As healthcare costs continue to be on the front burner of not only the political landscape but people’s monthly budgets as well, patients are taking a critical look at the care they’re receiving.
Patient relationship management isn’t an option anymore; it’s a critical part of your practice. It’s a business strategy for keeping the patients you have and attracting new ones. Patients are acting more like consumers and choosing their healthcare providers based on the quality of the care they experience.
So, it’s not enough to just provide great care anymore. Patients want great service, too, including convenience, easy access to their health information and the ability to contact their care teams.
Here are some ways to manage the relationship with your patients to keep them coming back:
Make Patients Feel like Partners
More than ever before, patients want to feel like they’re in a partnership with their providers in all aspects of healthcare, including psychiatry. Your relationship with them is one key to make them feel like you’re in it together. Patients are the reason your practice is in business, and the last thing you want is for any of them to feel like a number. Greet them by name, respond quickly when they call or email, and thank them. Don’t talk down to them about their care, treat them like a valued partner on their own care team. Even these small gestures can go a long way in making your patients feel valued, understood and heard.
Use a Patient Portal
It may sound counterintuitive, but technology is a powerful tool that can actually personalize the patient experience. And research shows that patients want it. From boomers to millennials, people are more connected to their own health data than ever before. Fitbits and other wearable devices monitor everything from a patient’s heart rate to their sleep patterns. People know their numbers.
Patient portals enhance patient access to their care teams, their health data (including test results and prescriptions), and other things like appointment times and health history forms. All of their information is in one place and easy to find. Improving access to their own health data is another way to make your patients feel like partners.
Get a Handle on Wait Times
All patients are used to having to wait in a clinician’s office, but regular long wait times will have your patients looking for another provider. You can streamline the patient experience and reduce wait times in many ways, including faster, easier online charting and a more seamless check-in procedure. Even a sign in your waiting room saying, “If you have been waiting more than 20 minutes, let us know,” goes a long way toward communicating to your patients that their time is valuable, too.
At ICANotes, we are committed to helping streamline your practice, partnering with you to improve not only your office efficiency but the patient experience as well. To learn more about our behavioral health EHR software, please take a look at our features or request your free trial today.
Clinical Director October has been a Registered Nurse for over 15 years. She is board certified in Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also graduated with bachelor and master degrees in Nursing from Western Governors University.