A Happy Patient is a Return Patient: How to Increase Patient Retention
How to build diagnostic center patient retention and loyalty.
Patients have high expectations for their healthcare interactions. They want efficient care with easy appointment scheduling, uncomplicated check-ins, minimized wait times, and clear communication. By fostering positive patient experiences at every turn, your clinic will build loyalty that keeps your patients coming back.
Let’s explore how you can increase patient retention by keeping your patients happy—before, during, and after they visit your clinic.
1. Before: On-demand scheduling
Patients expect convenient digital options in everyday life, including their healthcare. Offering 24/7 scheduling options is a simple way to build a positive patient experience from the start.
While some patients will always prefer calling their diagnostic center, online scheduling options empower patients to book essential appointments even after business hours. Automatic reminders about scheduled appointments alleviate confusion about the booked date or time, resulting in fewer missed appointments. The ability to upload new patient paperwork, or update existing forms before an appointment, is one less thing for patients to worry about upon arrival.
Online scheduling options also allow providers to optimize their calendars by modality or location, and to block out dates or times as needed. This ensures patients are only scheduling tests on the right days and times—this reducing booking errors and maximizing modality time slot utilization.
2. During: Create an inviting and professional environment
Building a positive patient experience begins once the patient walks through the front door. After all, no one wants to return to a restaurant, yoga studio, or shop that isn’t inviting, so why should a diagnostic center be any different? Making your office inviting doesn’t mean hiring an interior designer; it’s all about how you make patients feel.
It’s a good idea for diagnostic centers to post clear directive signs regarding check-in and other procedures, which enables patients to feel more comfortable and helps eliminate confusion about the check-in process.
We all know that getting a medical test can be nerve-wracking for some patients. That makes it all the more important to have a friendly and patient-oriented front desk staff to help both new and returning patients with the check-in process. By taking advantage of previously mentioned in-take automation processes, streamlined administrative tasks make it easier for your team to quickly and accurately assess how best to assist their patients.
3. During: Waiting room hacks
Waiting is stressful, and extended wait times can increase patient anxieties and take up their time with tedious paperwork.
Patients who can upload their required paperwork before an appointment won’t have to worry about taking extra time to fill out those forms once they arrive.
Access to the office’s WiFi provides your patients with a simple distraction as they wait. It also allows them to continue working via their smart devices, minimizing the impact that being away from their desk or workplace may have on their schedules.
Offering other “creature comforts” such as water, tea, or coffee focuses on the patient as a whole person—not just a number or a transaction. Your office feels like a friendly, helpful, and supportive place to be.
4. After: Communication is key
A patient might have a positive experience in-house, but follow-up communication can seal the deal for better or worse when it comes to patient retention.
By delivering test results right to a patient’s smart device, the patient doesn’t have to waste time calling offices, waiting on hold, or going back to the actual location for a simple result review.
Instead, provide them with their results and an easy way to ask questions with a seamless telehealth solution such as LabFinder’s MinuteMed. Encourage patients to return with additional rebooking options based on their results, should a follow-up or additional testing be necessary.
LabFinder can’t redecorate your waiting rooms or set up your office’s guest Wi-Fi—but we can give your patients the on-demand scheduling, check-in, and follow-up features that make their lives (and providers’ lives) much easier.
Ready to optimize your patient experiences and increase your patient retention? Just schedule a demo with LabFinder today. We’re here to help.
LabFinder Editorial Team
The LabFinder Editorial Team is behind The Illuminator and The Insider, LabFinder’s consumer and business blogs.
Dr. Segal is CEO and co-founder of LabFinder, as well as a board-certified cardiologist. He began practicing medicine in 2002 and has founded several businesses, including Medical Offices of Manhattan and Manhattan Cardiology.