Maximizing Patient Retention: 5 Tips for Chiropractors
How to Keep Patients From Cancelling Appointments
Getting new business can be hard, which makes keeping existing patients coming back crucial to your bottom line. Here are a few tips to keep your chiropractic patients coming back.
Chiropractic Patient Retention
No matter how much marketing you do, nothing compares to word of mouth recommendations from satisfied patients. The best way to maintain patients is by providing excellent care and service. You may think you are already doing that, but if your patient retention rate leaves something to be desired, there are strategies for patient retention you can use.
1. Stay in Touch
Keeping in regular contact with patients is one of the best ways to ensure they keep returning to your practice. Personalize the art of staying in touch by sending patients birthday greetings via email, or even better, send a birthday card through the mail. Newsletters sent electronically are another way to let your patients know what’s new in your practice and new in overall chiropractic care. Use social media to keep patients up-to-date and share articles of interest. When patients feel connected to your practice, they’re more likely to return. That connection makes you “their” chiropractor.
2. Keep Wait Times to a Minimum
No matter what type of care they seek, one of the major complaints patients have about doctors is long wait times. You may have experienced this in your own visits to physicians, having to wait an hour or more to see the healthcare provider. A patient’s time is valuable, and while most people are willing to wait for a short period of time beyond their scheduled appointment, when the wait period extends beyond 15 minutes or so, nerves begin to fray. Sometimes, the art of chiropractic patient retention is as simple as sticking to the schedule. Ideally, patients should not have to wait at all, but try to prevent them from waiting more than five minutes past their appointment time. Another benefit: When patients know they aren’t going to have a long wait time, they make sure to arrive at your office promptly.
There are times when that isn’t possible, but if you are running late, advising the patient ahead of time via phone, text or email is more than just a courtesy. Such actions let them know you respect their time and won’t unnecessarily waste it. If necessary, give the patient the option to change their appointment if the wait time is inconvenient. The right appointment scheduling software should allow you to send such alerts if the delay is significant. If patients perceive a professional doesn’t care about their time, they are more likely to find another provider who does.
3. Clarity in Communication
Do patients realize they must come back for continued treatment? This is an area where the practitioner must prove proactive. If a practitioner is not making it clear that patients must adhere to a certain treatment schedule, they have no one to blame but themselves when patients do not return. Never assume a patient knows this – spell it out by creating a patient care schedule at the first visit. Rather than a vague “you’ll need to come in twice a week for several weeks,” make sure the patient is scheduled for treatment before he or she leaves the office.
4. A Comfortable Setting
Provide your patients with a comfortable setting in both the waiting and clinic rooms. Painting rooms in soothing colors, attractive artwork, and comfortable seating helps patients relax. When they feel less anxious, not only does treatment tend to go better, but they may open up to you more about their condition and pain. Along with a comfortable environment, make sure your staff have the interpersonal skills to deal with patients. The front desk person is especially key. Like any healthcare provider, you offer a service for people needing some type of care. No one “likes” going to a doctor, so you must aim for creating the most positive experience possible for patients.
5. Chiropractic Scheduling Software
Top chiropracting scheduling software plays a huge role in successful patient retention. You want your check-in procedures as efficient and simple as possible. ChiroTouch chiropractic appointment software allows patients to check in with an iPad appointment scheduler, which also permits them to give subjective input that automatically goes into the subjective area of the provider SOAP notes. The chiropractic scheduling app includes an instant messaging system, so the chiropractor can communicate with the staff as to when the patient needs to be seen again, so the flow from examination to next appointment schedule is seamless. You also want chiropractic scheduling software that your staff can learn quickly because it is intuitive. That’s exactly what ChiroTouch offers, along with unlimited live support. Call us today and schedule a demo.