A practitioner can use inherent values that indicate a patient’s return to succeed. In the end, a successful practice consists of one that successfully balances its business objectives with offering top-notch patient care.
A long-term patient is someone who regularly visits your office, makes use of your services, and adheres to your treatment plans. These repeat patients have established a solid rapport with their medical providers and are likely to stick around over the decades because they have faith in you.
Patients who are retained at a lower cost than those who are recruited also help to build new relationships and generate excellent returns.
One study found that losing a patient to another doctor may cost your company up to $200,000 throughout the patient’s lifespan. Losses may be greater if there is a serious underlying issue with the treatment experiences you are providing to patients at every touchpoint. A solid patient retention plan is essential for your practice’s continued success, whether you’re a general practitioner, orthopedic clinic, or dentist.
Each time you connect with a patient—from the initial phone appointment through the actual treatment and follow-up—you have the chance to leave a good impression and raise patient satisfaction.
How Does Patients, Leads, and Appointments Relate
To develop a successful practice, you must look after your most valuable assets, the patients. Unfortunately, most offices have a lead generation obsession but have no idea how to keep patients.
Of course, getting new leads is great, but your main priority should be keeping your current patients. This is due to research showing that about 68% of appointments come from current patients.
Practitioner at work – Image from pixabay by mufidpwt
Never undervalue the influence of a committed patient base. Research shows that between 55 and 70 percent of appointments are made by the 12 to 15 percent of patients who stick with a single doctor.
Keeping your patients is one of the most important aspects of your medical profession. It is unquestionably difficult to turn leads into patients. However, your efforts will be fruitful if you concentrate on the end result.
Patient outreach and engagement are the keys to patient retention. It’s crucial to have a strategy for contacting patients, especially if they had a bad experience with your clinic. This provides customers the chance to voice any concerns they may have. It also allows your employees to hear them out and respond accordingly. Any interaction you and your team have with a patient before or after their visit(s) can be a retention strategy.
Let’s focus on the most effective techniques on how to retain patients in order to improve the outcomes:
- Establish A Warm Front Desk.
The first individuals your patient encounters are your front desk employees, and they set the tone for the rest of her visit. The HRI survey states that if the person had a pleasant attitude, 70% of patients would have a good experience during a provider visit. Compared to a hotel’s check-in agent, your front desk agent has twice the impact on your company.
There are numerous techniques to ensure that your team remains cordial. First, find candidates that are as sympathetic and pleasant. For example, a good receptionist doesn’t only answer phones and enter data into a computer; they must be able to offer website advice.
- Give Your Patients Top-Notch Care.
Patients seek more from you when they visit your office than just a precise diagnosis. Most patients won’t be eager to return if you have a bad bedside manner. Patient retention tactics that help patients feel valued include informing them, treating them with respect, showing compassion, and checking up after therapy.
Of course, patients at your office also engage with other staff members. Patients must receive excellent care from all staff members, including those in your office.
Delivering a top-notch experience and excellent treatment to your patients is the most effective way to keep them coming back. It distinguishes you from the competition, as easy as that may sound. Start by picturing the path a patient might travel from beginning to conclusion. This can involve discussing their first concerns or need for a new doctor, looking up local practices, making their first contact with your staff, setting an appointment, getting directions and notifications, parking on the premises, checking in, and waiting to be seen, among other things. When you and your staff know the typical steps patients take to reach you, you can endeavor to make each one efficient, useful, and pleasurable.
- Better Communication
Patient satisfaction is most strongly influenced by communication. Poor communication can affect how the patient feels about their experience receiving treatment as they deal with you, their caregivers at your clinic, or even the customer service department. Make sure your team is effectively communicating information and compassionately addressing issues.
Practitioners can build stronger relationships with their patients by providing more than in-office contacts. A Medscape survey found that most doctors give patients an average of 13 to 16 minutes of face-to-face interaction. While in-office visits can inform your patients about their health, diagnoses, and available treatments, you can set your practice apart by keeping in touch with your clients more frequently between appointments. To encourage patients to take more responsibility for their treatment, provide individualized healthcare advice via text or newsletters.
