Patients are the lifeblood of your medical practice, and your team works hard to keep them healthy and happy. In exchange for top-notch medical experiences, your patients keep supporting your practice and pay their bills on time. It’s the textbook definition of a mutually beneficial relationship.
That said, retaining patients isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. On one hand, many patients are avoiding routine care these days due to ongoing concerns about catching COVID-19. On the other, patients have endless medical options at their fingertips today, making them less likely to be loyal to a single practitioner. In fact, more than one-third of patients have left a medical provider in the last two years.
The good news is that your medical practice can fight back against attrition and keep your patients coming back for years to come. Keep reading to learn about three patient retention strategies for practice growth and increased patient satisfaction.
The Benefits of Having a Solid Patient Retention Strategy
It pays to have a solid patient retention strategy in place for a number of reasons.
Improving patient health
It’s much easier to keep patients healthy when they come in regularly for checkups and receive routine care from the same provider. By building trust and focusing on retention, you can more effectively treat patients and provide the long-term care needed to deliver better health outcomes.
Generating better reviews
When you earn a patient’s trust, they are more likely to write positive reviews of your facility and recommend your practice to others. Since many patients search for doctors online before booking an appointment, retention can indirectly lead to a steady stream of new patients who read favorable reviews.
Maximizing patient revenue
One of the top reasons medical practices need to retain patients is to boost the patient lifetime value (LTV) — i.e., the estimation of the net profit the practice will earn over the course of the relationship. Maximizing revenue starts with ensuring the highest possible LTV for each patient.
Curious about how to calculate a patient’s LTV? Multiply revenue per visit by the number of annual visits and then multiply that figure by the estimated number of years the patient will spend with your practice.
Doctors and nurses often form close relationships with patients and enjoy playing an active role in their overall health. Oftentimes, doctor-patient bonds can be strong enough to keep personnel from leaving for other practices in pursuit of higher pay or better benefits. In this light, boosting patient retention can help retain talented medical workers.
Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of patient retention, let’s turn our attention to specific tactics you can use to boost retention at your practice.
Proven Strategies to Keep Patients Coming Back
As you can see, patient retention is key for running a successful medical practice. Here are a few proven patient retention strategies that you can use to improve your retention stats.
1. Use mobile communication
Engaging with customers is critical to building loyalty and improving retention. You should therefore consider engaging with customers across a variety of channels including email, text messaging, and mobile applications.
These channels can be useful for issuing patient appointment reminders, collecting feedback, answering questions, and checking in with patients between visits.
2. Engage with customers on social media
Chances are your patients are active on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The trick is to engage with patients on these channels in a way that is friendly and non-invasive.
For example, you can highlight new hires, post office hours, and share images or information about breaking health studies. By posting content regularly, you can stay front and center in their daily lives while adding more value.
3. Offer a patient portal
Many practices are having success using patient portals, which are online hubs where customers can go to access medical information, pay bills, and schedule appointments. Online portals make it easy for patients to provide self-service and communicate with medical staff members between visits (e.g., reminding patients about appointments).
How CollaborateMD Can Help You Retain More Patients
CollaborateMD offers a robust patient engagement portal your practice can use to offer patients more control over their accounts. The platform makes it possible for patients to access medical visit history, and make payments online. You can also appointment reminders by text, phone, or email to reduce no-shows and keep communication open.
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Download the e-book today to learn more about how to choose the right practice management and medical billing software for your business.