The lifeblood of healthcare is improving health outcomes. It’s why so many choose to work in healthcare: they strive to help people improve their health. But for many healthcare entities, the sad reality is that they’re not doing this as well as they could.
The reason? Efficiency. When a practice lacks efficiency, it can lead to poor health outcomes and negatively impacts market share. But it doesn't take much to change that if you take a hard look at how you might improve health outcomes and grow market share.
1. Lacking in Patient Engagement Outside the Practice
A lot can happen in a year. 2020 is a prime example of that. And as we already know, patients that weren't doing well before the pandemic are likely doing worse now.
But what about patients who are healthy or seem to be healthy? While some of these patients may not need immediate attention, they may need more attention than they did previously since many have put off going to the doctor.
A great way for patients to put you back on their radar is by sending out regular communications to them, regardless if they have an upcoming appointment or need to schedule one. For example, you can share health information from your blog, news about your practice and information on upcoming screenings, events and other pertinent topics.
You can use email and even print mail to engage this way, but text messages and in-app messages also work well. It depends on your patient's psychographic preference, which you can determine using the PatientBond Classifier. The more you understand a patient's motivation to connect with their doctor, the more likely your patients will visit and improve their health outcomes.
2. Non-Existent Follow-Up with Patients
If you’re only following up with appointment reminders, you’re missing out on more opportunities to improve their care and better engage with patients.
For starters, consistent communication is vital. You may follow-up with your patients as soon as you can, but you might not continue it after one message or reminder. Patients have busy lives and may not see everything that’s sent to them, including a response from you.
Depending on their condition and how far it has progressed, it could be a matter of their current condition getting worse. Of the adults who postponed care last year due to the pandemic, more than 75% of them had one or more chronic health conditions. Of that group, a third of them had worsened conditions due to lack of treatment.
That’s why consistent reminders, even if they aren’t for a specific appointment, are so important. In this case, you could have reiterated the safety protocols put in place so that patients can safely return for necessary visits. It may be the push a patient needs to get their health back on the right foot.
Manual phone calls are resource-intensive, but automating the process with a digital health platform saves money and generates a higher patient response rate.
3. Patient Acquisition Approach is Slow
How has your patient acquisition been lately? If it hasn’t been stellar, it might be time to recalibrate your process.
Healthcare consumers are looking for providers that can immediately respond to questions, concerns and most importantly, appointment availability. Depending on the communication platform you’re using, patients may want a response sooner than some platforms can offer. From there, if you are unable to schedule an appointment for them within 24 hours, they may look to alternative healthcare providers who will. With so many healthcare providers offering 24-hour care and telehealth options, it's not hard for them to find other providers that fit their needs.
If you're having a hard time just getting them to contact you, make technology your best friend by beefing up your center's Google My Business page, investing in Google and Facebook ads, engaging with your audience on social media and boosting your online reviews through current patients. PatientBond allows you to automatically send surveys after patient's appointments with the option to review you on Google. Some of these steps take time to garner results, but they are well worth the investment in the long run.
If there's anything that providers want, it's a more efficient practice. It allows your practice to grow more effectively long term. But more importantly, it gives you peace of mind knowing that you're doing everything you can to improve your patient's health outcomes.
For a true understanding of what PatientBond can do for you with improving health outcomes and your market share, take a look at our psychographic segmentation whitepaper.