Many practice managers and providers only look at new patient acquisitions as a barometer for growth. Your revenue will increase by attracting new patients, but if you also lose existing patients, you will not be able to sustain your desired growth. It is estimated that losing a patient to another provider could cost your practice upwards of $400,000. Your success depends on improving your patient retention rate. You should implement effective patient retention strategies in conjunction with your acquisition efforts. If you prioritize one over the other, your gains on either end will be diminished, resulting in stunted business growth.
How to Keep Patients Satisfied
It doesn’t have to be difficult to come up with effective patient retention ideas. The key to winning a patient’s loyalty is to provide a positive patient experience. If you want your retention rate to increase, you must ensure that every patient leaves satisfied. In order to maintain long-term client loyalty, follow these ten steps:
Patient Appointment Reminders
It is understood that your patients have a lot of activities to do on daily basis. The have to manage their time between work, family and friends. Therefore, it is not unlikely that they would forget their appointments.
Take it upon yourself to remind them of their scheduled visit a couple of times before their appointment. Doing so will help reduce no-show rates. Sending holiday and birthday greetings can also boost patient satisfaction. It sends the right signal to your patients that you care about them enough to remember important days in their lives.
It’s also equally important to consider their preferred messaging platform. Whether through text, email, or voicemail, sending patient reminders to their preferred channels will ensure that they receive and read your message.
Utilizing an automated appointment reminder system integrated with your practice management software allows you to preemptively set the time, date, and medium through which these messages go out, making the entire process a breeze.
Offer Straightforward Patient Statements
The way your patient statement looks may seem inconsequential to the overall patient experience, but it can actually affect patient satisfaction and your cash flow. It’s essential to make your statements and invoices as straightforward as possible to avoid confusion.
That means the design and information layout needs to make sense at first glance. Easily understandable statements help you get paid faster and in the right amount, reducing late or default payments.
You can also incorporate branding elements like practice logos and colors into your statements to make it more unique and visually pleasing while increasing brand awareness.
Importance of Patient Feedback
There’s no better way to gauge your patients’ level of satisfaction than getting their feedback. There are plenty of ways to effectively get honest feedback from your patients.
Perhaps the easiest and most cost-effective way is putting a dropbox in your clinic where patients can add their assessment of your services and facilities. This will also help avoid putting your patients in an awkward situation and ensure that the feedback you’re getting is honest.
Another efficient way of getting patient feedback is through email. Because patients can respond to your email survey at their convenience, you can still get feedback from those who don’t have the time to stick around after their consultation.
Email surveys aren’t too hard to accomplish either, especially since email information is one of the details you are probably already collecting. You can easily incorporate this into your patient engagement strategy.
Diversify Payment Options
Patients have varied payment preferences. Some prefer cash, while others prefer cards. Giving your patients as many convenient options as they need will not only ensure patient satisfaction, but it will also help you get paid faster and in the right amount.
Medical billing systems like Apex MedPro allow you to process cash, credit card, debit card, ACH, and insurance payments from one platform. No need for separate systems for every payment method—just one well-rounded solution for all your billing needs.
Apex MedPro is a cloud-based medical billing and practice management solution Texas designed for all types of practices regardless of size and specialty. On top of its comprehensive set of tools and features, Apex MedPro is HIPBATH-compliant so you can be sure that your and your patients’ data are safe and secure.
Ask for Upfront – don’t hesitate
Along with providing convenient payment options, you should also be upfront with your patients about the potential costs of their visit and any corresponding treatment, medical equipment, or medication. This will help you build trust with your patients and avoid any surprise bills down the line.
Surprise medical bills are one of the most common reasons why patients lose trust in their provider, and it only takes one unexpected bill to erode that trust completely. So it’s vital to always break down the costs to patients in a manner that they can understand.
Contrary to popular belief, patient satisfaction doesn’t just revolve around quality of care alone. Although it is still a crucial part of what makes a patient stay with a provider, banking on it alone is no longer enough.
Increasing patient retention is a multi-faceted effort that involves every stage of the patient journey. It may seem like a grueling task, but the returns it offers your practice are immense. Satisfied patients not only provide you with a consistent revenue stream, but they are also likely to refer you to their friends and family, helping you grow your patient base further.