How to increase patient retention

Do you have a problem with keeping patients, and would you benefit from knowing how to increase patient retention? I’m guessing yes, and many of the clinicians we work with face a similar problem.

How to you keep patients coming back to clinic, and very importantly, if you run a physio or osteo clinic, how do you get your physios and osteos to keep patients coming back to clinic?

(I’m using physio and osteo clinics as an example, but the same principles will apply whatever your flavour of medicine, surgery or psychiatry.)

What are your current patient numbers?

How do you know you have a problem with patient retention if you don’t know your figures? You might have a feelingthat not enough patients are coming back, but how can you know for sure?

Whether you’re a solo practitioner, or whether you run a clinic of many clinicians, I recommend that you take an hour a month to check on these basic stats. See If you can pull up your numbers using your practice management system.

How many brand new patients did you have this month?

How many initial patient consultations did you have this month?

How many follow up consultations did you have this month?

What is the average initial consultation to follow up consultation ratio (is 1:7 or just 1:2?)

How many patients DNA’d or cancelled?

If you’re running a clinic of several clinicians, how do they individually compare?

When you look at the numbers, it can often be quite revealing.

What can be even more revealing is when you compare insured patients with self-funding patients.

Do you and your team tend to treat insured patients and self-funders differently? If so, does this frustrate you?

Let’s face it; we’re Clinicians first and, we don’t like to talk about money. If you have physios or osteos working for you, might they be hiding from having financial conversations with patients, that they perceive as difficult?

Have you or your Clinicians ever found yourself saying ‘let’s see how you get on your own, and come back if you’re not getting better’?


Leaving patients to their own devices can be wrong on several levels (!)