5 Ways to Improve Patient Retention Rates in the Digital Age
March 12, 2020
As we enter 2020, providers are struggling now more than ever to maintain their patient retention rates. Millennials are transitioning into a stage in life where finding a quality physician is important to them. The problem that many providers are running into is that what is important to the upcoming generations is not the same as what is important to the ones that came before them. Contributing factors like the digital age of technology and the impact an online presence has on a practice are causing many patients to search for providers who understand what they want. Keep reading to understand how to improve your patient retention rates amongst these new realities in healthcare.
Patient trust is one of the top contributors to improving patient retention rates in today's environment. When a patient does not trust their physician, they are less likely to remain compliant with their treatment plans and they feel more inclined to search for another provider. Your practice can improve patient retention rates and patient trust by communicating with them openly and with compassion, answering all of their questions directly, and providing every opportunity to stay involved in their care. Providers can also improve patient trust by keeping patients updated on what's happening at your practice and how your practice interacts with the community.
2) Patient Portal
The patient portal is the number one tool for patient engagement in 2020. Patients are eager to understand their care and avoid health concerns if possible. Offering a patient portal will improve patient retention rates by giving your patients access to their medical history and up to date health information so they can stay in the loop. It is also the quickest way to contact their physician should they have any questions. With quality software, physicians can quickly respond, improving patient trust and patient engagement to better their overall healthcare experience.
3) Intelligent Intake
Intelligent intake may not seem like the obvious method to increase patient retention rates at your practice, but it is one of the many ways to give patients what they want in the digital age. Intelligent intake enables patients to check-in and complete their forms from a computer at home or at the office on a tablet. This enables them to input the most accurate information directly into their chart, available to update at any time. This helps your patients stay involved in their care process while also improving the integrity of patient data and reducing wait times.
4) Improve Online Presence
A provider's online presence is everything in 2020. If you have a negative online presence, you will find it hard to improve your patient retention rates. Younger patients go straight to the internet to find reviews on physicians in their area and determine who is the best fit for them. This is also where angry patients turn to if they have a poor experience at your practice. Providers can improve their online presence and patient retention rates by asking patients who they think had a positive experience to leave a review about them online. If your practice is noticing a lot of negative feedback online, it may be time for some internal changes.
5) Appointment Reminders
Sometimes patients do not intentionally leave their physician, rather they let their medical care get away from them. This is referred to as a patient lapse, where a patient does not seek medical attention for over 18 months, impacting your patient retention rates. Appointment reminders can be a very effective method for reminding patients to stay on top of their care. It not only reminds patients who have already scheduled appointments to show up, but it also makes patients aware when it is time for their yearly check-up or important labs and testing. By reminding the patients who may forget, you will prevent patient lapses and improve your patient retention rates.
Kimberly Von Feldt writes for iSalusHealthcare.com.