How to Improve Patient Retention

Some dental practices spend lots of their time and money recruiting new patients. They provide good care and services for a patient but then let them walk out the door without establishing a permanent dentist-patient relationship.

Studies have shown fewer people are seeking dental care nowadays and that patient retention only averages about 50%. Treat every one of your patients as a top priority and make your most important task keeping them coming back.

Below are 4 ways to keep patients coming back to your dental practice.

1. Pre-book appointments.

Tell your patients if they schedule their next appointment while they’re in the office, they can choose the date and time that works best for them and then you can quickly get it scheduled. Your dental software program has the needed tools to easily and efficiently schedule a patient’s next appointment right in front of them. The treatment planning capabilities allow you to create an effective treatment plan for a patient with a simple drag-and-drop method, as well as create and present multiple treatment options so the patient can choose the plan that works best for them. Once the patient chooses their treatment plan, you can immediately turn it into a scheduled appointment from the treatment planning tool.

2. Minimize no-shows with appointment reminders.

No-shows negatively affect every dental practice. One way to reduce no-shows at your practice is with appointment reminders. A study found that automated appointment reminders reduced the amount of dental office no-shows by about 23%. Dental offices using Macs, have the ability to send automated appointment reminders to your patients, which is something your practice needs to bring down the number of no-shows you might experience.

3. Follow up with patients who don’t pre-book.

Even as persuasive as you and your employees might be, some patients still leave your office without pre-booking their next appointment. Fortunately, Mac dental software programs give you the ability to instantly view a patient’s appointment details from the scheduling tool. This way you can easily find out who has and hasn’t pre-booked so you can contact those patients who haven’t and get their next appointment scheduled.

4. Reach out to patients and show your practice cares.

Certain patients may put off treatment for a while and then feel embarrassed about how much time has gone by without scheduling an appointment. This is exactly when you should reach out to them. Let the patient know you haven’t forgotten about them and all you care about is getting them back into your office. Again, the scheduling tool with dental office management software is handy in these cases. You can quickly look up a patient’s account and appointment details, and then reach out to those who have been absent for a while by email or phone encouraging them to schedule an appointment.

Follow these 4 simple ways and you’ll have the greatest chance at keeping patients coming back to your dental practice.