How do you get New Patients?

I was crunching numbers tonight, something that has been long-overdue, since we’ve been open over a year already.  I tallied the number of completed visits (i.e. no no-shows or cancellations), and new patients (again, counting only those who have completed at least one appointment).  I found the following FunFacts…

1.) We’ve processed (I know–bad, faceless word) 87 new patients.  That amounts to about 1 every 4 days.  I tracked their source as best I could and found:

  • 38 (or 43-44%) were referrals (yay!).  Of the referrals, half were referred by existing patients, and half were referred by other professionals (who had not actually been to see us).
  • 12 (or 13-14%) came from our BNI chapter, most of whom have been one-hit-wonders, but one of whom has brought in most of her family and still schedules from time to time.
  • Anywhere from 8-19 (or 9-22%) came from our area’s credible holistic magazine, some of whom have been regular, faithful patients and others who have been one-hit-wonders.
  • 4 came from a speech we gave at a cancer survivor/fighter networking/support group (1 of which comes regularly and another of which referred her family who also come semi-regularly).
  • 4-7 came from the internet, also a mixed bag – one, however, became one of my best patients.
  • 4 came from “buying stuff” – although all but one dropped out of care once we bought their product, and the one who still remains is a great patient.
  • 3 came from our own building as neighbors, all of whom schedule at least on occasion.

2.) We’ve scheduled and completed 999 appointments.

  • That amounts to just over 2.6 appointments per day.
  • I won’t get into income or PVA, but let’s just say it’s quite satisfactory, especially considering the short time we’ve been in practice.
  • Putting the data together, this means the average patient sticks around for 11.5 visits, which is admirably close to successfully completing a standard 12-visit treatment plan.
  • Since we stopped offering the first visit free, the number of one-hit-wonders has dropped, pushing the 11.5-visit average increasingly higher.

This reveals to me several things…

  • Thank God our expenses are low, because so is our volume!
  • Those who DO know us and experience our work are quite satisfied and vocal, because we excel in the coveted area of referrals.
  • We don’t yet reach ENOUGH people (purely a numbers game) because we’ve had so few new patients and visits.  We still have plenty of social/community networking to do, especially with other healthcare practitioners.
  • We’ve got to beef up the website, because that’s how some of the most desirable demographic group are finding us.
  • We shouldn’t dump the print ads because they’re getting us exposure, even if the results are mixed.
  • We’ve done wonderfully with expenses, because despite our small volume, we’re surviving well.


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