Patients today have more choices than ever when it comes to healthcare. There are nearly 70,000 chiropractors in the US, and they’re often within just a few miles of each other.
While there are differences between practices, the treatments are often similar and so is the pricing. Aside from location, the single biggest factor in choice is patient experience. How your clients feel about the experience that they have before, during, and after an appointment will dictate whether they return.
Patient experience is key to loyalty, retention, and referrals, which in turn, are essential to successfully build your business and grow your revenue.
Enhancing Patient Experience
Several factors go into enhancing patient experience. It starts with the first contact. How the patient perceives your practice and how they are treated at the start can set the tone for everything that follows.
Enhancing patient experience includes the following.
Hiring and training the best staff
Friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful staff are pivotal in enhancing the patient experience. Your front desk team member is likely the first and last person whom a patient will interact with, so they need to be positive and upbeat.
Patients frequently complain about feeling rushed when they go to the doctor. If it happens too often, they may feel like they are not being heard. You need to take the time to let patients talk. Practice active listening techniques to uncover what patients are both feeling and saying.
Providing patient education and sharing progress
Chiropractic patients often don’t understand that it takes time to heal. They take shortcuts or fail to follow through on treatment plans because they expect quick results. For example, 70% of patients don’t follow up with home exercise regimens to aid treatment.
Educating your patients and making sure they understand the process, limitations, and outcomes is essential to enhancing patient experience. Otherwise, they may feel as if the treatment isn’t producing the results that they want. It is helpful to provide regular assessments and share the results so patients can see progress.
Make it easy for patients and respect their time. You can reduce the friction of going to the chiropractor by modernizing patient interactions before, during, and after treatments. Here are a few of the ways that you can make each visit easier.
Online appointment scheduling, online intake, and front desk software can reduce wait time upon check-in. Any waiting times should be minimal. You may also want to take a fresh look at your lobby or waiting area to ensure that it’s inviting. Do you have clean and comfortable furniture that isn’t worn? Do you offer free Wi-Fi, charging, water, and snacks if patients do have to wait?
A robust software system can handle front desk routing and speed up data input. Chiropractors should be able to use macros and auto-SALT to reduce the time needed for typing up SOAP notes so they can spend more time with patients. This results in higher-quality interactions.
Integrated payment systems and e-payments help patients speed through the checkout process. One often-overlooked strategy for enhancing patient experience is surveying patients about their visit. Many practices use customer satisfaction surveys to provide patients with a way to evaluate their visit and express how they view the patient experience. Another effective measure is net promoter scores. This gauges how willing a patient is to recommend your practice to others.
These two measurements can help you to see how patients view you and where you need to make improvements and to track progress over time.