4 easy ways to retain patients at your medical practice

Whether you’re a doctor, dentist or medical specialist, it’s important to ensure that your patients are satisfied and will continue to come to your practice. If you’ve had a concerning number of customers leave your business, you might want to make some changes to increase your retention rate. Use these four easy steps to provide a great experience for your patients.

1. Multiple appointment reminders
Sometimes your patients might be missing their appointments simply because they forgot. Most medical practices hand out appointment cards as their customers leave, but it’s easy to misplace these reminders. Physicians Practice suggested that healthcare providers remind patients of their upcoming appointment by phone a few days in advance. This will make sure the visit in fresh in your customer’s mind and will allow him or her to cancel if need be. Another way to ensure your patients don’t forget their appointments is to give them Health Mate Duo Pocket Pal Calendars where they can write it down. These convenient planners are easy to customize with your practice name, address and contact information. With one of these in their bag, your patients will never be scrambling to find your phone number.

2. Welcoming staff
Simple customer service procedures can get overlooked when your staff are busy, but creating a welcoming atmosphere is crucial for your practice’s success. Put together a list of policies that all of your employees should be following with each and every patient. This includes being professional and courteous on the phone, keeping the waiting area and exam rooms neat and greeting all patients as they come in. Physicians Practice recommended that receptionists offer each visitor a bottle of water and ask if the patient has any questions about the paperwork or their appointment. While it may not be possible for busy offices, it’s a good idea to remove the glass divider between the office staff and waiting room. It’s a common practice that can often alienate patients and make them feel like they’re not welcome.

3. Birthday and holiday cards
Remembering your patients’ birthdays is an easy way to show you’re personally invested in their care. Order some inexpensive cards, like the Happy Birthday Candles Corporate Greeting Cards, and make it part of the receptionist’s duties to send them out each week. In small offices, the physician, nurse and receptionist can all sign the card with birthday wishes. This practice will only take a few minutes out of the work week, but can go a long way toward keeping customers happy. Another good idea is to send out cards during the holiday season. It’s easy to order custom greeting cards with the practice information, and they will often remind patients that they are overdue for a visit. Staying in touch with your customers will help create a strong relationship that will lead to continued patronage.

4. Open communication
Many patients get upset when there is a long waiting time at the doctor’s office or when new policies are implemented. Keeping lines of communication open is the best way to avoid these problems. Office staff should inform customers if there’s going to be a substantial wait and offer to reschedule in the case of any time conflicts. Additionally, whenever the practice changes its policies or procedures in a way that will affect patients, send out a courtesy letter or email detailing the switch. Most importantly, doctors should make a point to thank their patients after each visit or phone call. Expressing your gratitude for their time and commitment will help to keep customers satisfied and coming back to your practice.

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