Recent surveys reveal that 25% of patients leave medical practices every year for reasons that may be unknown to practitioners until complaints or poor reviews appear publicly on the Internet. Here are five ways you can avoid having this happen to you:
1) Patient satisfaction surveys. Conduct quarterly satisfaction surveys either on your own or through a company that offers this service. Pay attention to the results. Correct any problems identified quickly. With health reform’s new Medicare stipulations, physician satisfaction scores will be linked to reimbursement by 2015. The time to craft a protocol and get your practice in line is now.
2) Train your staff. Untrained, unprofessional staff can send your patients packing in a heartbeat. Engage with a company (like Practice Builders) that specializes in complete onsite healthcare staff training, and create a reward system for staff members who interact with patients. Remember: What gets measured – and rewarded – gets managed.
3) Respect your patients’ time. Patients routinely cite long waittimes as reasons for leaving a practice. Help your front desk schedule the appropriate amount of time for each patient. If you are running late, develop a system for notifying patients in advance. Patients will feel more valued and forgive the occasional delay if they are respected in this manner.
4) Connect with your patients. If you can truly listen to patients and let them know you are listening, you can connect on a deeper emotional level. Remember that most patients have not had the benefit of your medical training and will not understand clinical terminology. Speak to them in lay-terms. Understand that they may not present their biggest concern until you ask, “And what else is going on?” Remember to be a human being first and a doctor second in patient interactions.
Call Practice Builders at 800.679.1200 to speak with a program consultant and receive a free consultation or email us at info@PracticeBuilders.com and tell us the best time and place to reach you to discuss your practice success goals.