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Patient attrition, otherwise known as lost patients, is one of the most important factors in figuring out how to improve short and long-term practice production.
Patient attrition, otherwise known as lost patients, is one of the most important factors in figuring out how to improve short and long-term practice production. While the ultimate objective of every dental practice-in addition to providing excellent clinical care-is to have a productive and profitable business, that’s impossible to achieve when patients are lost. So, while you will always lose a certain number of patients due to unforeseen circumstances like patients moving or changing insurance, keeping your patient attrition rate low should always be part of your production growth strategy.
The top 10 percent
In a 30-year ongoing study of top 10 percent producing practices, Levin Group found that these practices have a patient attrition rate of approximately 7–9 percent, while most other practices have an attrition rate of 12–15 percent. This 50 percent difference means that, relative to the average practice, top producing practices can increase their patient base by approximately 70 percent every 10 years or approximately 360 percent compounded over a 40-year career.
Four ways to decrease patient attrition
One of the most important goals for every practice is to decrease patient attrition. The following four principles can help you accomplish this goal and increase your production in the short and long-term.
Patient attrition is one of the most overlooked but most important factors in practice production and a successful career. Implement the four principles described above to help lower your patient attrition rate to the 7- 9 percent range, which is typical of top-producing practices.