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Patient Retention Makes Smart Business Sense

Retaining patients is easier and less expensive than acquiring new patients

You spent a lot of effort and money to acquire each of your patients, $26 to $125 just to get one person to notice your practice, and more in staff time and budget to convince them to make an appointment. Yet, once they’re in your office, 17 percent will fall off of your calendar before they return for continuing care. You have no control over patient attrition due to relocations or deaths, but you can take action to retain those who become inactive for other reasons. These patients are five to 25 times easier and less expensive to retain than to replace them, and you can increase their lifetime value when you focus on retention. Here we provide five tips for keeping patients coming back for the care they need.

Pay Close Attention to Your Patients’ Needs

Many patients say their doctors do not meet their needs for information and emotional support. Pay attention to your patient-centered communications. Doctors who are not just prescriptive but also explain procedures to patients in common terms and ask their patients questions to ensure they understand are the most effective. Consider also that nonverbal communications such as eye contact and listening attentively are important to patient satisfaction.

Provide a Healthy Office Experience

Your patients’ first and lasting impression happens in your front office. Make sure that impression is always positive. Ensuring that your patients are comfortable starts with staying on time. Wait times are patients’ number one complaint. Then begin each visit with a chat about the patient’s condition, personal concerns or family, before you get into the paperwork. Make sure the waiting area is comfortable. Provide soothing music, live and cared-for plants, comfortable chairs, and a clean and well-kept environment. Most importantly, ensure your staff is friendly and happy. A happy staff makes happy patients.

Confirm Appointments in Advance

Don’t be afraid to overcommunicate with your patients. Find out which methods they prefer; email, text, phone call or postcard; and use their preference to notify them of upcoming appointments, remind them just prior to appointments, and confirm that they plan to keep their appointments. This not only keeps your schedule sane, but patients are more likely to remain in compliance over the lifetime of their relationship with your office.

Pay Extra Attention to Overdue Patients

Patients who are overdue for treatment are at the highest risk for becoming inactive patients. They have not responded to appointment reminders or recall notices, and they are at the point where your office is about to give up on them. This is exactly the wrong time to give up. Brevium can help you keep these patients active and reactivate those who have fallen out of compliance. We have unique software that lets you identify these patients and research-based communication methods to bring them back into your practice. The system is inexpensive and very effective.

Monitor and Promote Patient Satisfaction

Almost 90 percent of consumers use online reviews to judge local businesses, including medical practices. In fact, they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends. You thus need to actively monitor and control your online reputation, starting with your happy patients. Ask them to write a review for your practice. More than 70 percent are willing to do so, and 80 percent of patients 18 to 34 years old have written reviews. You can request these reviews by email or text, but send the request to your patients within 24 hours of their visit. Provide a link to the popular review sites such as Google, Yelp, Facebook and the review section of your website. Patients who write positive reviews not only help promote your practice, but their action also solidifies their positive opinion in their own mind.

Brevium Can Help You Retain More Patients

Brevium is a leader in patient communication and reactivation. We use a research-based method for communicating with patients and ensuring they stay in contact with your practice and in compliance with their treatment plans.

Start Your Free Analysis

We’ll discuss your specific goals and help design a patient reactivation strategy that meets your needs.

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