We want to keep our patients, right?! Losing patients is bad ... keeping (retaining) patients is good. So in the best case scenario, a practice would have the ability to retain 100% of its patients. But that doesn't always happen. The rate to which a practice loses patients (in comparison to 100% retention) is what we call churn.
Some churn is natural & inevitable. People move. People die. People stop going to the dentist for certain periods.
Therefore, New Patients are essential. New patients replenish the inherent attrition in loss of patients caused by normal churn.
Growing or Shrinking? If new patients exceed the churn, the practice is accumulating patients faster than it is losing it, therefore it's growing. If it's churning faster than it's adding, then the practice is declining.
Take notice to the green vs. red curves.
Green above red = growing
Red above green = declining