Dos and don'ts for patient retention

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Fully document new patient conversations

When patients sit in the chair, they should feel everyone in the practice knows them and why they're there. Practices that do this have very high patient retention.

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Write it down. Always document why new patients scheduled an appointment. Make sure that the patient record reflects this information, including any details that were shared during the initial phone call to the practice. The day of the new patient's appointment must begin with studying the patient's clinical information in the morning meeting. Doctor and team should review any personal items that have been documented about each patient and look for ways to bring them up in the course of the appointment.

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Don't assume you'll remember these details. No matter how good your memory is, you will likely forget personal information that doesn't seem especially important. Documenting it is the only way to ensure you'll "remember" when patients are in the chair. When practices know their patients, retention becomes much easier.

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