Patient acquisition and patient attraction are usually what most health care practices focus on when trying to maximize ROI, but patient retention is a metric that often falls by the wayside. Retaining patients requires less time and money than attracting new patients, which is why it’s important that your medical marketing practice learns how to keep and satisfy existing patients.
Does your health care practice need help maintaining patients? Check out these five effective ways to improve patient retention for your medical practice.
1. Develop helpful content
Most patients only remember about 20 percent of what their doctors tell them during appointments. Keep existing patients informed by posting content that covers common health conditions and procedures they can do at home. For example, create videos that show patients how to clean and dress wounds, or write blog posts that offer nutrition and diet tips for those battling weight gain and diabetes. This helps prevent your patients from contacting another doctor or visiting another medical website to get health information.
2. Be more personal
Patients who pay for your health services don’t want to feel rushed or abandoned during appointments. Take time to be more personal with your patients, especially those you’ve met with several times. Spending time with your patients and showing you care goes a long way with patient retention. For instance, if a patient waits 15 minutes in the exam room, sit down and take a few moments to ask about her day and family before immediately moving on to the next patient.
3. Be more patient
As a health care professional, you may feel frustrated, irritated, and impatient with those who argue and object to your recommendations. Patients with heart disease may refuse to cut back on consuming steak and alcohol, while diabetic patients may argue that desserts and sweets make them feel better. In most cases, these patients lack health education, and need guidance and understanding to become healthier. Take time to explain your reasoning to patients, and to show them you’re compassionate and caring about their health and overall well-being.
4. Follow up regularly
Meeting new patients can be exciting, but there’s always a chance those patients may not return a second time. Their health issues may be resolved, but they could have had negative experiences at your health practice. Follow up with newer patients regularly to give them the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask questions. This also allows you to build rapport and strengthen your relationships with newer patients.
5. Address negative reviews
Negative reviews can have a bad impact on your medical practice, and may affect new patient acquisition. Before panicking or allowing anger to result in a negative response, take a few deep breaths and try to consider why your patient took time to write the review. Did your patient waste time and money doing business with your practice? Is your patient’s health still at risk? Focus on how you can resolve the situation, then respond to negative reviews in a way that shows the patient and other potential patients that you care about patient satisfaction, and about maintaining good patient-doctor relationships.
Does your health care practice need help improving patient retention? AGENCY H Inbound can help your medical practice develop inbound marketing strategies that lead to improved ROI and increased patient retention. Contact us today to receive a free assessment and to learn more about our medical marketing services.