10 Sep, 2019
5 “Small” Details That Affect Patient Retention

In the business of healthcare, the care you provide and your expertise will always be the most important things. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore those “small” things that can make or break a patient’s experience.

These 5 seemingly small details could mean better reviews, more referrals, and better patient conversions AND retention. 

Waiting room decor

Patients don’t want to have to spend too much time in your waiting room. But no matter how long patients sit there, they’ll notice the little details. If the seats are uncomfortable or torn, if the bathroom bin is overflowing, if the place smells too sterile (or not sterile enough), patients care. 

Patients also take notice when an office environment is neat and modern. Reupholstering chairs and reviewing your cleaning crew is an excellent place to start if you want to make a change.

Reminders for appointments

An HPCSA-compliant email or SMS appointment reminder system can make a significant difference. According to a recent study, an optimal patient appointment reminder system that can increase patient confirmations by 156% – which does wonder’s to decrease the number of no-shows.

Give patients a convenient email reminder 3 weeks before an appointment, 3 days before, and 3 hours before the appointment time. 

Office hours

Having trouble getting patients to book? It may be your office hours. Patients like the opportunity to reserve a time-slot before or after regular work and school hours. Which allows a busy, working parent to schedule a convenient time. It also increases confidence in your care, showing patients that you value their time.

Of course, this can be challenging for single-practitioner practices. In this case, many doctors choose one or two days a week to open later or schedule earlier appointments. For speciality services, some practitioners keep one or two Saturdays a month free for consultations.

Remembering details

A good doctor knows that patients appreciate when you spend a little extra time getting to know them. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to do on a busy calendar. Remembering one or two small details about a patient can show them that you value their well-being and are tailoring your care for them.

Jot down small details after an appointment to show that you’re paying attention when they speak. Next time they come in, follow up on health information but also ask about something “small”: “How was your daughter’s first day of school?”, “Is the construction on your house coming along?” Soon, it will become second nature.

Website Speed

Everyone expects websites to load instantly. Whether or not it’s conscious, patients grow more impatient by the second when a website takes longer than 5 seconds to load.

The fact is that patients have options. If anything is frustrating about your website, if the speed inhibits their ability to get your contact info or doctor bio, they will give up and move on to the next practice.

Improving your website speed and user experience is a simple way to increase patient conversions. It will also strengthen your position in the search engines, especially on Google. We suggest auditing and updating your website every year to ensure its up-to-date. If you need assistance with this, give us a call, and we will conduct an audit for you.