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Seven ideas to retain patients


Clinics often do not notice how their working conditions and various daily routines work against their efforts to attract new patients or keep current patients.

The patient experience can be affected even by the most insignificant drawback – after all, people often come to a doctor already under stress, because they have health problems. Therefore, the staff of the clinic should not aggravate the situation and complicate the solution of the patient's problems.


Below there are a couple of examples from personal experience.
 

The reception should be open and answer phone calls, especially during lunch breaks. Strangely enough, but not all clinics have realized this yet – we’ve called a small sample of clinics – and noticed that some clinics did not even have an answering machine so that the patient could leave a message at lunchtime.

The solvent patients are usually busy people who barely have time to go to the doctor, not to mention the need to repeat their calls and call back several times. Lunch break is the most convenient and affordable time for many working people.

According to the analysis of different clinics on the Internet, most of the negativity in the reviews concerns service in the clinic (politeness of staff, the speed of the reception, waiting time, etc.) but not the professionalism of doctors. On the basis of these data, we’ve collected a few simple ideas that will help you to avoid the described mistakes, keep your current patient and attract new patients.
  1. Provide easy access to the services of the clinic. Ensure that the patient can make an appointment within 1-2 days, ideally – on the same day.
  2. Make the working hours of the clinic flexible. Turn on late, evening or Saturday mode of work. Whether there is a time when you can provide services to patients, and your competitors "sleep"?
  3. Implement online systems to make an appointment. But they must be really working. The software for calendars and booking is becoming increasingly complex. Patients can use it at any time (24/7), as well as automate reminders and confirmations.
  4. Take care of the impeccable first impression of your clinic. Find one particular idea, personal trait or specific information about each patient and use them in conversation. Nothing warms the patient up more than personalization.
  5. Expand online communication "clinic-patient". Find useful ways to expand your presence on the Internet, and also look for additional, more convenient ways to communicate with patients through messengers or email.
  6. Do not let anyone wait. Minimize delays and waiting in the office and try to optimize any "unoccupied time".
  7. Look for additional points of contact with patients. Introduce the system of "courtesy calls" to patients after the appointment, write a personal thank-you note after visiting the clinic, send a checklist for medicines or treatment – for the convenience of the patient. One additional touch point supports communication and link to the patient.
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