Achieving Better Retention and Patient Satisfaction

Achieving Better Retention and Patient Satisfaction

Thriving successful practices have mastered the challenges of patient and client retention.

A question that needs to be asked, answered and fully understood is “Where does patient or client retention start?”

The truest and most simple answer is the point when the patient is procured!

You could say that patient procurement and patient retention are two sides of the same coin.

Let’s delve into this in a bit more detail.

Let’s delve into this in a bit more detail…

A practice, in essence, has a systematic way of obtaining patients, receiving patients, treating patients and collecting payment for services rendered.

In amongst all of this is the human element or the patient or client themselves. This is where the complexities of patient retention begin and end.

The Key Points That Determine Patient Retention.

How a Clinic addresses the human element is really the crux of succeeding in the challenges of patient retention.

Always keep in mind that underlying retention and patient satisfaction issues are usually issues with service, delivery, and the interaction with the staff.

There are several key points in any practice that determine the outcome of patient retention. This applies to new patients as well as existing patients. These are as follows:

  • Overall Clinic Environment and General Staff Interaction with the Patients
  • Front Desk – Patient Arrival
  • Patient Prep
  • Physician Interaction
  • The Front Desk – Patient Departure
  • Interim Period – The Time After the Patient Leaves Until the Time They Return.
  • Dealing with Patient Upsets

Each of these elements, when properly set up and organized, will lead to a higher degree of patient satisfaction and will result in better retention and better reviews.

In the next article, there will be some tips and strategies to help improve patient retention and treatment satisfaction.

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Nuts and Bolts of Obtaining Client Retention

This article is a continuation of Achieving Better Retention and Patient Satisfaction. If you haven’t done so yet, we recommend reading the first article to get a better context when reading this one.

This article will discuss some of the general aspects and strategies that will help the clinic achieve better retention and patient satisfaction.

Dealing with Upset Patients

Are there clear strategies, procedures and precise policies in place to deal with patients who are upset or dissatisfied with some aspect of the clinic or the service they received?

Is there a person in the clinic who is trained on these policies and designated to handle upset patients?

Staff that come into direct contact with patients should be trained to recognize bad indicators of patients and deal with them in accordance with clinic policies. This is particularly important to address before the patient leaves.

Is there a private place in the clinic where an upset patient can be consulted?

Are Surveys Being Used?

Perhaps the single most important tool to improve the patient experience is the survey.

This often overlooked but powerful tool, when used properly, can determine the exact course of action to take to directly improve retention and improve other aspects of the practice.

The use of surveys in a practice can also result in creating better promotional response in the acquisition of new patients. Other beneficial information can be derived from the use of surveys.

New and existing patients should be surveyed.

The actual subject of creating surveys and surveying is a rather involved technology. The entire subject of surveys would be impossible to cover in this article.

Ideally, there should be someone in the clinic who has at least a basic working knowledge of technology of surveying.

Manners Matter

There is much more to manners than just being polite. This is very important, but there may be other factors to consider on the subject of clinic manners.

Are patients being communicated to in a way that makes them feel understood and acknowledged?

Be Aware of and Sensitive to Personal Beliefs and Concerns

Treat each patient as the unique individual they are. Every patient likes to be made to feel special and important.

Be sensitive to patients who may have particular customs, beliefs and ideas about medicine and treatment.

Develop a culture in the clinic of compassionate care, patient importance and service orientation.

It would be very wise for a clinic to discover the demographic nature of their patient and client base.

Patient questionnaires and surveys can be used to discover any important information in this regard.

All of these things done should add up to a patient who feels that they are important and appreciated.

Who knows, in addition to good retention maybe the clinic will also get rave reviews to boot!

Questions? Ask the Editor.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this article, please feel free to submit them below. Our editors speak with professional doctors like yourself every day. They would be delighted to hear from you.

[ Video ] Your Google and Yelp Reviews

NOTICE: This training video is intended for: Dental, Veterinary and Optometric practice owners.

Just In! Just in! What did Dr. Marlene Siegel, DVM of Pasco Veterinary Medical Center have to say about our assistance?

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