My dental offices have always kept track of referral sources for new patients who schedule an appointment. Recently, we have initiated a chart to keep track of all new patient inquiries, including those who do not schedule an appointment. We created a simple spreadsheet for the receptionist to fill in whenever a potential new patient calls.

The spreadsheet includes the following items:

  • Date and Time of call
  • Name of potential new patient
  • Phone number of potential new patient
  • Referral source – How did you hear about our office?
  • Offered to schedule? – Yes or No
  • Date scheduled
  • Reason for not scheduling

Keeping track of all new patient inquiries has been very insightful. Previously, we only tracked referral source for those patients who scheduled, but having this information available for all inquiries gives us a better idea of what marketing is driving potential patients to call. The information on why a potential patient decided not to schedule is also helpful for determining if there are things we are overlooking that might help persuade a patient to schedule.