Patient Retention: The Golden Grail

A high retention rate depends on planning and setting clear expectations like the feeling you get when enjoying fine cuisine at a 5 Star lakeside restaurant on a clear sunny day.  This includes offering the best possible service, as well as, a good working long term relationship. In the end, you will be measured on performance in every area.

  • In-house brochures, posters, and before and after portfolios help broaden awareness of other procedures offered within the practice. In fact, in elective medicine these tools can be very effective as one study has demonstrated. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that 34% of U.S. patients who underwent plastic surgery had more than one procedure. Informing waiting room patients about procedures with posters and brochures creates awareness for a new procedure that you have the ability to assist with.
  • A proper hand-off is one of the most important steps an office can make to further instill that the physician will be alongside the patient for the long term. When escorting the patient from the operatory to the checkout desk, the assistant can give a quick refresher about what occurred during the appointment in a motivating way and what needs to occur next. HIPAA rules apply, so patient privacy must be maintained at all times. The assistant can ask also ask “Did you tell anyone you were coming here today?” and “What did they say?” These questions can serve as a reminder to the patient to let who they told know about the appointment, which allows the patient themselves to reinforce their great experience with the practice. This process may prompt a referral and can also lead to prompting thought about another procedure.

Beginning conversations with an approach of genuine care and concern sets the expectation that you are your patient’s partner in care. Excellent communication skills can go a long way towards patient retention. .   Reminding your patients about what you know about them personally lets them know you are their friend.   Package your practice, your presentation and every interaction with precision and excellence. By committing to this level of service, your patients will feel they can speak with you openly and you can stand above your competitors.

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