Patient Retention: 5 Proven Ways to Prevent Patient Drop-offs

Patient Retention: 5 Proven Ways to Prevent Patient Drop-offs

Drop-offs, fall-offs, lapsed patients, no matter what you call them, they happen to every practitioner. You treat a patient and make some progress, but by session two or three they disappear. Sound familiar? It’s not your desired outcome, not to mention, it costs you time and money. But, just like your patient's injury or chronic pain, you can help reduce and prevent it! So what steps can you, as a health practitioner, take to boost retention and improve your patient outcomes?

As a health practitioner, what steps can you take to boost retention and improve patient outcomes?

don’t take our word for it

1. Treat the person, not the problem

No patient wants to feel like just another number in your database. While your main goal is to help your patients recover from their injury, their goal is to get back to doing what they love. Actively listen to what they’re telling you, and take notes about the conversations you have so you can follow up on the things that matter to them personally.

39% of customers admit that they won't spend money on a business that doesn't provide a personalized experience (Source: Hubspot). 

Also, share stories about yourself so they can get to know you better. This goes a long way in developing the trust that’s critical in any successful relationship and makes it far more likely they will want to see you again. 

Tip: Come prepared for the conversation by making a list of ice-breaking questions, trending topics, and conversation starters that will help patients open up.

2. Set clear goals, milestones, and expectations (i.e. a treatment plan!)

Recovery is rarely a linear journey. Setting clear expectations is paramount in building a successful patient-therapist relationship. A treatment plan not only outlines a realistic timeline for recovery but also breaks down ambitious goals into manageable steps. These milestones provide patients with a sense of progress and enable practitioners to adapt the plan as needed. With aligned expectations and informed patients, the journey to recovery becomes a collaborative and empowering experience for everyone involved.


3. Schedule the patient’s next appointment before they leave 

Patients who rebook on the day of their appointment make an average of 30% to 50% more visits per year than patients who don’t (Source: Yocale).

Consider booking the patient's next treatment yourself or taking the extra minute to walk patients to the front of the clinic to book their next appointment with your office staff. You can even suggest the patient come in at the same time every week or month to help build a routine. With the right scheduling software, you can then have your admin staff set up recurring appointments in advance which cuts down administrative work and helps boost your rebooking rate.

4. Don’t be afraid to text them

It’s been a week since your patient's last appointment and still no follow-up appointment has been booked—it’s time to reach out personally. It can be as simple as a quick text with an open-ended question like ‘How are you doing, John?’. A personal message helps open up dialogue to better understand what may be holding your patient back from rebooking. As their practitioner, you know their case best and can respond thoughtfully to any questions or concerns they raise.

Why should you send a text? Texts are less invasive than a phone call, more direct than an email, and have an exceptionally high response rate with 90% being opened and read within 3 minutes!  Plus, depending on your clinic software, texts can be sent directly from your EMR. Juvonno’s Practitioner Dashboard, for example, allows practitioners to send a text right from their app so correspondence is tracked, organized, and easy to send.

5. Maximize your time with automated messaging

Incorporating automated follow-up emails and texts saves you time and ensures you’re consistently reaching out at critical points in the patient's journey. This helps you learn where in the patient experience your patients are most often dropping off so that you can implement new processes to prevent it. 

Your automated emails should provide a clear reason for reaching out, and ideally, speak to the patient’s specific needs (think blogs, videos, promotions etc.) and of course a link to your online booking page. With an EMR-integrated tool like JComm, your personalized messages will send instantly once patients meet the parameters you’ve set. For example, parameters could be to send your message to patients whose last visit was more than 30 days ago and who do not have a future visit booked. This type of highly targeted messaging is proven to have far higher engagement. In fact, 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging, according to Smarter HQ.

Consider creating a drop-off communication plan that outlines the series of highly targeted messages you will send at each stage of the patient experience. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this 3-Stage Communication Plan for Reducing Patient Patient Drop-offs

Learn more about Juvonno EMR and how we can help grow your business.


Authors: Patty Romeo and Derek Siddron from Juvonno

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Embrace the Future: A Healthcare Practitioner's Guide to Implementing Digital Health

Our world is moving fast and to recognise what kind of technology you might need to provide efficient and patient-centric care can be confusing. Digital health tools can support your clinic's growth and help you save time in patient compliance and admin work, leaving more time to work with clients.

But what do you need to consider when implementing digital health in your clinic? Discover it all in this blog post.

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Image from Movement Clinic

Movement Clinic to enable movement for a greater purpose

The Movement Clinic is always looking at ways to improve their patient's recovery. With Physitrack, they took a step closer to helping patients achieve better well-being and movement.

> 1100

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year since using Physitrack

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Image from Movement Clinic

Movement Clinic to enable movement for a greater purpose

The Movement Clinic is always looking at ways to improve their patient's recovery. With Physitrack, they took a step closer to helping patients achieve better well-being and movement.

> 1100

number of employees

2018

year since using Physitrack

> 12,000

operations per year

Image from Movement Clinic

Movement Clinic to enable movement for a greater purpose

The Movement Clinic is always looking at ways to improve their patient's recovery. With Physitrack, they took a step closer to helping patients achieve better well-being and movement.

> 1100

number of employees

2018

year since using Physitrack

> 12,000

operations per year

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