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June 19, 2023

Top Patient Retention Strategies You Need to Know About

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Dr. Shefiu Lanre Shittu

President of Daily Care Solutions

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In today's competitive healthcare landscape, retaining patients is more crucial than ever. With patients having numerous options, healthcare providers must prioritize implementing top patient retention strategies to ensure long-lasting relationships and a thriving practice. 

These strategies help secure your existing patient base and build a positive reputation, drive referrals, and, ultimately, increase revenue. In this article, we will explore the most effective patient retention strategies you need to know about and discuss the importance of incorporating them into your daily care resolution process to foster loyalty, enhance the patient experience, and maintain a successful healthcare practice.

Patient retention is the driving force behind successful healthcare practices.

Understanding your patients and responding to their needs is the most effective way to retain them. Establishing strong relationships with patients ensures they are satisfied with their care and remain loyal to your practice for years. Here are some top patient retention strategies:

Every Encounter Matters

Every encounter matters in the world of healthcare. It's essential to understand that fostering strong relationships goes beyond just the initial interaction or the direct involvement of the healthcare provider. 

Each encounter, whether with patients, referral sources from other healthcare practices, vendors, suppliers, or insurance company representatives, contributes significantly to the overall perception of your brand. Treating every interaction with utmost importance creates a positive and lasting impression on all parties involved. 

This approach enhances the patient experience and strengthens your internal marketing efforts. Building and maintaining strong connections with everyone you communicate with is crucial for the success and growth of your practice, as it ultimately shapes your reputation within the industry and helps establish trust in your brand.

A doctor checking a patients back

All Patients and Clients Deserve to Be Treated with Respect

Treating patients, clients, and their families respectfully is the cornerstone of any successful healthcare practice. Cultivating a culture of respect within your organization is vital, ensuring everyone feels valued and acknowledged, regardless of how busy the office environment may be. 

Patients, visitors, and family members should never feel like an intrusion or interruption; instead, they should feel welcomed and genuinely cared for at all times. By fostering such an atmosphere, you enhance the patient experience and encourage loyalty and trust in your practice. 

Your Job Is to Address the Needs and Concerns of Patients

Paying attention to patient needs is essential in providing top-notch healthcare services. You and your staff should prioritize listening to patients when they share their thoughts, issues, or worries—even if they seem trivial or beyond your control. Something as simple as empathizing with the long walk to and from the parking lot can demonstrate your genuine concern for their well-being.

Active listening not only helps to address immediate concerns but also underscores your commitment to providing personalized care. Acknowledging and addressing patient needs creates an environment of trust and understanding, ultimately leading to higher patient satisfaction and retention. 

Related: Healthcare Consulting: Benefits for Patients and Providers

Know That Obstacles Will Arise

Anticipating problems and obstacles is crucial to maintaining patient retention and ensuring the overall success of your healthcare practice. By staying proactive and identifying potential issues affecting your patients, you can address these concerns before they escalate, thereby preserving trust and satisfaction.

For instance, if many of your patients are employees of a specific company whose insurance plan is about to change, being aware of this information enables you to develop a proactive strategy to accommodate their needs. This might involve discussing alternative payment options, adapting your services to meet the new insurance requirements, or even collaborating with the company to provide additional support for their employees.

Taking such preemptive measures demonstrates your commitment to your patient's well-being and showcases your adaptability in facing challenges.

Handle the Schedule with Urgency and Importance

Staying on schedule is crucial to patient retention and maintaining a well-organized healthcare practice. While it's true that nobody's perfect and unforeseen circumstances can occasionally cause delays, consistently adhering to your schedule—or staying as close to it as possible—demonstrates your commitment to providing timely and efficient care. 

Long wait times can convey a sense of indifference, patient frustration, and dissatisfaction. 

Confirming appointments in advance is important. Sending reminders the day before an appointment serves as both good office administration and a courteous gesture, showing that you value their time. Moreover, providing patients with the opportunity to make last-minute changes, if necessary, is far better than losing them altogether due to scheduling conflicts. 

In the case of a missed appointment, reach out to the patient to apologize, explain the situation, and reschedule if possible. Doing so shows that you understand the importance of their time and are willing to go out of your way to ensure continuity of care.

A doctor and a patient having a discussion

Get Feedback from Your Patients

Surveying your patient base is an invaluable tool for identifying areas of improvement and addressing any issues contributing to a high attrition rate. By actively seeking feedback from your patients, you gain insights into their existing barriers, experiences, concerns, and expectations, allowing you to pinpoint specific problems that need to be addressed. 

Understanding the reasons behind patient dissatisfaction is the first step in implementing practical solutions, enhancing patient experience, and improving retention rates.

Regularly conducting patient surveys demonstrates your commitment to continuous growth and adaptability and your genuine interest in meeting your patients' needs, such as an increase in telehealth or apps that allow for easy access to services.

The feedback you receive can serve as a valuable roadmap for developing and implementing strategies that will keep your patients coming back—and telling their friends about your practice.

Related: Top Networking Strategies for Healthcare Providers

Plan Ahead

Establishing and utilizing a proactive recall system is an effective strategy for ensuring continued patient engagement and satisfaction. By scheduling the next appointment in advance, typically at the end of the current appointment, you demonstrate your commitment to providing ongoing care and addressing your patients' needs in a timely manner.

A well-designed recall routine should include multiple points of contact, such as phone calls, text messages, or emails, to remind patients of their upcoming appointments and any necessary preparations. This approach not only minimizes the chances of missed appointments but also reinforces the importance of regular check-ups and fosters a sense of accountability and responsibility among patients.

Reviewing and optimizing your recall system creates a seamless and efficient process that caters to your patient's needs while strengthening their connection to your practice. Ultimately, this proactive approach improves patient retention, health outcomes, and a thriving healthcare organization.

Let Daily Care Solutions Help You Increase Your Patient Retention

Daily Care Solutions is committed to helping you increase patient retention by offering a comprehensive range of services designed to enhance the overall patient experience. Our contracted hospital services provide hospitals with experienced practitioners, flexible staffing solutions, and quality assurance to ensure patients' needs are met efficiently and effectively. 

Additionally, our consulting services offer specialized guidance tailored to healthcare organizations, assisting them in achieving their goals, improving patient outcomes, and optimizing financial performance.

At Daily Care Solutions, we understand that the healthcare landscape is constantly evolving, and adapting to these changes is crucial for success. That's why we offer changing team solutions, providing flexible staffing options that can be customized according to your organization's specific requirements, expertise, and needs. By partnering with us, you can foster a thriving and sustainable healthcare practice.

Related: Medical Recruiting Strategies to Hire Better Talent

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Dr. Shefiu Lanre Shittu

President of Daily Care Solutions

Internal Medicine physician with over 10 years of experience in medical staffing solution. Completed medical education and residency in Columbia University. Provided expert oversight to private groups and hospitals. Contracted services organization and Take charge of establishing three hospitalist programs from inception to completion. Develop the scope of practice and negotiate contracts with other departments and specialties. Perform a wide range of tasks including contract negotiations, revenue cycle and human resource management, process improvement, and introduction of interdisciplinary rounding. Drove key efforts toward the reduction of cost of running programs by approximately 15-20%. Identified staffing needs while creating unique staffing plans for programs.

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