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“7/12” patient touch point strategy: a novel method to increase patient attendance and recommendation


The US dental system is not likely to see major expansions in dental care use in the foreseeable future. The rise of dental care utilization among low-income children as well as wealthy seniors did not offset flat dental utilization among adults since the Great Recession. Similarly in Spain, the increase in the number of dental practitioners surpasses the rate of population growth. Hence, in order to remain economically viable in this competitive market, one important aspect for every dental office is to retain patients besides attracting new ones. Patients may be lost to follow-up due to a number of factors, including a lack of attention from the dental practice or a lack of trust in the provider. The "7/12" patient touch point strategy of marketing builds consumer loyalty as a result of a strong patient-provider relationship. Furthermore, this method aims to facilitate the patient's decision to visit their dentist when it is time for preventative treatments. The purpose of this study was to measure the efficacy of a "7/12" patient touch point strategy when compared to the traditional annual recall with respect to number of active patients, percentage of word-of-mouth-recommended patients, and overall number of first-visit patients. We executed the relationship marketing concept through a novel "7/12" patient touch point approach, in which the patient was exposed to seven separate exposures in a period of 12 months. The efficacy of the "7/12" patient touch point was analyzed for 48 months across 10 clinics (24 months before and 24 months after the "7/12" strategy implementation). The "7/12" patient touch point strategy resources consisted of online and printed materials with a focus on oral health knowledge. fter analyzing the efficacy of the "7/12" patient touch point, we found an average increase of 86.91% in the number of active patients, 24.12% in the number of word-of-mouth-recommended patients, and 38.05% in the number of first visits across all clinics. This novel "7/12" patient touch point approach may be successful in increasing the retention of existing patients and generating new patients. Furthermore, this method promotes preventative care and oral health maintanance for patients and economic progress for the dental clinic.

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