For our new 2019 practice management series, we decided to start with one of the most difficult, but most integral concepts to success—patient loyalty or patient visit average (PVA).
While it is understood that new patients are great revenue-generators for chiropractors, if current patients drop your care regimen prematurely, you’re leaving revenue, reputation and potential referrals on the table.
In a recent story published in The American Chiropractor, Claude Code, with over 22-years experience in EHR systems, insurance billing and chiropractic clinic management, recommends the steps to improve PVA. We use his suggestions and blend some thoughts from our own experience. We firmly believe learning how to optimize PVA is and important infrastructure step which Chiropractors should implement before they start aggressively marketing to attract new patients:
- Monitor your patient-visit numbers and work to improve PVA
Use your patient management software to see how many new patients have only come in for one or two visits in the last three months. You may be shocked to see how many patients did not follow your care advice, quitting after 1-2 visits. Look at a few of these records. Try to remember them and picture the experience those patients had during their visit. Then think about how you can improve your presentation of care to new patients.
- Go out of your way to impress new patients on their first visit
Set up a doctor-led tour. Introduce new patients to the staff. Show the breadth of care from initial consult, to care regimen, through preventative/wellness visits. Really get to know a patient on the very first visit to leave a positive impression.
- To enhance the first impression, we would also like to add a key point: Make sure your phone system adds to the experience. There is an excellent article from Chiropractic Economics, “5 phone tips to make your practice shine”.
Not surprisingly people want to speak with a live human when they’re considering a business, and especially when they have questions or issues. So it’s important to hiire an answering service for after hours—because over 80% of the time a patient that gets only a machine, never calls back. You’ll also want to train the person answering your phone, and test the phone experience regularly. And, if you do route calls automatically, make sure the patient gets to the right live person—”press 1 to schedule or reschedule an appointment;” or, “press 2 for a billing question.”
- Ensure the Doctor talks to the patient about scheduling the next appointment
Establish a good rapport and know how to identify if a patient is considering dropping care. Learn to notice the small things, such as hesitant behavior when discussing future care. If you are able to pinpoint a hesitant patient, you can use the rapport you have built to help assuage any concerns they may have about continuing care.
And finally, echoing and adding to Code’s patient loyalty tips, check out this video below by Dr. Tom Preston, from Full Circle Coaching & Consulting, about how to increase your PVA (Patient Visit Average).
Each of these tips should come easily to PulStar DCs, as the PulStar’s Front Desk Program is specifically designed to calculate and track your PVA. Then using the objective analysis findings, you can show your patients where they have a problem before they feel the pain. Adding technology to your practice like the PulStar will also impress new patients and show them you are keeping up with advances in the Chiropractic field.
Visit the rest of the series: