Managing an increasing number of patients is a common challenge for growing healthcare organizations. It’s easy to lose touch with patients. That’s why employing a good patient-reactivation strategy can make a substantial difference in providing high-quality care and keeping patients engaged and satisfied.
The surest way to retain and re-engage patients is by contacting them. While some patients may realize on their own that it’s been a while since their last appointment, others won’t think to reach out until you make the first move.
Staying in touch with patients is critical to the longevity of the provider-patient relationship and their overall satisfaction. If you have inactive patients in your practice, analyze their case histories and find the reasons behind their inactive status. From there, you can explain to them why they need to come back and what’s in it for them.
Here are a few ways to reactivate inactive patients:
Strategies to reactivate patients
1. Identify patients
It’s much easier — and more cost-effective — to reactivate a former patient than acquire a new one. If you’ve been in practice for a few years, former and dormant patients probably make up a large portion of your larger client base. They’re also easy to reengage and retain, and it’s less costly to manage than acquiring new patients.
When you’re making your list of disengaged patients, look for patients with overdue appointments, missed appointments, or unfinished treatment.
2. Reestablish a connection via email
While SMS and phone calls are an easy way to reach out, it’s common for people to ignore calls and messages from unknown numbers. In some situations, email is a less direct and less intrusive channel to contact inactive patients than SMS and phone calls. Some clients may prefer communications via email if it involves marketing campaigns, discounts or promotions.
Check your email system’s records to see which patients have opened or clicked through your emails in the past year. These patients may be more open to reconnecting and scheduling a new appointment with you.
3. Automate appointment reminders
As your practice grows, it will inevitably become more difficult to keep in personal contact with all your patients. Automating appointment reminders is a fast and simple way to reduce no-shows and cancellations once you make contact with a former patient. intakeQ’s appointment-reminder tool includes automated SMS, voice and/or email reminders, so you can reach patients in the way that works best for them.
4. Accommodate early or late appointment times
Tight work schedules can get in the way of patients making their appointments, and if they don’t have paid time off, going to the doctor can be difficult. If you can, consider adjusting your working hours to win back inactive clients. If you can open an hour earlier or stay an hour later, it could make all the difference.
5. Send questionnaires
Ultimately, it’s hard to fix a problem if you don’t know what’s causing it. If you’re seeing a steady decrease in your patient retention rate, it’s time to gather insights. intakeQ’s built-in questionnaire analytics allows you to collect insights from your patients using anonymous forms, surveys and polls.
Giving patients the anonymity to say what they truly feel can give you deeper insight into how patients view your practice and what changes you can make to help them feel more comfortable and welcome.
Keeping your patient base engaged and ensuring they feel like they’re part of their own care team is essential. Sign up today for our free, full-featured 14-day trial of our intakeQ™ online forms capabilities and our integrated practiceQ™ practice-management solution to see how we can streamline your patient re-engagement strategies.