How would you define patient loyalty
More return in the multiple treatment practice:
New patient rate
For dynamic growth, we recommend aiming for a new patient quota of around 25 percent (proportion of new patients - without emergency service - in the total number of patients treated per quarter).
An example: If the practice treats 1,500 patients per quarter and wants to grow dynamically, that corresponds to a target value of 500 new patients per quarter
(= 2,000 patients, including 500 new = 25 percent).
How many patients are necessary to utilize a full-time practitioner (defined as 35 hours of patient treatment per week) depends on the dentist's way of working and professional experience as well as the resources that he can access (number of rooms, qualifications of the assistants, room for delegation, Quality in scheduling, throughput of prophylaxis services, etc.).
As a point of reference: For the multi-treatment practice (i.e. a mixture of experienced and less experienced dentists and specialists), a patient volume of around 500 to 550 cases per full-time dentist (each with 35 treatment hours per week) is required for full utilization. With six full-time dentists (part-time accounted accordingly), a volume of around 3,000 to 3,300 patients is an approximate value.
Attention: If there is a special children's area, this rule of thumb does not work, because the reference values in children's treatment are almost double (900 to 1000 cases per full-time pediatric dentist per quarter) and the values for the adult area are reduced a little at the same time (at pure adult treatment: experience has shown that around 450 patients per quarter).
It often happens that large practices generate a large number of new patients, but unfortunately lose just as many again (which, interestingly, is usually not recognized at all due to a lack of controlling). On the one hand, this is economically unfortunate, because large-scale practice marketing costs a lot of money and thus empty costs arise. On the other hand, it is also damaging to the image, because there are reasons for patients to leave a practice in droves.
The focus is on patient loyalty: Before large new patient offensives are launched, it is advisable to take a critical look at the communication and workflow processes relating to patient control and to carefully readjust them with all those involved.
Starting points are
- Uniform standards for organizational and communicative patient management (patient reception at the reception, waiting situation, processes at the interface to the room, patient care by the doctor and assistant throughout the entire time the patient is present in the practice, quality of diagnostics and therapy recommendations, organization of appointment management / follow-up scheduling / Appointment chains, etc.)
- Uniform treatment guidelines (with regard to diagnostics and standard therapies) for all dentists including communication aids (in writing !!), which the practice management specifies in terms of quality assurance and wellbeing for the patients
- high sensitivity for internal referrals (= define regular practitioner - always return to the regular practitioner even after special treatments; introduce colleagues personally if necessary, etc.)
Spending a lot of money on marketing is easy, but only a very small part of the success story. The points of crystallization are people and structures: only in interaction with the (strenuous) establishment of spotless, patient-oriented processes and accurate controlling is it possible to create the necessary prerequisites for good practice performance.
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