Keeping a valued patient is easier than attracting new ones, but chiropractors are often mystified about how to target patient retention in a sustainable way that leads to steady growth of the practice. Some try pampering patients into coming back while others try instilling fear about what will happen if they don’t come back. But most patients can see through such tactics, while also being fully aware that they have many other doctors to choose from. Here are 3 unsung tips for increasing patient retention:
Patients are much more likely to stay loyal when they sense that their chiropractors care for them on a personal level, not just as a paying patient. If they don’t feel a connection with their doctor or perceive clear ways that the doctor cares about them, they’re more likely to shop around just like they would for any other service.
In fact, an article in the New York Times reported that studies have shown for decades that doctors are sued less often if they ask their patients about their lives while also taking the time to educate them about their care. It all comes down to the personal touch, and if you read any online reviews of doctors you’ll see that it carries through to recommendations and referrals as well.
Those online reviews and recommendations are like gold, too. An astonishing 90% of consumers report that they read online reviews before choosing a product or a service like chiropractic care. And 88% of consumers say that they trust online reviews from people they don’t know just as much as word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends.
It’s no secret that patients don’t want to waste time waiting to first be checked in, and then waiting some more to be called back to the adjusting room. But this isn’t only because they feel like they’re wasting time. It’s also because they feel powerless to do anything that might speed the process up.
But when patients have action steps to take in the check-in and call-back process, they feel like they actually play a role in the pace of the appointment. If a practice uses an EHR system with an electronic patient kiosk, patients are able to quickly sign in by simply swiping a health card at an electronic kiosk in the waiting area rather than waiting for a staff member to check them in.
They are then automatically called back to the adjusting room, where they’re prompted to answer questions about their level of pain or loss of function on a computer screen. This action step completes the subjective information for the doctor’s SOAP notes, which saves both the patient and doctor even more time.
Sure, most chiropractors are aware when a long-time patient suddenly fails to schedule appointments. However, they might not have a clear picture of exactly how many patients are staying or leaving on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Not having a clear understanding of the actual retention and attrition numbers is a costly oversight. Chiropractic practices simply must monitor retention rates on a regular basis.
Platinum’s EHR software has a Reports and Statistics tool that quickly shows how many new patients came in during any time period, how many didn’t show for appointments, and how many are leaving without making a new appointment. This information is vital for tracking the overall growth—or decline—of a practice in the short and long term.
Chiropractors are often surprised by the numbers when they use the reporting tool and learn, for example, that 25% of patients aren’t showing up for appointments. But they can then act on that information by tightening up scheduling and follow-up practices.
Connecting with patients, involving them in a more efficient check-in and call-back process, and proactively monitoring retention rates are all vital practices for investing in improving patient loyalty.
Platinum System offers Chiropractic software that works the way you do, and consistently earns five star reviews for customer service. To see how Platinum System EHR software works, view this simple step-by-step chart. You can also view our free online demo to see how our tools can help you grow your practice.
To discuss how Platinum System might serve the unique EHR and billing needs of your practice, contact us online, or call us at 888-808-4898.
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