A successful practice for a doctor can only exist if the office not only retains its patients but also continues to attract new ones. Today, there are programs such as Solutionreach Patient Reactivation that give you access to a variety of resources without consuming your time. You can target social media and cell phones to send personal messages related to their situation, a monthly newsletter and more.
This service helps to eliminate many of the pet peeves associated with going to the doctor’s office, including one of the biggest: scheduling. They have an appointment set for a certain time, arrive and then notice that the room is full of other patients waiting to see the same doctor. While sometimes this is simply unavoidable, most times it’s an error in scheduling too many people for the same time slot. This not only upsets your patients it can also lead to bad reviews and a decrease in new patients signing on. By using the service to track the appointment time slots you’ll keep a steady flow of clients and avoid the potential for a less than satisfied customer.
Putting in place an outside service will also help you to reduce the time a patient has to wait for a doctor once they leave the waiting room and enter the examination room. This can help your office eliminate the additional 10, 15 even 20 minutes that it can take a patient before they finally see the doctor. With technology today, clients often report their personal experience online to sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and it can go against you or work in your favor. By correcting errors created by over scheduling you can actually improve two areas at the same time.
In addition to using an outside service to help with retention and growth, there are things you can do inside the office as well. Doctors and specialists are in high demand. Because of this many don’t get a chance to review a patient’s file before entering the room. To improve this practice you can review the files in the morning to get a sense of who’s coming in. If this is not an option then have your nurse review and fill you in prior to entering the patient’s room. Here a little knowledge goes a long way to giving the patient a sense that you cared enough to review instead of asking questions that the patient has already answered.
This will also help with another area, the feeling of being rushed. Patients want their 10 minutes of fame so to speak. When a doctor comes in without any knowledge and then gives them the sense that he or she has a more important matter to attend to it sends the wrong signal to a patient. Instead, ask how they are, what changes they’ve noticed and what their concerns are. A few minutes spent with an actual dialogue directed at them will earn you big points. When the appointment is over, a simple gesture of “see you in a few weeks” or a note with advised instructions for a diet and exercise makes the visit personal.
Using an outside service to tend to the scheduling, reminders and personal messages through social media and your client’s cell phone can help you to not only sustain a viable practice but also grow. This along with a few minor adjustments inside the office can make each visit enjoyable and rewarding for both your practice and your patients. When they feel that you view their time as valuable and take an actual interest in their quality of life, you gain patient confidence and trust.