Retaining a patient for life is a lot easier if you are actually in regular touch with your patients. In our experience, almost no provider group has the bandwidth to do so. They are constantly trying to get new patients and forget that their existing patient database itself is a huge source of increased appointment volumes.
Most patients experience “episodic care” and think of their relationship with you as “transactional”.. Because that’s exactly how you treat them. You see the patient, tell them what medication they need to take, send them their own way.
The trick is to stay in touch with your patients without adding a huge burden to your providers. We have already written about how to use patient education to retain patients for life.
Research shows that medication / treatment plan adherence is painfully low. According to research
“Typically, adherence rates of 80% or more are needed for optimal therapeutic efficacy. However, it is estimated that adherence to chronic medications is around 50%. Adherence rates can go down as time passes after the initial prescription is written, or as barriers emerge or multiply.”
You can affect this change in your patients and improve your own practice’s efficacy (and therefore, patient satisfaction) via use of medication-management apps. There are so many options available!
Use one of these apps by integrating it with your EMR.
Give your patients the power to control their health through a mobile app. Help them and their family keep a track record of their health summary, their test results by using the existing free medical-management apps or use those available in their EMR/EPM.
Ongoing, proactive treatment and staying in touch with the patient
This is a secret weapon that most providers do not use because it requires investment of time in patient follow ups.
The best way to not lose your patients to your competitor is to stay in touch with them.
Patients have questions about their health – it’s not every day, but ever so often they do have questions about their health or about the medications they are taking. They have questions that require a simple (even a single sentence) answer from providers or healthcare technicians.
The easiest way to stay on top of existing patients’ minds is to allow them to get in touch with you securely. You can use the patient portal of your EMR to do so OR you can get one of the patient messaging apps as well.
There are several options in the market – including free software from us as well.
- Patient management app
Patient management app(s)
The concept is very simple. No patient really expects their doctors to be online all day. Patients just want to be able to get answers for their questions within a reasonable period of time (clinical and non-clinical). Staying in touch with them is as simple as how payers stay in touch with their members via a member management mobile app.
Our advice is to invest in patient management apps that allow you to stay in direct touch with patients on demand while not having to disclose your online status nor having to disclose your mobile phone number.
Most providers think of telemedicine as a tool to potentially use for patient visits and billing. Telemedicine and billing codes are tied to geography/ zip codes, areas that need care etc. There are laws per state.
However, we think of telehealth as another medical marketing opportunity. We will discuss this opportunity in a separate article.