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Tips for retaining patients in the long-term for your DPC practice


Attracting new patients is important for the growth of your direct primary care (DPC) practice, but retaining your existing patients is just as critical for your success. Here are some tips for retaining patients in the long-term for your DPC practice.

Schedule the patient’s next appointment before they leave the office. For preventive visits, especially, setting the next appointment while the patient is checking out can be an important strategy for encouraging them to return. Follow up on a regular basis to remind the patient of that appointment, making sure they know you are looking forward to seeing them again.

Stay in touch with an educational and informational newsletter. Include a general article on a particular aspect of healthcare that will prove helpful for your current patients. Choose a service you provide to highlight in each issue, without being salesy about it. You can feature instructions on accessing the patient portal, remind patients to follow you on social media, and reassure them that they can contact you securely even after office hours.

Add services that are not included in the basic membership fee, but that are offered at a discount for your DPC members. Many DPC practices offer additional services that enhance their patients’ health and well-being and help to develop a stronger patient relationship, such as:

  • Medical weight loss and nutrition counseling
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal supplements
  • Aesthetics

Elation helps you focus on delivering meaningful patient care and relationships with a streamlined solution for your DPC practice.

Send handwritten notes to your patients. Show your appreciation to your current patients by sending them a handwritten note of thanks for continuing their membership. Note their “anniversary” date with your practice or just send a note at random times throughout the year. Letting your patients know you care about them and are grateful that they have chosen you as their DPC provider will go a long way toward retaining patients in the long-term.

Send them birthday cards. In the same manner, sending each patient a card for their birthday lets them know that you care about them as individuals. As a DPC provider, one of the advantages you offer your patients is that personal touch. Sending wishes on their birthday will reinforce that patient-provider relationship that is so important to you and them.

Ensure that communications and customer service levels are at their highest possible. Every touch point for the patient should be focused on clear communications and quality customer service. Whether the interaction is in the office or conducted virtually, via the patient portal or telephone call, the patient should feel as though they are the center of your attention and that you and your team are truly concerned with their health and well-being.

Ask your patients what they think. After each visit and at other times throughout the year, ask your patients what they like best about your DPC practice and what areas they think could be improved. Conduct an online survey and then use their suggestions, along with the other tips for retaining patients in the long-term for your DPC practice.