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.
While it is understood that new patients are great revenue-generators for chiropractors, achieving patient loyalty also pays off when you can get your patients onto wellness or preventative plans. What is the sense of obsessing after new patients if you’re not maximizing the care—making wellness patients—of the ones you have now?
In a recent story published in The American Chiropractor, Claude Code, a 22-year expert in EHR systems, insurance billing and chiropractic clinic management, recommends the steps, which you could implement for free, right now:
- Use your patient management software to see how many new patients have only come in for one or two visits. Go into your practice management software and start by pulling patient records from 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 that first-time visit. You should continue to monitor these paitient-visit numbers, and from there, you can set tangible patient loyalty goals.
- Go out of your way to impress new patients on their first visit. Ensure that your office, staff and procedures are up to snuff. Introduce new patients to the staff, take them on a tour of your office, and 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”. You’ll want to train the person answering your phone, because allowing a new or returning patient to reach a live person is very important.
- Establish a good rapport and know how to identify if a patient is considering dropping care. If you’ve had meaningful conversations with a patient, there is a chance that they will let you know if they are thinking about dropping their care, but more likely than not, they will simply stop scheduling appointments. Learn to notice the small things, such as whether or not patients are scheduling their next appointment at the end of a visit, or 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.