Like all healthcare providers, urgent care centers rely on patient loyalty to drive ongoing business and maintain healthy profit margins, even if urgent care is episodic with acute issues.
With so much competition in the growing, and fragmented, urgent care industry, building patient loyalty is a challenge, but there’s a solution: Studies have shown that improving communication with patients is one of the most effective ways to increase and maintain patient loyalty.
The Benefits of Superior Communication
Effective communication between healthcare providers and their patients provides many important advantages that increase the chances of a patient returning to the urgent care center for additional services. Some of these benefits include:
- Higher patient satisfaction: Patients report higher levels of satisfaction with services when doctors and other healthcare providers make a consistent effort to communicate effectively. Ongoing communication makes patients feel more valuable and more confident in the care they receive.
- Better health outcomes: When urgent care centers follow up with patients after appointments, they can find out whether they’re following instructions properly and whether they’re experiencing any complications and encourage them to come back for additional treatments if necessary.
- More business: In addition to enhancing patient loyalty, improved patient satisfaction because of superior communication will also lead patients to promote your urgent care center among friends and family. A study published in the Journal of Medical Practice Management found that good communication was a key driver in a patient's likelihood to recommend a healthcare organization.
How to Improve Urgent Care Communication
Although superior communication improves patient engagement and offers a host of other benefits, many urgent care centers are lacking in this area. In fact, a study published in Health Expectations found that communication between healthcare providers and their patients was not sufficient to provide the best healthcare outcomes.
The most common obstacle to effective communication is a lack of time, staff and other resources required to maintain ongoing contact with patients. Fortunately, advances in technology can make it easier for urgent care centers to communicate with patients and improve loyalty.
How a Patient Engagement Platform Can Help
There are a growing number of platforms that claim to be able to boost patient engagement and loyalty, but it’s important to note that they’re not all the same — just as no two patients are the same.
PatientBond, for example, not only uses a cloud-based, API-driven platform for automating digital communications such as emails, text messages and interactive voice response. It combines that platform with a proven psychographic segmentation model that customizes communications with five distinct segments of healthcare consumers based on their individual beliefs, motivations and preferences.
Psychographic segmentation may be new to healthcare, but it’s been used for decades among the world’s leading consumer products and retail companies. Companies like Procter & Gamble, Walgreens, CVS and Walmart use psychographic segmentation models to influence shopper choice and behavior.
PatientBond’s psychographic segmentation model was developed by healthcare consumer experts from P&G, amplifying patient engagement by personalizing communications across a population of patients. In essence, PatientBond brings the power of P&G marketing to urgent care centers to help them succeed in their patient acquisition, loyalty and payment collection efforts.
And as urgent care case studies show, this model has been shown to be highly effective in driving patient loyalty across a variety of applications, including appointment reminders, appointment follow-up messages, payment reminders and satisfaction surveys. If you want your urgent care center to stand out from the crowd, improve communication and keep your patients coming back, PatientBond could be just the key you need.