Patients’ needs must be considered, and you and your team must listen to them when they express concerns. It demonstrates your compassion for them that you took the time to learn about the tiresome route to and from the parking lot. Even if the problem appears unimportant or beyond your control, pay attention.
With a communication calendar in place, practitioners find it simple to interact with their patients. This is because regular communication clears up confusion, boosts confidence, and encourages repeat visits from the patient.
You can arrange phone conversations, send periodic notes of gratitude to patients, and send letters to them using various online communication calendar options.
Communication is key to helping your patient feel educated and valued. Recent data shows that practices that engage with their patients more than ten times each year make 300 percent more money than those who stop doing so.
- Request Patient Feedback Proactively.
Patients are likely to seek care from another physician if they are unsatisfied with their session. Sending out surveys to gauge patient satisfaction after each visit is a terrific approach to getting insightful input that can enhance your reputation. Use the feedback to identify your strong points and areas for development.
People feel more in control when they have a voice. This is one of the excellent patient retention techniques because it’s simple to establish a communication channel. Then, with feedback, you can handle problems that could lead patients to switch practices.
Negative online reviews can be quickly addressed to help save your reputation. To address the issue and end the dialogue, reply immediately to any negative reviews of your clinic and include contact details.
- Provide Your Patients With Modern Conveniences.
Patients value a doctor who simplifies their life. There are several options for doing this in the modern digital age. The ability to arrange appointments instantly online, around the clock, without picking up the phone, is a huge benefit for patients. One recent survey found that 81% of patients would book a doctor’s appointment online if they could, demonstrating how popular this function is with patients.
Add to it by providing other services that give your business a competitive edge. For example, employ telemedicine, set up a 24/7 contact line, have intake forms available online prior to appointments, or provide a patient portal.
- Utilize Individualization
Those who are entrusted with your care should be doctors. By making their experience more unique, your patients will feel more human and less like a number.
This can be achieved in person by asking your patients many questions, performing a comprehensive examination, and developing a unique care plan in light of your findings. Take the time to explain why you think your selected technique fulfills their particular needs because patients dislike receiving care that is applied uniformly.
Communicate your compassionate nature remotely if you communicate with patients through email or an online portal. Ensure the message sounds like it was written just for the recipient and not just template language cut and pasted, create personalized replies, and always include the recipient’s name.
- Presence Of Website
Between 70% and 82% of people have searched the internet for health information. This information highlights how crucial it is for medical practices to have an internet presence. For your patients, create a professional website that contains useful health information. As it can provide information in between sessions, your website is a useful resource for patient retention.
Utilize digital technologies to enable online appointment booking for your clients through your website or mobile application. Your patients can schedule an appointment anytime using the online appointment management system. Automatic appointment notifications and confirmations via SMS or email can also reduce no-shows.
- Always Keep Your Patients Informed And Educated.
Launch a strong marketing campaign to engage patients outside the clinic. Set up a blog where you may share knowledge on subjects that matter to your patient base and highlight your abilities.
Create a social media presence and release content often to engage patients. Regular communication from you will put your practice at the forefront of their minds and may even act as a reminder to schedule preventative checkups that they might otherwise forget.
Many patients find the healthcare industry intimidating. Insurance, medical terminology, copays, uncomfortable or odd procedures, and foreign terrain make patients dissatisfied and confused. Therefore, try to enlighten and educate patients on everything they should know before visiting your practice. This can cover anything from the types of insurance your office accepts to the location of the bathrooms nearest to the waiting area.
- Send Surprise Greetings During Their Holidays And Birthdays.
Send them personalized holiday and birthday cards to let your patients know that you always think about them beyond the appointments.
The possibility that a patient will stick with your clinic for all their healthcare requirements depends on establishing good touch points throughout the patient experience. Satisfied patients are not only a reliable source of income for your medical practice, but they are also more likely to recommend you to their friends and family.
Nothing is more disheartening than putting a strategy into practice to giving up because you did not get immediate results. Remain steady. Patient retention tactics need not be challenging or time-consuming, but they are essential to any healthcare operation. You can ensure patients are happy by using a balanced combination of individualized involvement and automation.