Do's and don'ts for practice growth: Track the sources of your new patients

2016 11 18 14 42 01 206 Practice Success2 400

Your future success depends on new patients -- how many of them join your practice annually, and how much production they generate. For this reason, Levin Group clients and other business-savvy dentists have learned to track these numbers, but they don't stop there. They also monitor and tabulate how their new patients learned about their practice.

This information gives you the insight needed to bring in even more new patients. Identify existing patients who refer and you can show your appreciation, which will encourage them to make more referrals. If few new patients come to you because of your website, that may mean you need to upgrade it.


Script front desk staff to ask. Either on the phone or when they show up for their first appointment, all new patients interact with your front desk coordinator. You should develop scripting to help your staff meet the many objectives for that first encounter. Make sure the script includes a simple inquiry, such as "May I ask how you found out about our practice?" The coordinator should document new patients' answers and prepare weekly reports showing the sources of referrals. The data will guide improvements to your new patient acquisition efforts.


Don't make assumptions. You may think you already know where your new patients are coming from. But, like many other dentists, you may be surprised by what you learn when you begin using this scientific approach.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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