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In some places, society has largely reopened from pandemic-mandated closures, and people are returning to some or all of their normal activities, including in-person chiropractic appointments.
However, some areas are still experiencing significant spread of the virus, and people are clearly more hesitant to have close contact with others.
We conducted a survey of chiropractors in July 2020 to learn more about its effects on patient relations. We discovered that while 94% of chiropractors remained open during this time, the biggest challenge they faced was reduced patient visits because of fearfulness.
While the digitizing of business functions started long before the pandemic began, these factors have caused it to accelerate greatly in the past year. The realities of living with fearfulness and social distancing have caused many people to embrace contactless, electronic ways to get things done from home.
And it looks like some aspects of the digital growth trend are here to stay. If you haven’t made the big leap yet, read on for tips that will smooth your transition to a digital practice.
You may have adapted already by turning to telehealth visits for the purposes of educating patients, advising them on how to be safe, and giving them exercise routines they can do at home.
But some patients are likely to continue to prefer the convenience of healthcare from home.
Many healthcare experts believe that telehealth is going to continue to be popular. While there are obvious limitations to telehealth use for chiropractors, it can be useful even when it’s no longer necessary. There are many services that chiropractors can provide remotely, including:
Since even prior to the pandemic, many people have become accustomed to using the internet to do almost everything. Ironically, as smartphones are able to serve an almost limitless number of purposes, many people don’t often use their phones to make phone calls.
We’ve learned that we can use emailing, texting, and the internet to get more accomplished in less time than when we pick up the phone to actually talk to someone.
Online appointment booking is another recent convenience that people have come to expect, and for the same reasons. No recorded menus to work through, no waiting on hold, and no long conversations — in short, no wasted time.
Recent market research found that online appointment scheduling reduces no-shows and is a must for businesses that want to stay competitive. In addition, health and wellness is the most popular type of service for people who use online appointment booking.
If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this: the same survey revealed that 58% of healthcare providers use online booking.
In the end, the easier you make it for your patients to make appointments, the more likely they will be to choose you rather than another practice.
Savvy practices will also make electronic payment options available to their patients. Giving patients a choice of how they’d like to pay makes it more likely that you will be compensated for services at the time of visit.
Digital payment methods also allow patients on payment or membership plans to authorize automatic payments.
Making payment as easy as possible for patients increases your chance of getting paid on time, which reduces costs and increases revenue.
Your practice needs a good electronic communication system to keep in touch with your patients before, after, and between visits.
Reaching out is especially important for those patients who are not yet comfortable returning to in-person healthcare appointments, but it’s always important to keep your practice top-of-mind with your patients between visits.
Practices who stay in touch with their patients with texts or emails can see substantial improvements in patient retention and brand-building.
In the survey mentioned above, we learned that more chiropractors than ever before are using emailing (52%), social media (52%) and texting (43%) to stay in touch with their patients.
It’s clear that a good patient communication system is more important than ever.
The right chiropractic practice management software is the single most important upgrade you can make to digitally transform your practice. A chiropractic electronic health record (EHR) can pay for itself with cost, time, and staff efficiencies a paper-based office simply can’t compete with.
Your digital practice can give both staff and patients online alternatives that are faster, easier, more convenient, and more cost effective for you.
Be sure to choose a system that’s designed specifically for chiropractors. The right system will integrate all practice functions so that your practice’s systems will work together to create a smooth patient experience from check in to check out.
At the same time, it will streamline practice functions for all roles in your practice: chiropractors, chiropractic assistants, front desk staff, and billers.
When you’re ready to upgrade to an electronic chiropractic practice management system and chiropractic EHR, ChiroTouch is your best choice. We designed ChiroTouch specifically for chiropractors and for any type of practice — individual or multi-provider, cash or insurance.
It’s also perfect for the practice just starting out, and it grows with a practice that is still expanding. It’s an all-in-one system that maximizes efficiency for everyone in your practice, by integrating all office functions, from scheduling to billing.
Here are just a few ways that ChiroTouch can help with the digital transformation of your practice:
A ChiroTouch subscription includes several mobile apps that let patients and staff perform tasks using iPads from anywhere in the office. These mobile apps result in convenience that improves the patient experience as well as savings in time and expense for your practice.
For example, patients can use CTSignIn to check themselves into the office for visits on any device. CtIntake allows them to fill out intake forms electronically. Patient information is then automatically transferred to the EHR for immediate access to everyone in the practice.
In a recent TechValidate survey of ChiroTouch users, 57% of respondents saw improvements in their patient flow with CTIntake. That translates to more time with patients and increased revenue for your practice.
Patients can schedule, cancel, or reschedule appointments online through CTAppointments. Staff members can automate reminders to make or reschedule appointments as well as remind patients of upcoming appointments automatically. Patients can select whether and how often they want to be reminded when they have an appointment.
Did you know that the average practice loses $3200 a month due to missed appointments?
With CTInTouch, you can set up automatic appointment reminders to reduce that burden. But that’s not all CTInTouch can do; it’s a powerful patient communication tool that your practice can use to keep in touch with your patients.
You can use CTInTouch to schedule manual or automated text or email messages to individuals or groups of patients. You can set up messages to send automatically to patients who have missed an appointment, asking them to reschedule.
You can invite patients who have been inactive for a specific period of time to come back to regular care. You could also use it to send practice announcements, such as a reassurance to all your patients that your office is taking appropriate COVID precautions to keep them safe.
CTInTouch is also useful for sending birthday messages or automatic invitations to request social media reviews after patient visits. Messages like these between visits are good business; they keep your practice top of mind for your patients.
ChiroTouch also offers CTPayments, a service that stores payment information and lets you text or email links so patients can pay online. Patients can opt to automatically debit their credit cards or checking accounts. You can also set up automatic payments for patients on payment or membership plans. You can even request an online deposit prior to a patient visit.
What’s more, all payments are immediately posted directly into the patient ledger.
CTPayments quickly pays for itself by dramatically reducing unpaid visits and costly collection services.
ChiroTouch can do all of this and so much more to help your practice go digital. (Think insurance claims management, 15-second SOAP notes, and more.) We offer all of this along with the best training and support in the industry.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients have come to prefer the conveniences digital healthcare affords them. Don’t be left behind. Digital practices are fast becoming the norm, at least in part because of patient demand. If your practice doesn’t adapt, you may lose patients to those who do.
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We’d also love to show you more of the many ways a ChiroTouch subscription can help you and your staff run a more efficient practice. 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!