The New Patient Journey: How to Measure and Monitor What Matters


The New Patient Journey: How to Measure and Monitor What Matters

Jun 29, 2021

You’re probably familiar with the emotional boost you get from something “new.”

You get a surge of energy that sustains you for a period of time.

Maybe that’s the reason a steady flow of new patients into your dental practice creates that feeling of – “everything’s moving along well.” It’s also why it’s essential to know your new patient data and how to sustain a consistent flow of new patients into your dental practice(s).

After their first appointment and/or treatment a new patient goes on the books. While their newness doesn’t wear off initially, they naturally transition to your current patient database.

Then it’s an issue of “who’s next?” As in, who’s the next new patient to inquire about your practice, services, or seek treatment for a current condition?

Much could be said about patient retention – and should be. But short of adding marquis services like sedation, sleep appliances, cosmetic procedures, and more you will always need migration of new patients to your dental practice.

  • Where do your new patients come from?
  • How do they hear about you and your services?
  • What helps guarantee they’ll take the next step once they find you?
  • When and why would they tell others about their patient experience with you?

Those are good and necessary questions to ask and answer. Basically, new patient acquisition and new patient data analysis requires being intentional in your strategies.

New dental patients: how to acquire, maintain and measure what matters

Start with your marketing strategies

There are those who market and those who don’t. The latter might not be opposed but their lack of marketing could mean other (more favorable) things are working to their advantage.

For example, it’s nice to have a stream of referrals sending new patients through your doors. And while you’re thinking about that you really can’t be passive about deploying marketing initiatives.

It’s best to have a balance of internal and external marketing strategies.

(Internally) Ask for referrals and reviews

Add those two powerhouse internal strategies to every patient conversation.

  • Be natural in your request for reviews and referrals – never sales-y.
  • Leverage a patient’s good experience with your practice. Give them a reason to talk-you-up among their friends, family, co-workers, etc.
  • Create a narrative and train your team(s) around requesting referrals and reviews. Again, eliminate the templated, salesy sounding dialogue.

(Externally) Deliver consistent value through your content and/or ad-spend

Not all external marketing is worth the investment. You must be discerning about the massive volume of ad-based “noise” that clutters the marketplace.

Rising above the “noise” requires making certain any and all content you deliver is valuable and useful. It’s about solving problems, answering (actual) questions, and providing solutions.

  • Ramp up your dental practice blog page on your website. Publish content on a minimum two-times per month schedule.
  • Be active on the social media channels your patients use. Clarify their social preferences on all your intake forms. Share your linked blog content and other useful content on your relevant and chosen social media platforms.
  • Attach value to all ad spend. For example, make sure your Facebook ads are benefit-focused instead of feature-focused (i.e. make it about a problem or a solution rather than your latest, greatest this, or that).

See the patient experience as an individual opportunity

This is the maintenance aspect of the new patient acquisition. Remember they’re “new” at their first appointment.

And while your relationship with them might stay in the new zone for a few months – retaining them is where your patient experience comes into play.

  • Track individual patient data that gives you clues about their health goals, their emotional connection to dental care, their fears, upcoming events where dentistry can increase confidence, etc.
  • See the patient experience through the lens of each patient. Your practice culture affects everyone while your patient experience can be tailored to each patient (according to useful data you gather and track related to their care journey).

Also, remember that the patient experience is aligned with your marketing – especially around referrals and reviews. Patients will talk about the experience they had with you, your team and your practice in general.

Source your results

This is about ROI (Return On Investment). It’s knowing where your investment in new patients is creating the most productive and profitable results.

  • What marketing initiatives and strategies are attracting new patients and retaining them as long-term patients?
  • How is the patient experience creating loyalty, leveraging their individual data, and leading to a steady stream of referrals and reviews?

Those two questions are sourced in data. The kind of data that tells you what’s working (or not), why it’s working, and how you can improve your systems for greater effectiveness.

Check out the following resources to gain insight into how you can improve your new patient acquisition and overall patient experience:

Use Data and Technology to Create Extraordinary Patient Retention Outcomes

Create Long-term Relationships with Data-Driven Dental Patient Communication

Choose the tools that help you acquire (and retain) new patients in your DSO, group practice, or solo private practice

The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on track during your morning huddles and overall practice or DSO goals.


  • Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform
  • Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups, and DSOs

Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!


Contact us for more information about data tracking that leads to profitability


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