How To Attract & Retain Patients At Your Medical Practice
You’ve just opened a new private medical practice and you’re looking forward to meeting all your new patients. Of course, you want to make sure that you will see these patients again, so it’s very important to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Look professional: One of the first things that new patients will notice is the way your staff are dressed. For a clean and professional look, you should choose high-quality scrubs for all your healthcare staff. This makes patients feel confident because they can easily recognize members of staff in their professional capacity. Not all scrubs are made equal. It’s worth paying a little extra for scrubs that are comfortable and resilient. Whatever color combination or motif you are looking for you can find it from Careisma Scrubs.
Waiting room only: Your waiting room is just that, so make it as comfortable as possible for your patients. Paint the walls in subtle, soothing shades and use lighting that doesn’t glare. Make sure the temperature is ambient without being uncomfortably warm. Provide ergonomic seating such as chair wedges, specially shaped cushions or ball chairs. This will greatly help patients who have difficulty sitting in static positions. Mount a television on which you can show cable network or informative health videos if you choose.
Tailor your services: Offer medical services that cater to your target patient. For example, if your practice is focused on helping patients regain and maintain a healthy weight, you could host a weekly weight-loss support group. You could also offer monthly information meetings hosted by other healthcare professionals such as a nutritionist, fitness expert or yoga instructor talk about the services they provide.
Promote patient engagement: The idea of patient engagement stems from the realization that patients themselves are important stakeholders in their health care and can provide valuable input for helping improve the quality of health care practices. This means encouraging them to make choices about their health care and keeping them informed of the latest treatment options.
Make the most of technology: This will make scheduling appointments much easier. There are many HIPPA compliant software programs out there, which provide platforms for electronic medical records. They also have email encryption services, enabling you to answer patient queries by email as and when needed. You can also keep patients informed through social media.
Remain flexible: Aspects within the field of healthcare are constantly changing. New technologies are emerging at a rapid pace. Be prepared for changes in health insurance and reimbursement rates. Keep abreast of current and projected trends. A practice that can evolve with the times will be a popular and successful practice.
Bring in the cleaners: Take a good look at your waiting room and examination rooms. Are they really clean? Often the cleaning is included in the price, which also means you may only get the bare minimum. Hiring your own cleaning team might be a better option, so you can rest assured that the job is being done properly.
Be personable and polite: You should also be aware of how your members of staff interact with patients, and make sure they are being courteous at all time. Take some time to listen to how they answer patients’ questions. Do they listen carefully when a patient is speaking? Does the receptionist answer the phone in an appropriate manner? The behavior of your staff will significantly affect patient retention, so make sure it does so in a positive way.
Avoid clutter: Make sure counters in the exam rooms are tidy. Use containers to organize items that you need to have close to hand. Keep the waiting room tidy; keep magazines in a central location. Try to avoid taping paper signs on the walls of your practice. Patients gradually stop reading them if there are too many. If you do need to present some information, think about an electronic photo frame with a slideshow of messages.
Promote your practice: Make sure that the entrance to your practice is clearly marked so that new patients know that they’re in the right place. Put a welcome sign in the entrance so that patients are engaging with your marketing practices as soon as they walk through the door. Train your front desk staff to greet patients as they enter.
Setting up a new practice can initially be daunting, but don’t be put off. Visit other medical practices in your area and get a feel for how they are run. This will give you ideas of what to do and what not to do.
Daisy Bailey is a practitioner manager. Always seeking to be the best and create the best for patients and staff, Daisy shares her thoughts and tips on what must be done from decor to professionalism.