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How To Improve Patient Retention In Your Private Healthcare Practice

How To Improve Patient Retention In Your Private Healthcare Practice | Symbiosis LLC | Medical Clinic Space Operations Management

A new patient may find your practice through a referral or an ad in the local community pages.

Once they step through your door for the first time, your marketing efforts have paid off.

But what can you do now to ensure that their visit is the first of many?

Most practices focus the majority of their efforts and resources on gaining new patients.

However, in any private healthcare practice, patient retention is one of the key elements to keeping your business thriving.

Patient retention is one of the main challenges you will face when running a private practice.

Tracking customer visits, following up with patients, networking, billing, and asking for feedback about your clinic may seem like work that you don’t have time for.

Don’t worry.

Symbiosis is here to help you with healthcare revenue cycle management, private practice digital marketing, healthcare billing solutions, a network of members to help with referrals, and clinical equipment.

Symbiosis can also help you with maintaining a work life balance in your private practice, while you work to retain patients.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of a stronger focus on patient retention.

The Cost Of Retaining Patients Vs Patient Acquisition

When it comes to starting a medical practice, many practitioners focus on getting new patients.

New patients are great, but did you know that new patient acquisition is roughly five times as expensive as retaining an existing customer?

It’s no surprise that you’re spending a lot more money on marketing, advertising, and publicity than you are on follow up with your existing clients to ensure that they are satisfied.

But studies have also shown that over 65% of all appointments come from repeat clients.

So ask yourself whether you’re doing enough to retain your existing patients who already support your business.

If you invest all of your time and resources in new patients, but they don’t become repeat visitors, then your money is going to waste.

Client retention is a key aspect of planning in all businesses.

If you develop patient loyalty, you will be able to plan for growth and for the future of your business.

A lot of valuable information can be gained by measuring trends in your existing patients, be it demographics, needs, or expectations.

This will help you refine your marketing to new patients as well.

How To Improve Your Patient Retention

Your current patients are your most valuable asset, and it pays to have a plan in place for patient retention.

So what are some of the things you can do to keep your patients loyal to your practice?

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Above all, your patients want to be treated like people, feeling heard and understood.

This is true, regardless of if you’re a family doctor, a dermatologist or a physical therapist.

You should always put your patient first to gain an understanding of what they expect from your practice.

Every new patient should have an initial consultation with you.

During this meeting, you should seek to put the patient at ease, understand their needs, and set realistic expectations of what to expect from the treatment plan.

A one on one session will personalize the experience for your patient, who will feel you’ve taken the time to get to know them more intimately.

Empower your patient by giving them the opportunity to discuss expectations with you, address their fears, and answer their questions.

This is also a good opportunity for the practitioner to set realistic goals and be honest with them about what you can deliver.

Setting expectations at the outset will mean that your patient is much more likely to visit again.

private health care practice patient retention strategies | Symbiosis LLC | Medical Clinic Space Operations Management

2. Build Trust To Make Your Patients Feel Safe

Trust matters to your patients, and it should matter to you as well.

Let’s discover how to build trust with your patients.

Improving patient retention also comes along with improving the care in your healthcare business to help patients feel safe.

As you grow your business, you also want your brand to be one that patients can trust.

Market research shows that over 80% of patients who trust your brand will recommend you to their friends.

Moreover, 92% of people trust recommendations from a friend.

Building a good relationship with every patient is one way to develop a trusted brand.

Be available to listen and address the concerns of your patients, keep an open door policy, and check in with them on every visit.

You can also strive to become a trusted source of information and education for your patients.

Your website can be used to gain trust with your patients by placing these key things you need on your website.

Dedicate a section of your website to a blog that provides your patients with education on new research, showcasing your expertise in the area.

Looking for reasons to get going on your blog?

There are many benefits to having a blog.

And, not having a blog is a common business mistake.

You can also gain patient trust by starting a social media page to keep in touch with patients.

You can allow them to share feedback, share updates on your practice, and generally be available to them online.

Given the fact that 4.9 billion people use social media across the world, there is no doubt that some of your patients use social media, so it’s important to take advantage of this.

Aside from social media, and your online presence there are also other things you can do to improve the quality of your private practice, and ultimately improve trust.

3. Keep In Touch With Your Patients

In addition to being available to your patients online, follow up with them personally between visits.

