A healthcare practise involves achieving three critical goals: acquiring leads, retaining patients, and ensuring appointments. The delivery of care in a medical scenario depends largely on helping a patient achieve their optimum outcome of health. You can only build a thriving practise if your most important assets are taken care of: patients.
Patient retention is the most crucial aspect of a medical practise.
So, what keeps patients coming back? A positive patient experience – pure and simple. Surprisingly, it’s not the price or even the prestige, as explained later. It’s mostly about how positive the experience was for the patient. If a patient leaves your clinic after their appointment feeling like they were heard and their concerns were addressed, you can expect them to visit you again. If not, then there are plenty of other providers who they can go to.
The competitive landscape of the healthcare industry is amplified when you consider review sites and social media. Patients have multiple opportunities to find a doctor that best suits their needs.
Surveys confirm that patient loyalty relies on primarily these three factors: communication, empathy, and care coordination. Centring your practise on positive patient experiences is how you can maintain and retain loyalty amongst your patient base.
To help address this concern, TABIIB has listed four major strategies that can help your practise drive patient retention.
1) Deliver excellent service and leverage personalization
When patients book an appointment with you or with a doctor of your clinic, they’re looking for more than just an accurate diagnosis. While that does remain at the top of the list, having a good bedside manner is just as important. Listening to patient’s concerns, keeping them informed and treating them with respect serve as excellent patient retention strategies.
Personalizing your patient’s experience is a sure way to get them to remember you and your practise. You can accomplish this during in-office visits (or video visits, if it’s a virtual consultation) by conducting a thorough examination, and creating a personalized treatment plan for them. It also helps if you take the time to explain why a certain treatment strategy fits their unique needs.
2) Keep patients engaged after they leave
The answer to keeping patients engaged lies in the time between the first doctor’s visit and the next step of the patient journey. Many practises are jumping on the technology bandwagon and it’s important to use those tools to interact with your patients.
Technological engagement doesn’t have to involve the technicalities of AI or an online portal. Something as simple as a push notification that reminds them of their upcoming appointments can also help. You could also drop in notifications on medication reminders, re-appointments, and tests if any. You can use health apps as a means of communicating with your patients in real-time or for health monitoring purposes.
3) Make things convenient and accessible
Everybody appreciates convenience; patients even more so. In today’s digital era, there are plenty of ways you can make your practise accessible.
Listing out your practise on an online portal, such as the one TABIIB offers, can help increase your reach beyond your locality. It also helps you be a part of the healthcare landscape in a more visible way.
Online scheduling is a major convenience because it allows patients to make immediate appointments on a 24/7 basis. It also eliminates the possibility of human error in terms of scheduling consultations.
Your practise can also benefit from adding a few more features for your patients. For example, consider offering intake and insurance forms online before the appointment, offer telemedicine, or implement a patient portal where they can interact with providers.
4) Ask for patient feedback
The first step towards fixing a problem is knowing that a problem exists. If patients are unsatisfied with your care delivery, there are chances that they’ll take themselves elsewhere. Sending patient surveys through timely push notifications is a great way to ensure that you gain valuable feedback, and that patients actively engage.
Opening up a line of communication that can help you promptly address patients’ problems is an easy way to learn what you’re doing well and where there is room for improvement. Even something as simple as a rating system helps. The other benefit to this is that your practise can gain credibility online.
Managing a medical practise is not easy, especially in these times where there are plenty of choices available. Making small changes in the administration can go a long way towards having a significant impact on your patients. Read more about telehealth and clinic marketing strategies on the TABIIB blog.