Losing a patient is never good for a healthcare practice. Some patients — like those who move away — might never return to your practice. But patients who leave because they are in some way dissatisfied can be won back. Read on to find out how.
Step 1: Discover Why Patients Left
To win patients back, you must first understand why they headed for the door in the first place. The most effective way to do this is to send former patients a survey about their departure.
Sending the survey through email is the most effective way to reach former patients. Online tools like Google Forms and Survey Monkey make it easy to create professional-looking surveys former patients can complete in minutes.
If you do not have patient email addresses in your database, you can send a survey through the mail. Note that this method will likely return fewer responses, however, as it requires people to take the extra step of mailing the survey back.
To encourage more participation, keep your survey short and to-the-point. First, ask patients to select their reason for leaving from a list of possibilities. Reasons might include:
- I have moved out of the area or have had other life changes that prevent me from returning to this practice.
- My insurance has changed, and this practice does not accept my new provider.
- I experienced logistical challenges such as difficulty parking that made me not want to return to this practice.
- I had difficulty reaching the practice by phone to schedule an appointment.
- The service I received from the front office staff was not up to my standards.
- The treatment I received from the healthcare provider was not up to my standards.
- Other (Please explain.)
Then ask patients to provide more detail as to why they chose this reason. The answers patients give here could result in your most valuable feedback.
Step 2: Make Changes Based on Patient Feedback
Once you know why patients have left, determine whether you can make the changes necessary to draw them back in.
For example, if patients indicated finding parking was difficult, you could lease a nearby lot or offer a valet service. Or if patients shared that they couldn’t get a staff member on the phone to book appointments, you could add online scheduling to your healthcare practice website.
You won’t be able to resolve every complaint about your practice, but you can prioritize projects in order to attract the greatest number of former patients.
Step 3: Notify Lost Patients About Practice Changes
If you make changes to your healthcare practice based on patient feedback, reach back out to let them know. To increase the likelihood they’ll return, offer them a free consultation or a small discount on products or services.
Be sure to share changes with current patients, too. Doing keeps them informed and demonstrates that you take patient satisfaction seriously.
Patient feedback is an important part of running a successful practice. You can collect more patient feedback — and get more online reviews — by sending post-appointment surveys with help from PatientPop. Visit patientpop.com to find out more.