How to Turn First-Time Patients into Lifetime Patients

Posted on  May 21, 2018


Growing a practice takes more than just attracting new patients, you also have to get those new patients to come back and see you again.

This is often easier said than done but there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of a first-time patient becoming a lifetime patient.

Here are some ways to encourage patients to come back to your practice:


  • Contact patients between appointments

Social media, like Facebook, and email are great ways to stay in contact with patients. You can post or send health tips and news about your practice. Just think of your online communication with patients as an extension of the in-person healthcare you provide them.

These interactions will allow you to distinguish your practice and keep it in the forefront of patients’ minds so that when they do need health care they will think of you.


  • Establish yourself as an authority

Patients want to know that their physician is highly qualified. You can demonstrate this expertise in a number of ways: you can make yourself available to local media as an expert commentator; you can write a blog that provides readers with up-to-date health tips; you can also establish a patient education library online or in your office where patients can get information on health conditions and care.


  • Make the patient part of the ‘family’

 No, don’t make them part of your personal family but rather part of your medical family. You can do this by keeping them up-to-date on news and developments about your practice. You can let them know about staff promotions and other news. You can also send them brochures and mailers with special offers.


  • Schedule follow-up appointments while they are at your office

Scheduling a follow-up visit before a patient leaves your practice is a simple and effective way to turn them into a regular visitor. Just have a friendly front-desk person engage the patient and encourage them to return by explaining the need for regular care and testing.


  • Send reminder emails

If a patient declines to schedule a follow-up appointment, be sure to regularly send them reminders. You can also send reminders to patients who have scheduled follow-ups to keep the appointment at the top of their mind. You could also try sending personalized postcards – these can help you avoid losing important patient contact information, which is needed for more personalized service.


  • Stress Preventive Care

Let your patients know that they need to visit you for regular well visits and not just when they are sick. Emphasize prevention is better than cure. You can do this in emails, on website banners, in social media posts, in blogs and more. Tell them about the preventive and screening services that you offer and how they can help them. This can be a good way to get healthy adults to come to your practice more often.


  • Create special healthcare programs

 Another way to encourage patients to come back is to create health programs, such as a weight management program or a diabetes management program. Market the benefits of the programs to get people to sign up.


  • Create money-saving special offers

Discounts and special promotions are a great way to get patients to visit again. These work well with skin and other aesthetic treatments. You could create packages and then promote the packages on your website and social media and via email. You could also pitch the packages while the patient is at your office and checking out.


Provide your patients with excellent care and lots of attention and use the tips in this article to build loyalty and ensure they have a positive experience. These patients will then not only continually choose you for their healthcare needs, but they will also be more likely to recommend you to their friends and family.

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