What is “patient loyalty” and why is it important to your practice? Patient loyalty encompasses whether or not a patient will come back to your practice for services, whether or not they will refer your practice to others, and the ways that patients talk about and review your practice. Maintaining high levels of patient loyalty is important for retaining your patient base, bringing new patients in, improving patient engagement, and receiving more patient payments.
The Patient Portal is the Key to Patient Loyalty
The patient portal is the digital hub for how patients engage their providers remotely. With increased utilization of this tool, providers can address patient loyalty and improve it for each person. personal connection and frequent interaction drive positive results.
1) Digital Intake
Digital intake offers patients what they want in terms of digital interaction, improved clinical decision making, and a decrease in-office wait times. Digital patient intake improves patient loyalty by addressing the patient’s desire to complete documentation, like intake forms, in a digital format rather than having to write everything out. By eliminating the handwritten forms, information is uploaded directly into the patient’s chart, improving the updated accuracy of information and clinical decision making. The elimination of the transcription processes also decreases human error and decreases wait times. Patient loyalty is impacted when the patient can complete forms when it is convenient for them and see their physician as quickly as possible.
2) Improved Communication
Another way the patient portal improves patient loyalty is through its impact on communication between patient and provider. Patient loyalty decreases when patients feel like their provider does not listen to them or they have a hard time hearing directly from them. With the patient portal, patients simply shoot their provider a quick digital message regarding any questions, and a provider can respond with an answer or suggestion for the next steps. The right healthcare technology vendor will offer mobile options so the provider can respond on the go.
3) Billing Integration
Medical bills intimidate many patients simply because they do not have a great way to access them and understand them. When a provider fails to offer simple medical billing options, it can result in a large negative impact on patient loyalty. By having your billing software interoperable with your patient portal, patients can view and understand their bills better as well as make digital patient payments. This integrated billing option enables better patient loyalty by offering your patients more transparency into an area that is foggy for them form other providers.
Reduce No-Shows with these Steps:
No-show visits are a large sign of decreased patient loyalty. In order to increase patient loyalty, experience fewer no-show visits, and protect your payment, providers need to implement the following tools.
Patient reminders are a vital component in any effort to reduce no-show visits. The key to reaching patients most effectively is to offer them reminders in a way that makes the most sense to them. Some of your patients are millennials and might prefer to receive their reminders over text or email. Some of your more traditional patients way still wish to receive a phone call reminder. Your practice management software should enable your practice to send out automated appointment reminders, no matter the method so that your patients can better remember their visits and your practice sees an increase in patient loyalty.
2) Online Scheduling
When your practice management software is interoperable with your EHR patient portal, online scheduling capabilities are introduced. Through their patient portal, patients can view all available appointment options and pick the one that works best for their life and schedule. This information is automatically put into your practice’s calendar. In the same place, patients can cancel their appointments if they are not able to make it. By giving them these options, you will increase the number of appointments as well as decrease no-shows.
By utilizing a quality patient portal and reducing no-show visits, providers can impact their patient loyalty in a largely positive way. To learn more about how to utilize these methods effectively, click here.