Patient experience is something that is often overlooked. Typically, the clinics with the most patients walking through the doors are more focused on patient experience than referrals.
If your patient experience is great, referrals will follow. Word of mouth has a huge impact on your practice.
You are great at handling patient load and treating your patients, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Patient experience. This starts BEFORE your patients arrive! Think about how a patient may have heard about you. Someone (online, a consumer, or a physician) told them about you, that’s why they called your office to make an appointment.
How did their conversation with the receptionist go? Do they understand their plan of care and the value of your treatment? Did they have any trouble finding your clinic? What was their impression of the appearance of your clinic? Did the front desk staff greet him/her with a smile?
One thing could ruin a patient’s experience at your clinic and cause them to find another therapist or just stop going to therapy altogether. According to this blog from Clinicient, 50% of patients don’t fully complete therapy, resulting in a 40% loss of revenue for clinics.
It’s so important to make sure your patients are comfortable and happy at your clinic. Additionally, patients are more receptive to treatment when they understand their plan of care and see the value in receiving treatment from you the PT. Explain why YOU can give them the best care and show them you will help them heal.
Your entire team can make a difference during the patient experience process. There are 4 crucial things you need in your practice to improve patient experience.
Offering products in your private practice is a great way to help your patients and boost your revenue. Now, you don’t need to be pushy or salesy to be great at selling products. When you see a patient that could benefit from a certain product, offer it! Then thoroughly explain how to use it and the benefits of the product. Don’t push anything to your patients they don’t want or need.
Your patients might be looking for additional products anyway, and many will appreciate the convenience of purchasing right there after an appointment and taking it home right away.
Make sure your entire staff is knowledgeable about the products you offer and can assist any patients that may be interested in purchasing.
Products create more value for your patients, your team and your bottom line.
We all use technology in our practices one way or another, but there are some specific ways you can use it to improve patient experience.
Some of these useful tech tools include email, text messaging, tablets and video chatting. Check out this blog from WebPT for more tips on using technology to improve patient experience.
Here are some ideas for using email, text, iPads and Skype:
- Email: All new patients have a bit of paperwork to fill out and this can slow everyone down before an appointment. Send an email to your patients with a link to an online form. Give your patients the opportunity to complete their paperwork before their appointment at their convenience.
- Text messaging: Text is great for appointment reminders. This ultimately cuts down on appointment no-shows.
- Tablets: iPads, for example, can be used in your clinic for patients to fill out paperwork electronically and quickly sign in for an appointment.
- Video chatting: Video chatting (Ex. Skype) is helpful among clinical staff as well as between a therapist and patient. Often the front desk is busy, and the receptionist needs to communicate with a therapist. Rather than getting up and walking away from the desk, the receptionist can Skype the therapist from the desk and communicate quickly. Video chatting is also great for therapists to communicate with a patient at home. The therapist can give the patient information regarding therapy or help in an emergency situation via video.
#3 Value-adding Services
Value-adding services can be offered once a patient has graduated from therapy. This is a good way to retain patients and provide additional services, bringing in additional revenue.
You don’t have to say goodbye to your patient, say, “Congratulations on graduating therapy! You would also benefit from one of our wellness programs, would you like to try them out?”
Provide a boxing class or a yoga class for your patients. Your patients already trust you and will be willing to try other programs to maintain their health.
“Value-added services eventually prove their effectiveness by increasing patient satisfaction, customer loyalty, and revenues,” (WebPT).
You can’t beat that!
#4 A Rock Star Front Desk
The front desk staff makes the BIGGEST impact on patient experience. It is a much more valuable position than most think. To learn more about how the front desk can improve patient experience, click here.
In short, the front desk manager or admin manager is an important role in your organization because he/she controls everything from start to finish. The first voice your patients hear, the first face they see and the last goodbye they make on the way out.
Have you ever walked into an office for an appointment and it was obvious the receptionist you first encountered was “inconvenienced” by your presence, or maybe he/she was having a bad day? Either way, you likely felt uncomfortable right away, perhaps, giving you a negative view of the office you were in. Not a good start.
Don’t let that happen in your practice! Train your front desk staff to be friendly, inviting and knowledgeable on individual treatment plans and product knowledge. In fact, did you know there are 5 Success Tips for Client Care Specialists every FYZICAL center uses for every single call?
Proper training for your front desk staff will lead to better patient retention.