Mapping and engaging patients at a higher and more insightful level involves developing an ongoing relationship where patient retention is crucial to keep this communication moving forward. With an abundance of both offline and digital choices, patients are always looking for rapidly increasing care delivery standards for enhancing their well-being.
With healthcare services taking a more patient-centric approach, consumers are becoming more expectant toward personalized, convenient, and self-choice experiences with their care delivery. To retain these patients, it is a necessity for healthcare businesses to up their patient engagement strategies to keep them loyal to your brand.
For implementing patient retention strategies, a splendid way to begin is by analyzing and benchmarking your current patient engagement modes. But before we dive into the strategies, let’s understand the basics of what is patient retention to enhance healthcare delivery.
Understanding the Fundamentals of Patient Retention
Belonging to the healthcare industry, many of us have asked, ” What is patient retention and how can we implement the strategies?” Patient retention, in simple terminology, means ensuring patients become loyal consumers and continue to ask for your business’s services indefinitely as long as medical and health care is required.
Losing patients is not an uncommon phenomenon. There is a variety of reasons why we lose patients and it involves factors like – switching to competitor healthcare services, becoming involved in their work rather than in their health, or moving their residence from your business service location. Some factors are out of control for business owners, but the major factors can be organized and controlled through effective and essential patient retention strategies.
Recent research shows that new patients are more likely to incline towards businesses with personalized healthcare marketing strategies when interactions are implemented. 35% of patients prefer a customized service when interacting with providers or medical professionals enhancing patient retention. Hospital and healthcare systems are building strategies to improve patient retention predicting the needs of patients that increase their engagement rate with your business. These patient retention strategies if placed correctly, can accordingly turn patients into long-term loyal consumers for your business and also increase your referrals.
Every patient interaction ranging from scheduling the first call, the appointment, treatment, follow-up, and revisits to your healthcare business is a strategy to implement positive impressions about your services and improve patient engagement and satisfaction rate. To maximize patient retention for your organization, let’s take a look at the various patient strategies you can implement to enhance patient engagement.
Patient Retention Strategies to Maximize Healthcare Business Loyalty
Healthcare businesses need to stay competitive in the market to capitalize on the services they offer. Patient retention remains a top priority to stay relevant in this sector to maintain brand loyalty and patient engagement. Let’s take a look at a few patient retention strategies to help with patient journey mapping for the future of your business.
Improvements in Communication
Patient-provider communication works as one of the strongest bonding factors for piloting patient satisfaction goals. When patients interact with providers, the care team in the hospital and health systems or patient care support is required to have proper communication derivatives set in place. Poor communication drives patients away and discards their loyalty to businesses if they receive subpar care experiences. Ensuring that your team has the right information and proper methods to relay these messages to resolve patient concerns in an empathetic way.
Patient-Provider Interactions in between Visits
A very prominent healthcare marketing strategy is to integrate practices that connect with patients and provide interactions beyond the healthcare walls. According to a study conducted on patient-provider interaction, a large number of doctors offering patients over 15 minutes of face-to-face interaction and communication have higher patient retention. In-office visitations can help integrate patient education regarding their health and treatment choices, and as a business, you can practice differentiating various interactive ways to communicate with patients in between follow-up visits. Sending customizes healthcare tips and updates can help to empower patients in taking control over their care and treatment.
Simplifying the Process of Appointment Booking/Scheduling
Integrating digital healthcare technologies can improve patient retention by allowing patients to book or schedule appointments through your website or mobile applications. Data management health care can be provided through digital appointment scheduling systems that enable patients to book appointments at any given time. Automated text messages or emails for confirmation and reminders can help in reducing appointment cancellations and no-shows.
Developing Professional Websites and Mobile Applications
Around 80% of patients look for healthcare or medical information via online platforms. Retention in healthcare data portrays the significance of having a digital presence for healthcare practitioners. Developing and creating a customized website and/or mobile applications with important and meaningful healthcare information is a go-to for patients. Your website will act as an adequate resource for patient retention and provide necessary information for patients.
Efficiently Addressing Long Wait Times
Experiencing an extended wait time during appointments can affect patient retention levels. When you have a shorter wait span, the patients are exponentially satisfied with your services. Utilizing automatic appointment scheduling and reminder methods helps to keep patient retention efficient and reduce cancellations or abrupt appointment no-shows.
Conducting Patient Survey
After patients have visited your business, integrating post-visit surveys enables you as a business owner to capture the concerns patients may have about their experience or how satisfactory the appointment was with the health practitioner. Be respectful of patients’ feedback and address any negative responses immediately. Patients are always looking towards improved patient experiences with their suggested feedback.
Improving Digital Presence and Managing Online Reputation
Having a positive reputation across digital platforms impacts patient retention and improves acquisition rates for your healthcare delivery services. Showing proactiveness via encouraging patient feedback and monitoring or responding to reviews by patients across social media channels and doctor review websites can help you improve your care delivery services. Patients always prefer choosing providers with online reviews and other patient experiences.
Healthcare Marketing Strategy to Peak Patient Interest
Implementing healthcare marketing strategies comes with maintaining best practices supported by HIPAA requirements. Having a social presence encourages patients to follow your platforms and that helps to build patient trust. By focusing on this healthcare marketing strategy, you can figure out the patient’s interests, problems, and feedback. Implementing their interests can help to improve patient retention.
Reaching Out During Overdue Patient Visits
It is always appreciated that a necessary extra step is taken to reach out to patients who have missed an appointment or were expected for a follow-up meeting. This determines patient retention strategies at an all-time high when businesses remember to send out simple and brief appointment reminders that are needed and duly appreciated.
Implement Telehealth Platforms Ensuring Higher Patient Retention
Having an integrated telehealth approach has seen a rise in patient retention, especially during the time of the pandemic. Patients with chronic illnesses or certain impairments found teleconsultation to be a great way to keep in touch with their providers at any point in time. This has enriched patient retention and improved business loyalty due to the digital presence provided by healthcare organizations.
Patients want healthcare organizations and health systems that acknowledge their requirements and provide a more frictionless care experience. Moreover, patients want a customized and tailored experience that caters to their requirements. That’s where you implement the expertise of Mobisoft Infotech where we take into consideration the patient journey mapping. We always take into account patient experiences across their journey and better ways to provide healthcare data management solutions that help patients make better decisions.
Dr. Kedar has more than 12 years of experience in the healthcare domain. She advises Mobisoft Infotech in healthcare-related matters.