If your patients are leaving your care, it is an immediate concern that must be addressed or before you know it, others will follow suit. Patient retention is often overlooked for patient acquisition, but without keeping your patients, your practice will never succeed.
Having loyal patients that return to receive your care will increase the lifetime value of each patient you acquire, allow you to increase revenue, and help you grow your practice consistently. If you know what to watch out for, you can exceed expectations and ensure patients remain loyal to your practice.
By unraveling the real reasons that cause patient retention problems, we’ll help you identify – and fix – weak points in your patient retention efforts. We will also present you with ways an impactful solution like NexHealth could be the answer that your practice is looking for. To help you keep patients onboard, we’ll cover:
- Why patients leave + the true impact of patient retention
- 9 reasons your practice is losing patients (+ solutions)
Let us begin by understanding what drives patients to choose another healthcare provider over you and how significantly it impacts your business.
Why patients leave + the true impact of patient retention
When there is a mismatch between your patient’s expectations and the services you promised to deliver, your patients will be forced to walk out. Regaining the trust of a dissatisfied patient is much harder than acquiring a new patient. Therefore it is extremely important that you have your processes in place from the get-go.
Even more importantly, finding a new patient is 25 times as difficult as retaining an existing patient. When you consider the marketing, engagement, and lead generation efforts, you’re looking at a lot of time and effort spent acquiring and onboarding new patients. To make sure you have a steady stream of revenue and your practice can grow, you’ll need to focus on patient retention just as much as you do acquiring new patients.
By focusing your efforts on retaining your existing patients, you are building a strong foundation for the future of your practice. Your happy and satisfied patients will act as your practice’s personal brand ambassadors, who will talk about their experience with your care which is more powerful than any other advertising method.
Practices that use NexHealth on an average retain 44% more patients. See how NexHealth can help you offer a great digital experience to your patients to keep them coming back!
9 reasons your practice is losing patients (+ solutions)
Healthcare today is no longer about just being treated by a great qualified doctor. Just like any other customer-facing business, your patients have a certain level of expectations that plays an important role in their overall satisfaction and your practice’s retention numbers.
Let us take a deeper look at why your practice is losing patients (and offer solutions to these problems!):
1. Inefficient front office
If your patients see your staff struggling to manage paperwork and appointments, as well as failing to provide a great experience when they are in the office, they are going to be concerned about the security of their health information and the overall quality of operations in your practice.
By equipping your staff with a powerful tool like NexHealth that allows them to stay on top of patient communication, eliminate repetitive tasks, and manage their day-to-day operations with ease, you are setting them up for success.
2. Long waiting period
Having a full schedule and a backlog to work through is a good problem to have, as it means you have a lot of patients interested in receiving care from you. However, the longer the wait period is for a future visit, the more likely patients are to look for other, more efficient services.
Instead of turning them away at the door, when you give your patients the option to register on a waiting list, you can be assured that they are not going to shop for another healthcare provider in the meantime. With NexHealth’s ASAP List feature, your patients are sent automated outreach messages in case of a cancellation that enables you to fill gaps in your calendar. Having a solution that saves time in day-to-day operations also ensures you can serve more patients in a day!
3. Poor patient relationship management
If your patients find themselves stuck facing too many barriers while interacting with your practice and not getting any resolution from your staff, then this will only build up their frustration. It is important that your staff understands the mindset with which your patient comes to your office to get their treatment and devise your relationship management strategy accordingly.
Relationship management starts from the day you onboard a new patient into your practice. At every step of their care journey, your actions must be a testament to the reason why they chose your care. With NexHealth, you have an easy-to-use solution that guarantees a superior patient experience that contributes to your retention efforts.
4. Treatment too expensive
The looming fear of visiting the doctor and the cost of the treatment that follows is one of the main reasons people avoid medical care. While this barrier is difficult to break, it is not impossible to overcome.
By offering easy monthly or quarterly installments for their treatment, you are giving your patients reassurance and hope that their treatment is affordable. Using NexHealth’s online payment feature, your patients get an automated text and email message to submit secure payments without the need to create any login credentials.
5. Limited communication means
Since communication doesn’t have a ‘one size fits all’ solution, you can’t expect all your patients to comply with the one type of method that you offer. While some patients may prefer booking their visits and can manage their calendars efficiently, some may not prioritize their health and will need a nudge to come back, and some others just prefer picking up the phone to talk to your staff.
As a practice, if you want to cater to everyone, you must offer multiple ways for your patients to get in touch with you so that nobody falls through the cracks. With NexHealth, you can offer HIPAA compliant two-way messaging to maximize your patient access.
6. No follow-up efforts
According to a study conducted by NexHealth, it costs 25 times more to acquire a patient than retain an existing patient, but as your patients have already experienced your care, you only have to convince them to continue their treatment with you. Since patients often struggle to prioritize their health, it is your responsibility to reach out and remind them to take care of themselves.
What you get with NexHealth is a ready-made recall strategy that sends out email and text reminders ahead of time to your patients. You can customize communication preferences for each patient, use the Smart Commands feature to auto-populate your practice name, patient name, confirmation number, and more to send out your communication, and build your reminder sequence to ensure that your patient shows up!
7. No appointment reminders
In the balancing act of managing personal and professional commitments, some meetings and appointments just get missed. While your patients may not think twice before rescheduling their missed visit, your business will feel the impact of your valuable time and money lost which could have been avoided if a timely appointment reminder was sent.
Since your patients rely on digital reminders for every other aspect of their daily life like meetings, dinner reservations, or travel, why wouldn’t they want this convenience for their healthcare appointments? With NexHealth’s appointment reminder software that automates your text and email reminders, you can decide the specific times and frequencies that allow you to gain full control over your schedule.
8. Limiting patient’s access to their health records
When it comes to their health, patients expect 100% transparency that allows for informed decision-making. While they trust your judgment as a healthcare professional, they may still want to see and understand the medical details of their diagnosis to be aware of the consequences on their health.
By sharing test results, charts, and other details with your patients, you gain their trust while having their health records all in one place. With the two-way integration that NexHealth offers, your practice management system gives you more visibility into the patient schedule, chart, and ledger.
9. Paying no heed to concerns
Patients are the most important stakeholders in your practice; giving them a voice loud enough to say something that they don’t like can help you tackle the issue before it gets out of hand. As a customer, if they feel like their concerns are going unheard, they will eventually leave your care and choose your competitor who picked up on what they wanted from your practice.
Recognizing that your processes will have to go through continuous improvement is the first step to taking timely feedback. NexHealth sends out automated surveys to your patients after their appointment that not only helps you understand how your practice and services are being perceived, but also positively contributes to Google, Facebook, and Yelp ratings.
Solve your patient retention problems with NexHealth!
When you get multiple touchpoints with your patients, it is easy to spot any dissatisfaction and make things right early on. By integrating NexHealth, your staff has the power to map out all communication with your patients, identify and fill any gaps, and play a pivotal role in fostering their long-term relationship with your practice.
Schedule a demo with NexHealth today to see your retention efforts come to fruition!