When you get a new patient through the door, it’s a victory. You have welcomed a patient into your practice for the first time and started a new relationship. But, it’s only a small piece of a bigger battle.
The true victory is getting that patient to come back again. It’s increasing patient retention by creating a positive first impression. It’s building long-term relationships with patients who will continue to visit your practice and refer others to do the same.
To create these long-term relationships, you need to provide a top-notch patient experience and an in-office atmosphere that makes your practice stand out and helps patients remember you.
Here are a few ways you can increase patient retention by improving your office environment.
1. Offer a Warm Welcome
The impression you make on your patients starts from the moment they walk through the door. Be sure to create a warm and inviting first impression at the entrance of your location. Use welcoming signs and wayfinding tools that make it easy for your patients to find your office. If you are in a large business park or office building, interactive wayfinding screens can guide visitors to your office by providing custom directions.
2. Provide Intuitive & Fast Intake Options
Patients want to get in and out of their appointment as fast as possible. So speed up the amount of time it takes for them to check-in by using interactive kiosks. Stand-alone kiosks alleviate stress on human resources as patients can use interactive screens, instead of working with a staff member, to provide their information, make changes to their information, make payments, check their records, and schedule appointments.
3. Create a Comfortable Waiting Room
Uncomfortable waiting rooms provide more than discomfort for patients. Uncomfortable seating can actually make a wait feel longer. So be sure to fill your waiting room with comfortable furniture that is suited for your typical patient. If you have kids, provide small tables with activities. If many of your patients are in wheelchairs, provide ample space for their seating needs.
4. Decrease Perceived Wait Times
You can also help patients pass the time more quickly in your waiting room by providing custom entertainment. When digital screens with relevant, interesting content are placed in waiting rooms, it can decrease a patient’s perceived waiting time by 33%. They can make a 30-minute wait feels more like a 20-minute wait.
5. Provide Entertainment in Exam Rooms
Waiting isn’t exclusive to the waiting room. Patients often need to spend additional time waiting in exam rooms during their appointment. Don’t overlook this time. Take care of your patients during their continued wait by providing digital entertainment, television screens, and reading material in exam rooms.
6. Play On-Brand Overhead Music
If on-screen entertainment isn’t appropriate in your waiting or exam rooms, don’t leave your patients in silence. Choose overhead music that matches your brand and client demographic and can calm, distract, and entertain patients as they wait.
7. Provide Games for Kids
If your office caters to young children, be sure to incorporate games and activities that entertain them while they wait. This will make the waiting room more comfortable for parents of the child as well as others in the waiting room. Try using interactive boards and games that educate kids as it entertains them.
8. Highlight Specials & Promotions
You don’t want your patients to go to another office for something they didn’t realize you provided. So don’t let your patients miss any of your special offerings or promotions. Keep them in the loop by using digital signage around your office to highlight upcoming deals and promote complementary or new products and services.
9. Share Healthy Living & Awareness Initiatives
Digital content around your office can also help promote healthy lifestyles. Show your patients you care about their complete health care by sharing information with healthy living advice, tips, and awareness initiates as they come up throughout the year.
10. Promote a Referral Program
Your office atmosphere can increase patient retention and referrals. Create a referral program that rewards your loyal customers for bringing in new patients. Highlight this program in your office using engaging digital signage promotions. Referral programs are good for both your office and patients so make sure your patients don’t miss out on your offer by failing to know it exists.
11. Clearly Educate Patients on Their Health Care Plans
If you often educate your patients on their condition, illness, treatment, or home-health care practices, stop using static brochures and print materials. Instead, deliver the vital information through digital media screens. Video information is more likely to catch and hold your viewer's attention than lectures and text alone. So use videos to share the important information your patients need to fully understand their health.
12. Give Them Something to Remember You By
Don’t let your patients leave without something to remember you by. Offer a small giveaway or promotion items as they exit your office to reinforce your brand and leave patients with a good feeling as they walk away.
With these tips you can upgrade the appearance of your office and make a better impression on new patients. When patients remember you, they will be more likely to be a loyal, longtime patients and refer to you to their family and friends.
If you are struggling with making these changes and creating a memorable experience in your office, it may be time to rethink you in-office atmosphere and marketing campaigns.
Figure out how to start this process, increase patient retention, and get ideas for how you can take your practice to the next level by scheduling a free session with Spectrio. Our representatives will assess your office’s needs and help you create a plan that leads to happy, loyal customers and more referrals.