This is an area that provider groups do not do well either. Here are a few things to do to market to your existing patients. You can do these using our hipaa compliant healthcare crm software and patient engagement software quite easily.
There are a few areas that we typically recommend:
– Asking patients for referrals.
– Regimented re-appointing of no show patients
– Regimented re-appointing of patients that cancel appointments
– Reactivating patients that have fallen out of care
- Asking patients for referrals
Most provider office staff are not comfortable asking a patient directly for patient referrals. You are not alone in this. But, you need to get over it.
You will never get anything unless you ask for it – so what’s the harm in doing so? Are you afraid that the patient will see you as “too commercial”? Are you afraid that your patient care is not good enough to justify a referral?
For all you know, your patients are already referring other patients to your practice – you just don’t know it yet because you do not have a way to capture the referral source. You can even do it via a text message by using texting software.
- Capture source of the patient appt
First, put a process in place wherein you capture where a patient came from.
E.g. in Carecloud, in the patient demographics screen itself has a place to enter the REFERRAL SOURCE. Use it. As an administrator, you can also customize the REFERRAL SOURCE and add “PATIENT REFERRAL” to it (if you would like to).
- How did you hear about us?
Next, make sure that your call center agents, your front desk staff AND your technicians ask at least once – “How did you find out about us? Did a friend or a doctor recommend you to us? We would like to thank them.”
- Track and report daily
Start capturing the source of where your patients are coming from. Each day, report something as simple as
– Total appts created
– New pt appts created
– Provider referral?
– Pt Referral?
– Other sources..
(Add columns if needed)
That’s it. It’s that simple if you use our patient CRM
- Ask your patients for referrals
Now that you have this process in place, you can start asking patients to refer you to their friends and family members.
- Make it part of your practice emails
Each email that you send (hopefully you send “stay in touch” emails to patients) should include a single sentence to “Do you know anyone that could benefit from seeing our doctor? Please forward this email to them”
- Make it part of your practice SMS
Each appt confirmation SMS that you send should include “Know someone that should see your doctor? Fwd this sms to them”
Each patient review SMS that you send should include “Know someone that should see your doctor? Fwd this sms to them”
Each thank you and welcome package that you send to patients should include “Know someone that should see your doctor? Tell them about us”
- Incentivize patient referrals
You could also incentivize patients for giving you referrals. E.g. “For each patient referred, get a $5 metrocard” (or something similar). As long as you do not waive the copay, you are not getting into trouble with the payers. Go ahead and think of things you can offer your patients to refer patients to you.
Next, let’s look at how to increase patient visit volume by reappointing no shows