How Health Practitioners Can Increase Patient Retention?
As a physician, you are not only expected to provide first-rate health care, you also want to guarantee patient satisfaction and ultimately retain your patients.
The thing is that patients have a lot of healthcare practitioners and health facilities to choose from for their medical needs. As such, you want to do everything within your power to stand out from the rest.
You can take proactive measures geared towards building long-term relationships with your patients as well as retaining them.
Here are some of those measures.
1. Find an Effective Communication Style
Just like in any other relationship, trust is always the foundation that leads to success. Nevertheless, there are many phases leading to it – it won’t happen overnight.
As you may have imagined, a huge part of gaining trust has to do with the communication style used.
For you to build trust with your patients, you have to ensure that your communication style is compatible with theirs.
For instance, some patients would want their physician to pick the best treatment path for them while others would appreciate taking part in the decision-making. Figuring such things out will help you retain your patients.
2. Invest your Time
Yes, we know you are busy – most physicians are anyway but chances are that your patients have busy schedules too so their time is equally valuable. In that regard, you want to show that you recognize and appreciate that they choose to spend their time at your practice.
For instance, it would not be right for you to have a rushed five-minute chat with a patient that spent half an hour in the examination room waiting for you. What you want to do instead is give them your attention and probably ask how their day is going.
Making the time to foster relationships with your patients may seem impossible when your schedule is full with appointments.
However, that extra minute you take to appreciate your patient or ask about their day counts and could make all the difference.
3. Be Patient
Dealing with patients can sometimes be frustrating and disgruntling. However, it is important to control your emotions and be empathetic.
Some patients will disregard your recommendations to the detriment of their health but you want to consider that they probably do not have the education regarding the repercussions that come with their actions.
Try to be as calm and as respectful as possible when dealing with such patients as it will pay off in the long run.
4. Always Make Follow-Up Calls
Once a patient leaves your office, chances are that they may never come back. It could be because of a poor experience or because they felt that they did not get the help they needed.
By making a follow-up call, you give them a chance to voice their concerns or queries thus strengthening your relationship with them.
5. Put in Place a Concern Resolution Procedure
When it comes to dealing with clients in this context your patients, concern resolution is integral to your practice’s success.
To that effect, you want to have a plan regarding how you handle patient complaints and ensure that everyone working with you knows how to go about it.
6. Address Negative Reviews
It is common for patients to leave negative reviews about your practice online. Most businesses will ignore this, but that is not the best course of action. Rather, you want to step back and ask yourself why a patient would give you a negative review.
After that, you want to respond to the review respectfully while showing how much you care that they have their issue addressed and that you are committed to delivering satisfaction.
7. Do not Disregard Patient Feedback
If more than one of your patients has negative things to say about your practice or one of your employees, it is unlikely to be a coincidence. Such things can drive patients away so you want to be very keen.
Always take client feedback seriously and address any concerns raised promptly. This shows your patients that you are committed to offering them the best service and they will certainly come back.
Providing quality health care services to your patients is paramount, but so is building a relationship with them. Once you get a patient in your office, you want to do everything you can to ensure that they come back whenever they need medical attention.
These tips should help you build a great relationship with your patients and ultimately retain them.