One of the biggest challenges facing doctors and clinic managers today is that of retaining patients. Happy patients are patients that will stick around for a very long time, meaning long-term stable revenue for the practice. Those with high churn rates will constantly be in “feast or famine” mode, and struggle for financial stability. That makes this the key to a thriving practice. While medical services are often necessary or critical for a person`s wellbeing, and perhaps not optional, where they receive care IS an option. Here are some of the best ways you can immediately begin to increase patient retention rates that include training and staff procedures as well as medical practice management software and services.
- Provide a welcoming environment, be attentive and caring of the patient`s needs
- Spend more time with each patient to discuss their medical history in detail
- Make sure your staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and working as efficiently as possible
- Proactively address any concerns that patients may have about billing or health
- Provide convenient options for appointment scheduling, bill pay, and prescription renewals.
Provide a welcoming environment, be attentive and caring of the patient`s needs
There are many great tools and practices that medical professionals can implement to increase their patient retention rates. Here is a list of some top ways that you can make your office more welcoming:
– Make sure the waiting area has comfortable seating, magazines, or videos for children
– Acknowledge and greet the patient with a smile when they come into your office
– Create an environment that is odorless, clean, and comfortable for patients.
– Allow family members to accompany you during their visit or provide them with information about how to follow up at home if they aren`t present.
– Answer phone calls swiftly with knowledgeable staff who have an upbeat attitude and exhibit caring and empathy
Spend more time with each patient to discuss their medical history in detail
Spending time with patients and discussing their medical history in detail can help medical professionals be more prepared for what to expect and how best to care for that individual. It also helps patients feel cared about, valued, and understood.
In-depth conversations give doctors the opportunity to understand a patient`s needs or concerns better so they are able to customize their recommendations for the patient.
Be sure to explore the patient`s needs or concerns during their first visit so they feel heard, valued and understood.
And offer them information about how to follow up at home if they aren`t present.
Make sure your staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and working as efficiently as possible
A staff that loves their jobs, is clearly competent, and works quickly and with confidence will help make patients feel more comfortable and relaxed. This is all the more important when dealing with a low-income population who may not be able to afford care elsewhere or where they will have to wait for hours just to see the doctor.
– Hire your staff carefully, paying attention to their previous customer service experience and how well they got along with superiors, co-workers, and customers.
– Train your staff on how to interact with patients in a way that will make them feel respected and cared for.
– Make sure you have an up-to-date schedule that allows each member of the team their own time off, but also ensures enough coverage during work hours so there are no gaps when someone needs to take time away or has an unexpected emergency.
Proactively address any concerns that patients may have about billing or health
Being upfront and addressing these concerns before they arise can go a long way in ensuring that patients are satisfied with their experience.
It is important to have clear, comprehensive – yet concise billing and pricing information on your website for people who may need it while they`re thinking about scheduling an appointment.
Consider highlighting the benefits of your medical procedures by showing before and after pictures or testimonials from other clients.
Be sure to carefully address health concerns and ask probing questions to better understand the person`s concern, for instance: “How do you know that your symptoms are due to __________?”
Once a patient has scheduled an appointment with their doctor or medical office, it is important to provide them with clear instructions about how they can prepare. This includes what time and day they need to arrive at the facility. One easy way to follow-up with reminders is to use a quality medical practice management software.
Provide convenient options for appointment scheduling, bill pay, and prescription renewals.
– Use an online scheduling system to allow patients to book and confirm appointments themselves.
– Allow for prescriptions renewal by email or phone, so the patient doesn`t need to come in every time their prescription is due.
– Offer a way for them to pay bills online with no extra fees added on. This can be accomplished with a medical billing service that will handle all of the details and take this aspect of your practice completely off your plate.
Concluding Best Practices for Patient Retention
In conclusion, there are a number of ways to increase your patient retention and thereby maximize the revenue of your medical practice in the very best way possible.
Medical practices need to be customer-centric and focus on how they can really provide the best possible care for their patients. They should practice empathy, compassion, and patience in order to make sure that all aspects of a patient`s visit are flawless so that any potential issues or concerns don`t escalate into something larger.
In addition, medical practices can implement systems and proper training with staff to streamline the whole experience, as well as incorporate strategic use of management software and services.