketing to in-office analysis to get your business to the next level, has some tips on what and why you should be tracking this year.

New patients

New patients should always be on your radar. You need to know how many new patients are coming into your office each month to continue “feeding the funnel,” so to speak. Patients are clearly one of your greatest assets when it comes to your dental practice, and are essential for steady growth.

A major benefit to new patients is that they are more likely open to your offers and case acceptance. If, for example, you have a large patient base that has been returning to your practice for the past five to ten years, yet they never refer new patients or do anything more than their twice-yearly cleanings, they likely aren’t going to be as open to your new offers. However, new patients may be more apt to listen. Not that existing patients aren’t a priority, more on that later.

Once you determine how many new patients are entering your practice each month, set a goal to reach a certain number each month this year.

Referral ratio

Most people, when searching for a new product or service, rely on references, and dental care is no different. You need to know your referral ratio and set a goal to increase it this year. You might think you get a lot of referrals, but are you really getting as many as you think?

Take for example you get five referrals a month and you have a patient base of 1,000. Five referrals each month may sound good, but look at the breakdown a bit closer. Five a month for a year is 60, which is 6% of your patient base. If that is where you are at, set a goal for this year to increase your referral ratio to 15%. If you’re already at 15%, aim for 25%.

Conversion ratio

The conversion ratio is the number of patients with case acceptance. If only half of your new patience schedule return visits for restorative or cosmetic dentistry, then something is not going right with their new patient experience. This could relate to case presentation. You may want to work with your team on case presentation so that they can effectively educate the patient on the importance of treatment, and getting the patients next appointment on the books before they leave the office. This also is a skill that the front office schedulers should be honing as well. Every patient should leave with their next appointment scheduled. What is your current conversion ratio? A healthy conversion ratio should be 80% or higher.

Percentage of patients keeping six-month cleaning appointments

While increasing the number of referrals and new patients is an important part of your practice, so are your existing patients. How many of your current patient base returns for their six-month dental checkup? Focusing on this number will help you determine if there is a problem with communicating with patients or getting them back in for their next cleaning appointment. It is good practice always to schedule a patient’s next appointment before they leave your office. Patients like to say, “let me check my schedule and get back with you,” or “I might be busy so let me call you when the time comes,” but these are excuses that almost never come to fruition. Instead, schedulers should encourage the patient to go ahead and set an appointment, it can always be changed at a later date if something comes up.

These are only a few areas of your practice that you should be tracking. Bryant Consultants can work with you to help you tackle any roadblock that may have resulted in your business becoming stagnant. There are certainly other areas of the practice that should be assessed, but these are some of the main areas to focus on if you are new to tracking your business.

Bryant Consultants offers services that can help you realize your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your practice. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799.

We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you!