Your patients are the most crucial part of your practice, so you have to grow and maintain your patient list to improve your business.
Typically, for a dental practice to grow, a single dentist should be seeing 24 to 50 new patients per month. You also have to carefully manage the patient list you already have, so that patients get appointment reminders and maintain a positive relationship with your practice.
Here are three ways you can grow and manage your dental practice’s patient list:
1. Develop a Persona About Your Ideal Patient
Personas are semi-fictional versions of the patients you most want to attract to your dental practice. To develop a persona, you'll want to consider their proximity to your practice, average age, common pain points, and other relevant information.
You likely have an ideal patient in mind, so developing a persona around that ideal person can help you get a better idea about the potential patients you should target.
For example, you may want to consider developing a persona for your ideal patient. This person lives within 20 miles of your dental practice and values proactive communication from their medical providers. They come in semiannually for their routine cleaning and occasionally need a small cavity filling or a solution for minor mouth pain.
From there, you can use your ideal patient’s basic statistics to develop marketing materials that will resonate with your target audience. You should consider a number of questions in order to create these materials, including:
- What will entice this patient to come to your dental practice instead of a different one in the area?
- What will cause them to get an appointment scheduled for a semiannual checkup when the patient doesn't have any serious issues?
- What is the best way to maintain ongoing communication with this patient so they stay engaged, refer other patients, and otherwise maintain a positive opinion of the practice?
Those questions can lead to the development of refined marketing materials that bring your ideal audience and help you grow your practice’s patient list.
2. Build Your Tech Stack
Building a solid technology stack is a great way to improve your dental practice’s day-to-day operations. Software can help you in a number of ways including:
- Securely tracking your patients, including appointments, personal information, and more.
- Organizing your patients’ files, including medical history and other relevant files that can improve their experience at your practice.
- Allowing patients to create, reschedule, and otherwise manage their appointments online.
- Creating and maintaining a website to attract new patients, answer frequently asked questions, and market your practice.
- Communicating and maintaining patient relationships through instant messaging and automated appointment reminders.
While these are some options that you have, there are plenty of different solutions for a tech stack that will fulfill your dental practice’s specific needs.
3. Automate Frequent Communication and Processes
Confirmation text messages, appointment reminders, and follow-up emails are some of the most frequent tasks your office staff will have to perform on an ongoing basis, which makes automating them a great way to save time.
Long gone are the days of searching through all of your patients’ logs to see who's due for a visit. Now, you can utilize your tech stack to automate certain communication, including:
- Text message appointment reminders.
- Notices to schedule a semiannual appointment.
- Birthday or holiday celebration messages.
These communications also let your patients know that they're being thought of even when they aren't at your practice. While it may seem insignificant, these communications, quality care, and a positive environment within your practice can create loyal patients who feel appreciated.
It’s important to consider that automation can't fully replace your communication with patients, of course. A personal phone call to check up on someone after a procedure is more caring and compassionate than an automated email — but for reminders and similar notices, automation can easily keep patients informed and reduce the chances of patients missing appointments. This can save your staff time, money, and help keep your dental practice on a successful track.
Start Building Your Patient List Today
At Treloar & Heisel, we know it's important to keep your dental practice moving forward, which is why we created an e-book on growing your dental patient list.
This guide provides ideas on how your practice can bring in more patients and better manage the ones you already have with the right tools and support.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel is a financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. Our insurance and wealth management divisions assist thousands of clients from residency through retirement. We strive to deliver the highest level of service with custom-tailored advice and a strong national network.