When a patient comes to your practice for a medical appointment, they want your undivided attention, your medical expertise, and to feel important and valued. Continuing that engagement after they’ve left your office can help ensure better follow up visits, medication adherence, consumer loyalty, patient education, and an overall high quality experience.
If it’s time to increase patient engagement at your practice, try these nine tried and true methods.
Increase Patient Engagement with Personal Contact
Open communication is the single most important aspect of engaging with your patients. While technology is changing the way we operate, you can’t underestimate the importance of human touch and personalized attention.
1) Personal Contact
In a world where email or automated reminders are the status quo, a personalized call from a staff member will be remembered and appreciated. After an appointment, a follow up call by a staff member can help build trust in your practice, ensure patients feel cared for, verify they follow the advice given, and determine if an additional appointment is necessary. Engage with them personally, and they will engage with you.
Promote The Use of Technology to Increase Patient Engagement
Technology now plays a major part in how we communicate with those around us, and is an easy and convenient way to engage your patients. Promoting the use of technology should be done before, during, and after the appointment to maximize its effectiveness.
2) Patient Portal
The use of a patient portal is becoming more and more important to patients. These portals allow patients to communicate more effectively with their caregivers and access and update their information at their convenience. In addition, it helps your practice discuss with them changes and appointments, and provide an overall better patient experience.
3) Social Media
The majority of the population uses social media to connect with people, businesses and organizations. Social media pages for your practice are important and can help you communicate with your patient base regularly and easily. Your posts should engage patient feedback, encourage their participation, and help keep them up-to-date on your practice activities.
Keep your patients updated on the ins and outs of your business, including new staff members, updated office hours, or educational information that will benefit them. Use your newsletter to encourage further interaction, by soliciting reviews for your practice and marketing your social media pages.
5) Solicit Reviews
Your online doctor reviews matter, as they represent the online reputation of your practice. Soliciting honest reviews from your patients can help you build your practice, as well as solve problems or misunderstandings.
6) Special Offers
What better way to fill in empty spots in your schedule than to advertise special offers to your patients? Offering a special price for a service can help get new patients in the door and help motivate your current patients to visit your office.
Not everything needs to be business. Engage your patients through an online contest, a quiz, and encourage fun competition. Consider soliciting designs or feedback on new logo, a new office color scheme, or other ideas from your patient base. Contests are a great way to increase patient engagement in a fun and unique way.
Get Social to Increase Patient Engagement
Technology and personal attention are all beneficial, but don’t stop there. Consider ways you can engage with your patients in person, between visits.
8) Offer Classes
Educational classes that are of interest to your patients can encourage them to visit your office and benefit them by further understanding their medical needs. If you have many areas of specialties or demands at your practice, consider ongoing classes that can focus on different areas of your audience. When your practice offers a variety of extras, patients are more likely to engage and value what you do.
9) Plan Events
Your practice is a part of the community, and celebrating that connection is a great way to increase patient engagement. Celebrate a day for kids with a bouncy house and popcorn machine, mothers with a mimosa breakfast and child care, or your elderly patients with a get together and a game of Bridge or Bingo.
At PracticeForces we believe that increasing patient engagement is an essential - and fairly easy - way to improve their overall experience. As seen above, there are many ways to increase patient engagement through technology, personal attention, and community activities, but ultimately which ones will work best at your practice will depend on your specific situation.