Are you a planner/organizer? I’ve learned how to be “that girl” over the years out of pure necessity. Having 9 kids FORCED me to learn organization skills. Consequently, I am a list maker. I’ve even been known to file my holiday lists away on my computer so that I can bring them out the next year and use them again.
I’ve been doing some business planning for the new year–making lists of things that I want to implement in my clinic. While planning, I like to ask myself questions about my clinic in order to decide which new ideas to implement. Here are a few that I’ve asked myself recently.
- Where should I focus my spare time? Networking, health fairs, finding new patients, activating old patients? Was my networking effective last year?
- How many NEW patients did I have last year? How many of those patients came for a series of treatments and then disappeared? How many of the same patients actually became part of my CORE group of regulars?
- Who are my CORE patients? What can I do to show them how much I appreciate them?
- Do I have patients who I need to work on reactivating?
My AcuGraph database has helped to answer a lot of these question. Let me show you how I’m using AcuGraph to help analyze how things went last year, so I can make smart decisions for next year.
Let’s get into YOUR AcuGraph database together:
#1: Open AcuGraph
#2: Click on Show All
#5: Click on Last Exam
Here you can look at which patients came into your clinic last year. I’m really glad I graph every patient because I now have a great analysis of who came in and how often.
#6: Click on Exams
This information is VERY important. The patient you graphed the MOST shows up at the top of your list. How often are your patients coming in? Who came in once or twice and then quit? The longer you use AcuGraph the more valuable this feature becomes.
Okay, so we poked around and found some interesting statistics about your patients. Now–what are you going to do with it? How is this information valuable to you? Let me tell you how this data helps to categorize patients in my clinic.
Any patient you have treated more than 25 times fits into this category. These patients are the bread and butter of your clinic. I have patients I have treated more than 100 times and they are exceptional. But, once a patient reaches my top 25 list, they are officially considered “loyal” customers. I like to send these patients a nice note at the end of the year to thank them for being so wonderful. Sometimes I even send these patients a gift card now and again throughout the year, just because. These patients deserve a little EXTRA tender loving care. Your clinic would not run without them.
This category includes anyone who has been to my clinic 10-24 times. The most important thing I can do with these patients is TEACH them how to eventually become a wellness patient. Wellness patients come in every month for treatment. Why? Because I take the time to teach them how important this is. Getting a tune-up on your car helps it to run better and keeps the cost of repairs down. The same goes with wellness acupuncture. Patients who come in for a monthly acupuncture treatment are healthier and their immune systems are stronger. Patients won’t automatically become wellness patients without education. We have to train our patients so they are prepared for the next step once their acute condition has subsided.
Anyone who has been treated 5-9 times are included here. Some of these patients are still continuing treatment, and some quit along the way for some reason or another. Maybe they got better and felt like they were done or maybe they ran out of money and decided to hold off on treatment for a while… It doesn’t really matter why they quit. These people tried acupuncture long enough to KNOW that it works. Because I spent time building a relationship with them, it won’t be hard to bring them back for follow-up care. These patients just need to be educated. They need continual educational correspondence so that I plant seeds in their mind for the future. My goal is to rekindle my relationship with these patients. My marketing goals for this category will be to teach them ‘when’ to come back for treatment and educate them so they can easily send referrals into my office. Often, a discount coupon is enough to get them back in the door. The most important part about this patient group is to pay attention to them so that they don’t forget about you!
These patients have been in four times or less for treatment. I don’t focus a lot of energy on this patient group. Acupuncture is something they tried and then quit. These patients might get an occasional informational email from me, but that is about it. In my opinion, my time is better spent on one of the lists above and creating opportunities to bring in new patients.
A little extra:
If you are ‘a little’ more technical and familiar with manipulating excel spreadsheet data, it’s really easy to export patient records to a spreadsheet.
- Open AcuGraph
- Click on Edit
- Click on Export Patient Records
- Tell AcuGraph where you want to save this file
- Open the file into Excel
From here your patient data analyzing capabilities are unlimited–but that will have to be covered in another blog. If I get a lot of inquiries on how to analyze patient data in Excel, then I might have to talk to Kimball, the head of our programming department, and ask him to write that piece. He is amazing and I know that I could learn a lot from him as well. For now, I’ve given you enough information to get you started.
As you make business goals for the next year, I encourage you to utilize the information available to you in your AcuGraph database. If you’re still thinking about buying an AcuGraph…I suggest moving it to the top of your list! Just click below. 😀
I’m off to make more lists, because I have a LOT of things to do before the end of the year.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.