6 Best Practices for Keeping Patients on the Calendar
This article discusses 6 best practices for encouraging your patients to continue their chiropractic care:
- Begin retention efforts from day one.
- Use online scheduling.
- Send automated reminders and messages.
- Create a comfortable environment.
- Ask for patient feedback and testimonials.
- Use quality chiropractic practice management software.
Patient retention is important not only to your practice’s revenue stream but also to the health and wellbeing of your patients. Unfortunately, many patients are not sufficiently motivated to keep up with a regular care regimen.
Unless you make regular efforts to retain patients, they will inevitably drift away from care, make ill-advised decisions that they don’t need further treatment, or become alienated by a negative experience with your practice or staff.
It’s up to you and your staff to make it worth their while to stay on your calendar. In this article, we’ll discuss six ways your practice can do just that.
1. Begin Retention Efforts on Day One
From the day of a patient’s first visit, you should have a retention plan in mind. Be sure your patients understand right away the schedule of care you recommend for them. Sometimes patients don’t understand that most problems need more than one visit to fix.
To encourage your patients to prioritize their care, clearly present the entire treatment to them as a package of scheduled visits. Book their next visit before the patient leaves the office.
2. Offer Online Appointment Booking
These days, many people prefer to book appointments online, as it usually takes less time than phone calls. Letting patients book their own appointments lets them schedule, reschedule, or cancel appointments at their convenience.
When they are not restricted to the hours your office is open, they are more likely to keep their appointments, which reduces no-shows and lost revenue for you.
Online appointment scheduling is also convenient for providers. Chiropractors can easily book appointments from the treatment room, ensuring that patients will not forget to make their next appointment before leaving the office.
3. Use Automated Messaging Software
Missed appointments cost chiropractors an average of $3200 per month, so using automated messaging software is a good investment that can pay for itself in no time.
In a 2020 survey of chiropractic practices that we conducted through Tech Validate, 77% of respondents said that they were considering adding texting and emailing to their patient outreach efforts. Why? Because they work!
Messaging software is the perfect tool for email and text messaging. It allows you to send automated reminders that are set one time for the frequency you choose. They are then sent automatically before patient visits without any more effort by practice staff.
You can also use automatic messaging software to send personalized messages by text or email on birthdays, patient care anniversaries, or other important dates as a casual but meaningful way to show your patients that you care about them.
Patients who feel more connected to their practice or provider are more likely to prioritize their chiropractic care. These automated reminders and messages are an effective tool to foster that connection.
4. Create a Comfortable Environment
Are your waiting room and patient rooms attractive places that make people feel comfortable while they are waiting for their appointments? It doesn’t take much time, effort, or expense to paint the waiting room a soft color, play soothing music or nature sounds, and provide comfortable seating.
These touches will make patients look forward to coming to your office as an oasis from the outside world. It’s important to keep to your set schedule as much as possible, however, because long wait times may deter patients from coming back.
5. Ask for Feedback and Testimonials
Another way to retain patients is to ask them for regular feedback about the practice and their care. One reason patients discontinue their care is that they encounter something negative about the practice, the provider, or the staff.
Feedback can expose these negative experiences and give you or your staff a chance to make amends or make changes to your procedures to avoid alienating patients.
While no one wants to read negative feedback, it can be very helpful in uncovering common concerns among your patients and identifying areas where your practice can improve.
Positive feedback can be used to invite patients to leave reviews on social media or write testimonials you can post on your website. Reviews of this type are invaluable for bringing in new patients and retaining existing ones.
People like to read positive things about their healthcare professionals, and it makes them feel more connected when they do. It also reinforces their belief that they made a great choice when picking your practice.
6. Use Good Chiropractic Practice Management Software
We can’t overestimate the value of quality chiropractic practice management software to patient retention. The right software system streamlines paperwork and keeps patients from having to provide the same information each time they come to the office.
It can also maximize the flow of their visits, making their experience smooth and effortless, from check-in to check-out. The efficiencies the software provides for providers and staff result in shorter wait times and better care for patients.
Why Choose ChiroTouch?
ChiroTouch is the standard in chiropractic software. We have 12,000 loyal users, and thousands of them have been using ChiroTouch for over 20 years.
ChiroTouch’s completely integrated EHR and practice management software uses an all-in-one dashboard that makes all the information a chiropractic office needs available in one place, from one screen. This creates efficient workflows and empowers every role in the practice — front desk staff, chiropractic assistants, providers, and billers.
ChiroTouch also offers CT Engage, our patient engagement tool that lets you automate patient communications by email or text for increased productivity, efficiency, and profitability. You can quickly and easily set up appointment reminders, confirmations, and recall campaigns while reaching out to your patients in their preferred ways.
You can also invite patients to leave reviews after a visit, helping them feel more connected to you and your practice. With the innovative functionality of CT Engage, you can communicate with your patients in a modern way to save you time, reduce no-shows, and keep your patients informed and engaged, and maintain a positive online reputation.
Patient retention just got a lot easier. Our completely integrated chiropractic EHR uses cloud capabilities to allow you to communicate with and schedule patients from anywhere, anytime so they know they can count on a timely response from your practice.
Book a demo today and find out for yourself the difference that ChiroTouch can make for both your practice and your patients.
For More Information
We’d love to show you more of the many ways a ChiroTouch subscription can help you and your staff run a more efficient practice and customize your operations to run your practice your way. Book a no-obligation demo today to learn how we can help your practice be the best it can be.
Have a well-adjusted day!