Providing excellent health care was enough for providers to build a practice in the past. Around 60% of patients will continue seeing their doctor for their next appointment. The remaining 40% will find another provider for their healthcare needs.
There are many reasons why a patient might find a new doctor. They might not have felt that they had a good experience at their office. Many patients will change doctors’ offices if they feel dissatisfied with the practice.
Doctors and their staff need to provide high-quality service to retain their patients. You can improve your patient retention rates by giving them a great experience. We’ll discuss some tips and tricks for improving your patient experience.
Make It Easy to Schedule Appointments
So many things have moved to digital platforms nowadays. Online scheduling is a convenient way for your patients to book appointments with your office. Some digital options you can offer include:
It can be hard for people to find time to talk on the phone during the day. A lot of people don’t enjoy making appointments over the phone either.
Your online appointment booking system should be easy to navigate. It should also look professional. Your website is one of the first things your patients see about your practice. They might go to another doctor if it’s too challenging to book an appointment with you.
Send Reminders and Confirmations
People live busy lives. Send out reminders and confirmations so they don’t forget about their appointments. These will let your patients know you value their time. It’ll also reduce costly no-show appointments.
Check out different appointment reminder platforms where you can send messages via text message. You can include the option for patients to confirm that they’ll be coming to their appointment. If they don’t confirm, you can issue another reminder closer to the appointment.
You give your patients the chance to reschedule their appointment by sending out frequent reminders. It also allows them to contact you with questions or make childcare arrangements.
Ask for Patient Feedback
Knowing what your patients like or don’t like about your practice is important. You can identify and prioritize areas of improvement. Your patients will have a more positive experience if they know you’re taking into account their opinions.
There are a few ways you can gather patient feedback. Ask them to fill out a survey using patient experience management software after their appointments. You can send it to them a few hours or days after they come to your office. Get information from them while it’s still fresh in their minds.
Improve Your Online Presence
As we mentioned before, your website is an important part of your practice. Many people head to the internet to research their symptoms. They also look for nearby doctors that can help them.
Your website should reflect your brand and values. Potential and current patients should know what they can expect from your practice. Offer consistent and clear information on all parts of your website on the following pages:
You’ll also want to add high-quality photos of the inside and outside of your practice. Include pictures of your staff members and physicians so people know who they’re seeing. Add patient testimonials to create a sense of trust.
Reduce Wait Time
Long wait times are one of the most frustrating things about going to the doctor. Most people expect to wait a little bit when they visit a doctor’s office. However, patients will feel that you’re not respecting their time if they have to deal with excessive wait times.
Communication is important in this area. If you’re running behind, give your patients regular updates. It’s better to let them know that an emergency has caused a short delay instead of leaving them guessing.
Keep a Clean Office
There are many things in a doctor’s office that can cause an infection to spread. They are:
- Harmful pathogens
Keep your office, including your waiting room, clean and sanitary. Offer face masks and hand sanitizer throughout your practice for people to use.
Your waiting room should also be comfortable. Don’t use harsh lighting and uncomfortable furniture. Incorporate warm lighting and soft chairs to make it more welcoming. Your patients should enjoy spending time in your waiting room instead of feeling like it’s an inconvenience.
Improve Your Bedside Manner
Patients come to your practice for your medical opinions. You might be the most experienced doctor out there, but if your patients aren’t comfortable with you, your practice won’t succeed. Being a good listener is one of the best attributes you can have as a doctor.
You should display a caring and warm presence. Take the time to listen to your patient’s concerns. They should also have a good understanding of what their treatment plan is when they leave your office.
Respond to Feedback Quickly
Responding right away to both bad and good feedback is another important step. Taking the time to respond to your patients will build trust with them. It’ll also show that you care about how their experience went at your facility.
Don’t avoid addressing critical or negative feedback. Acknowledge the reviewer in your response and ask them to contact you about their experience. You can also offer to get in touch with them to speak more about it.
You need to stay compliant with the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in your responses. Don’t confirm that the reviewer is one of your patients. You also shouldn’t mention any of their data. Healthcare organizations are increasingly turning to cloud-based software for sending secure HIPAA faxes since it allows them and their patients to access records more conveniently, thus streamlining workflows.
Be courteous in your response no matter how rude they are. Readers of the review will notice the difference between the two tones. You want them to look more favorably on you after reading the review.
Improve Your Patient Experience to Increase Your Retention Rates
There are a lot of different things that go into a patient having a positive experience. Taking steps to improve their time at your office will increase their overall satisfaction. Your patient retention will increase as you receive more positive reviews.