You know that the best way your patients can protect their health is by keeping their appointments and following your recommendations. Your patients, however, may need some gentle encouragement along the way.
Patient retention is about keeping your patients in-touch with their health and how to reach their wellness goals. High-quality service, personalized care and a comfortable clinical environment all serve to highlight your practice’s patient-centered focus.
You can help your patients remember their appointments, feel comfortable and keep coming back.
Use reminders to connect with your patients
Using email or phone reminders is a great way to connect with patients. Personalizing these messages gets their attention and prevents them from forgetting when their appointments are scheduled.
Dr. Ihsan Erhuy, DC of Mountain View Pain Center in Centennial, CO said that email reminders help his clinic improve patient engagement with their health care.
“If they need to cancel or reschedule their appointment, they have to actually physically call the office,” said Erhuy, “…It’s actually worked out really well for us.”
Since his patients must call the office to make changes to their appointments, they are more likely to see the urgency and importance behind their chiropractic care.
Create a comfortable environment
In every interaction patients have with staff members and doctors, patients should be made to feel welcome at the clinic. A comfortable environment helps patients feel less anxious and may help them feel better about discussing their confidential health matters with the doctor.
“We try to do a much more welcoming type of atmosphere…even down to [the] color schemes of our walls,” Erhuy said. He says that this creates the type of environment that brings new patients back.
Reduce wait times
The amount of time patients spend in the waiting room is also an important component of quality patient service. Erhuy recommends keeping wait-times short.
“We try to do a no wait-time,” said Erhuy, “As soon as they walk in, within a five minute period, they’re sent to the back and starting their therapies right away.”
Mountain View Pain Center clinics make this possible by planning ahead.
“We only allow a certain number of patients within an hour,” Erhuy said. If a particular hour is overbooked, patients are informed in advance. The staff then offer the patient an opportunity to change appointment times.
During scheduling, patients should be given two times to choose from, Erhuy said. This prevents patients from feeling overwhelmed by the choices available. If neither option works with the patient’s schedule, then the staff member should offer two more choices until the patient chooses the best option.
Personalized chiropractic care
Erhuy recommends that clinics offer their patients improved customer service. The care patients receive at Mountain View Pain Center is provided with attention to detail and concern for individual health. At his clinic, patients even receive a yearly birthday card with a handwritten note. This simple effort resonates well with his patients.
Clinics that offer tailored care connect better with their patients and make a great first impression on new patients. Patient retention improves when patients feel like doctors and staff are listening to them, as Erhuy claims.
Help Them Be Healthy
By paying more attention to how your patients experience your clinic, you may dramatically improve patient retention rates and promote word-of-mouth advertising. Happy and healthy patients help you advertise in a way that is cost-effective, patient-centered and memorable.