Increase Patient Retention Simply Through the Human Touch
ElijahWordsmith.com | Increase Patient Retention in Healthcare Simply Through the Human Touch

Flowing freely, the tears caused her mascara to run as she waited for the doctor. 

Dr. Andrews practically burst through the door, and without looking up from the IPad mumbled, “How are you today Ms. Stephens?”

Hastily drying her eyes, she responded, “Just dandy.”

And that was that.  After the visit she just sat there, rather stunned that her obvious distress hadn’t been noticed.

She thought to herself, “Guess it’s time to shop for another physician.” 

As a doctor, how can you make this type of scenario an anomaly?  

Come along and let’s find a better way together…

Pros and Cons of Technology for Patient Retention

Today, increased adoption of technology in medicine has decreased personal touch desperately needed by the hurting.  

Of course, this isn’t a conscious decision you make as a provider, but it’s still a reality.

Besides them feeling their “humanity has been lost,” there’s practical effects on your practice as well.  

Inactive patients:

  • Require more time from your administrative staff in follow-up
  • May seek care elsewhere  

If the United States halved administrative expenses, it could save $175 billion in healthcare costs.  Those extra funds could easily go towards improving patient retention.

Nurses play a pivotal role in forming a relationship with patients and their families.  But when their attention is drawn to typing up information into a workstation, face-to-face interaction takes a dip.  

Clinician’s reliance on technology such as electronic health records and telemedicine may distract them from intimately getting to know individual cases. 

This can lead to:

  1. Missing a symptom
  2. Reactive vs. preventive healthcare

Despite some drawbacks, telemedicine was used by 22% of physicians in 2019.  By 2022 this number is expected to double.

Especially with the pandemic, it opened up doors for continuation of care that previously wouldn’t have been available.

And in terms of visit quality, 62.6% of patients and 59% of clinicians don’t see a difference between in-person and telehealth.

It’s my intention not to criticize technology but present some possible issues so you can avoid them for your practice.

Which leads nicely into our next topic.

Patient Experience Tied to Patient Retention

Taking business in general, over 70% of customers who leave do so because of perceived indifference from that company.

Naturally, you can’t fully control the perceived reaction people will have, but aiming for excellence will diminish that risk. 

Relating it to the medical field, these feelings can come from unforeseen places.

Every encounter matters when a patient deals with:

  • Other providers they’re referred to
  • Insurance company reps
  • Suppliers
  • Vendors

If you have a working relationship with someone, make sure their customer service standards are on the same level as your own.  

In the same vein, patient experience and retention are bolstered by administrative staff.  Make sure they’re trained to field patient questions and at least have a working knowledge of:

  • Your technology and services
  • How they fit into a treatment plan
  • Comparisons to the technology of competitors

You’ll experience an uptick in patient retention with stellar internal communications between staff, and consistent follow up with the unwell.

When I worked in administration at a gastroenterology office, our call to each patient after their procedures went a long way!  They even had the option to speak to a nurse if they had questions.   

Now let’s focus on you…the provider.

Having conversations of substance with the sick can lead to 2x more happiness.  And happier patients stick around for years.

Since we’re focused on patient retention strategies, let’s dive a bit deeper.

Patient Retention and Healthcare Content Marketing 

74.6% of searchers take to the internet when seeking medical care.  The channels may vary, but the intent does not.  

Your goal should be showing up on the first page of SERP (search engine results page).  So how do you accomplish that?

Well…think of your website as your virtual medical office.  Content marketing, and more specifically healthcare content writing, is the strategy that’ll drive “foot traffic” through your virtual door. 

Let me dispel a rumor, expertise in the field doesn’t convince prospective patients to fill out a lead form or give your office a call.

That is unless it’s shared through a consistent content schedule.  And here lies a major benefit of a regular blog on your website, working in tandem with social media.  

Blogging helps you stand out by:

  • Generating website traffic
  • Growing your ranking on search engines
  • Building awareness around your practice
  • Creating more engaged patients 

This is how you stay connected with those you currently serve, and add to their numbers via new consultations.

One caveat is that this type of healthcare content marketing doesn’t yield instantaneous results.  However, with a low up front financial investment and compounding once it’s been running for a while, it’ll reward you in time.  

This concept shouldn’t be new to you.  After all, as a medical doctor you know there aren’t always quick fixes to turn a patient’s health around.  

Rather, small informed habits produce lasting results when stacked on top of one another.  

Client Retention and Elijah Wordsmith

You’ve seen how the increased adoption of technology in medicine has decreased the personal touch hurting people desire.  

But instead of a negative, I’ve relayed concrete strategies to guarantee this doesn’t lead to patient attrition.  

Besides that, you’ve also come to understand ways to bolster the symbiotic relationship between keeping patients satisfied and them sticking around.

Now what?

My freelance writing business is backed by almost 13 years of industry experience between healthcare and digital marketing.  Combining the two allows each original blog or social media post to resonate with your target audience.

Content writing “verbalizes” the more individualized care current and prospective patients receive from your practice. 

With access to modern technology and customer service sharpened while working in busy medical offices, I bring a personable approach to growing your online presence. 

Bring the human side back by sharing stories online that impacted you or your staff.  And enjoy a boost in patient retention and new referrals for a “practice that truly cares.”  

Take the first step towards standing out online and schedule a discovery call today!  

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