Practice Building: Patient Retention

For any medical practice to grow its net worth year over year, several basic principles hold true. Study after study have shown that it is much more cost effective for a business to retain current clients than it is to actively market for new ones. This marketing can be a set monthly amount and can include many different areas of promotion: print, radio, billboards, etc. The value of a good marketing strategy cannot be minimized; however, many practices find themselves in the position of potentially neglecting current patients as they seek out new ones. We believe practices must divide their efforts between both patient retention and new patient inflow to achieve the greatest success.

Some ideas for improving your retention rate and ensuring each patient becomes a “lifetime” patient:

1. Share your mission/vision with your team, and make sure that every employee understands that they are representing your practice in every interaction they have with patients.

2. Never underestimate the power of a smile and a sincere “Thank you.” Remember that patients like to feel appreciated. Whether in person, over the phone, email/text or a written note, take the opportunity to “touch” your patients as often as possible and thank them for their loyalty.

3. Collect patient feedback. My book, Beautifully Profitable, Forever Profitable quotes a study from NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. “Of all the responses, 63% of the patients’ answers had to do with communication and caring, while only 25% had to do with training, education, and expertise. Patients want to be heard, and they want to know that their practitioners are listening, and that their doctors really care about them.”

4. Set a standard of excellence. Stand behind every procedure, every product, and every service. Establish protocol for the handling of any issue that may arise.

5. Remember the little things. Make notes in your CRM system of patients’ anniversaries, birthdays, children’s names, etc. Encourage the staff to treat each patient individually and to remember the small details.

6. Create Magic. This idea is a groundbreaking concept if implemented properly. View your office from a brand new patient perspective. From comfortable lobby chairs to attractive décor in your restrooms, from a warm welcome from the Front Desk to a personalized and caring experience with clinical staff … these details will set your practice apart from the competition and ensure patient retention and patient referrals!

For more advice on defining your practice’s point of difference and setting standards of excellence, visit our website at and follow us on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Beautifully Profitable/ Profitable Forever book is a great reference guide. Find it on

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