Use your patient list to maximise profit
Data is everywhere these days. Even though we all make a conscious effort to keep our own personal details private, it’s impossible to bury our heads in the sand and ignore how powerful data can be for a business. Supermarkets know our favourite brands, banks know our spending patterns, and online stores know the time of day we shop… Everything is connected and you too can get clever with the information you hold to help you to strategically improve and streamline your business. How do you get started?
Your powerful patient list
Have you considered how useful the information you hold about your patients could be? If the answer is “no”, then you are not alone. Most dental and medical business owners simply grow their business “reactively”, just seeing who comes through the door and trying to service them as best as possible.
Even those business owners that are somewhat “proactively” seeking ways to attract new patients rarely are they so strategic in their approach that they know the exact profile of the new patients they would like to add to their patient list.
Who are your dream patients?
Dream patients are a reality. So, what do they look like? Well, the exact profile of a dream patient is likely to vary depending on your business objectives, how established you are and the exact type of practice you run.
For arguments sake though, let’s say a dream patient looks something like this:
- They take your advice
- Are willing to pay (well) for your services
- Are happy to pay either in advance or promptly following treatment
- They don’t cancel appointments
- They turn up to appointments on-time
- Are polite and courteous to your team
- They respect you as a professional
Using data to determine your dream patients
Depending on how established your practice is will depend how much available data you have.
If you hold a good practice management system and your team are diligent in collecting the basic details around your patient, this is a good start.
If your practice management system also reports on things like income per patient, income per treatment type and income per category (say by age) this provides excellent tools to be strategic.
As with everything data-related, the more you have and the more up-to-date it is the better your output and therefore the more accurate your decision making can be.
Finding more of your “best” patients
The first step is to extract the data you hold in a format that can be analysed – typically a spreadsheet is a good place to start. By applying logic to the data, try to determinehe following:
It could be that a specific age group reflects your “dream patients” or maybe it is those patients requiring a certain type of treatment or a certain level of aftercare. Maybe their gender plays a part. This is for you to determine.
- The patient or patients that are most profitable for your business
- What makes those patients better or different to the rest?
- Are there common traits of these patients?
- Could you service more of those types of patients with your current resources?
- How can you find more of these patients?
Getting rid of your “worst” patients
Using your patient list to maximise profit can also mean separating the wheat from the chaff and deciding not to service those patients who are a drain on your resources. This could include patients who are consistently late for appointments, consistently late payers or who do not have the right attitude when they are in the practice.
It may also include not taking on new patients that don’t fit your new ideals and being very selective rather than opening your doors to everyone.
The extra time saved from not treating your “worst” patients can be used to attract more of the right type of patients who will generate advanced levels of income for your practice.
Why not review the data you hold in your practice today and see how you can start to be more clever in your strategy? Why not tell us how you got on too? We are interested to find out and help you be more strategic.
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– How do you plan to attract new patients this year?