Monthly Patient Count

Looking at some numbers this week, I came across our practice’s monthly patient count. I created a graph. Click here to check it out or click on the image below. Keeping track of these numbers gives me the ability to evaluate general tendencies as well as unusual or abrupt changes in our patient’s monthly counts.

Interesting points

  • It helps to know that for the last 5-years, July is our least busy month. If anything, we need to focus our efforts and look for ways to increase those well child/school physicals during those months.
  • Not doubt that August is the roll-up-your-sleeve-and-get-ready-for-work month. It is consistently the season’s turning point.
  • In 2006, 2007 & 2008, September dips, but in 2009, there was a spike. Wonder what next year will look like? Will H1N1 still be around?
  • In 2005 and 2006 February had increases, but in 2007 and 2008 numbers decreased. Wonder if February is on a two year cycle considering there was a spike in 2009?
  • In 2005, there was only one doc working at the practice, so it is not surprising 2005 is relatively flat. Want to guess when our second doctor joined? August of 2006. The jump is noticeable from then on.
  • Every year we see more kids. More patients doesn’t necessarily mean more revenue, I know. But revenue or productivity is not part of the scope of this graph. I’m just looking for trends.

What other interesting points to do you see in this graph? Is this similar to your practice or do you see different trends?

5 thoughts on “Monthly Patient Count”

  1. …btw, I forgot to add: I have a few “patient recall” secrets that I can share if you’re interested. I do an entire class on it – have you been to it?

    1. Yeah – I’m always interested.

      I didn’t get the chance to hear you speak about patient recalls, but you may remember I did ask you for the slides. We even had a discussion about them.

      Brandon

      1. Here’s one to start: it’s often the *second* recall notice that gets them in. Track your recall response rate and see if you observe what I’ve observed – that second letter can often double (or more) your results.

        Too many offices give it one shot and then bail out.

  2. What? Are you suggesting we’re not recalling our kids for well child’s? But, but… we are an awesome peds office that does everything right.

    I’m kidding of course… Our recalling efforts begun this year. I wrote a post about it back in April (http://bit.ly/4AtBvP) . However, we didn’t execute it very well, thus the dip was consistent with other years.

    This coming year, we are planning on making a better effort. In fact, we started doing a lot of the prep work now.

    So I’m hoping next year, we’ll see a change in June and July numbers.

  3. You know what this graph tells me? You’re not recalling kids for physicals. I’ve seen this distribution 1000x. I’m guessing – prove me wrong! – that some of the volume you get in Sept/Oct is not only related to kids coming in for sick visits, but for those immediate well visit demand events. “Johnny needs his physical to play football!”

    Send those recall notices out in Apr/May/Jun to fill in the Jun/Jul/Aug slots. Good for your patients AND your cash flow.

    For an interesting effort, slap your trend data over a $$/charged graph.

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