Schedule a follow up call a short time after each appointment, to check in and answer questions that may have come up since their visit.

A phone call or personal email goes a long way in communicating to your patients that you are available for them when they need you.

Create a schedule for regular patient outreach, so as to ensure you touch base personally with every patient between visits and to make sure your patients keep their appointments.

Setting up a communication calendar in addition to this keeps you in regular contact with all your patients and can be as simple as sending out a weekly email newsletter.

Frequent communication reminds your patient that you are there, builds trust, shows that you value them as a patient, and demonstrates that you care.

4. Make Things As Simple As Possible

Over 80% of patients prefer to book online, rather than making a phone call to your office.

Your website can be more than just a marketing tool, it should be there for the convenience of your patients.

You can make life easy on your clients by setting up an online booking system, where patients can see available appointment times and make immediate bookings.

In addition to booking, refine the appointment process by providing online links to patient intake forms, so that they have access to these before their appointment.

Your patients will appreciate the efficiency of being able to book online and pre-register.

5. Ask For Feedback

Another important way to keep in touch with your clients is to dedicate a section of your website to patient feedback.

Allowing your patients to provide feedback is not only a good way to show them that you’re listening, but it also provides you with valuable insight into what your patients are looking for.

Don’t just wait for your patient to post a review, take a more proactive approach by creating a patient satisfaction survey for each person to fill out after an appointment.

Post positive feedback on your social media page, your website, or in printed flyers to use for marketing purposes.

If you get a good review, ethically ask your patient to refer friends.

If you’ve a website, a Google page, or a Facebook page, (and if you don’t, you should!) be sure to check the review section regularly, and respond to patient requests and comments.

6. Take Negative Feedback Seriously

It’s just as important, if not more so, to engage and deal with dissatisfied patients who provide you with negative feedback.

You may find it harder to initiate a conversation with your patient who shares a negative experience, but your patient who complains provides you the opportunity to fix the problem.

So, try to look at those providing negative feedback as one of your most valuable resources.

Your patient who complains is willing to let you find a solution, rather than just walking away.

If you resolve the issue, it’s possible your patient will be loyal to your business for life.

Negative feedback also identifies areas of weakness at your practice that may need improvement.

This is doubly important for online reviews.

Some people feel it’s best to ignore a negative review, but it is important to make sure you address these reviews to make sure you maintain your reputation.

Regardless of how good you are at what you do, there are bound to be people who are frustrated with their experience with you.

However, if you show openness, compassion, and a willingness to address your patients’ concerns, you can show others reading those reviews that you care about providing good service.

This brings us to our next point…

7. Above All, Deliver Excellent Service

Of course, all of these efforts will go to waste if you don’t put excellent service at the top of your list.

When we talk about good customer service, we often hear the term “exceeding expectations”.

The same is true in the world of private healthcare, where going above and beyond for your patient will set you apart from the competition.

Giving your patient the best experience possible when they visit your practice should be your number one priority.

From the moment they walk through the door, they should feel at ease, welcomed, and valued.

This begins with your staff.

You want to make sure you hire and retain the best staff possible.

Your front desk staff are the first point of contact for your patients, so take the time to hire and train them to be as accommodating as possible to every patient.

Check your website regularly and respond quickly to all requests, online reviews, or questions that come from your patients.

Make time to walk through the office regularly, looking at it through the eyes of your patients, making sure the office is presentable and designed to put your customer at ease.

Hire the right staff, from front office to the cleaning company, and your office will run to a high standard.

Contact Symbiosis To Start Your Own Private Practice Today

If you are looking to grow your private healthcare practice, Symbiosis can help.

From billing and back office systems to digital marketing and web presence to medical coworking spaces and more, we will connect you with everything you need to run your practice to a standard your patients will value.

Avoid the headaches and get back to dealing with what is most important to you, which is your patients.

Contact Symbiosis, and take your first step toward starting your own private practice today.

1331 H St NW Ste 200,
Washington, DC 20005

(202) 794-6820

Our Practice In A Box solutions take all the headaches out of opening and scaling your own private practice.

We provide the clinic medical coworking space, operations, management, and more.

Do what you do best – practice medicine – and leave the rest to us.

From start to finish, we make sure your business is ready and thriving. This is what makes Symbiosis the smarter choice.