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Best ways to improve patient communication at your OB/GYN practice

Which tools and tactics should your OB/GYN practice use to keep women healthy, informed, and engaged? Here’s how to conduct effective communications.

An OB/GYN is communicating with her patient in a doctor's office

Women manage careers and families and, in many cases, serve as the chief healthcare decision maker for their family — including their spouse, children, and aging parents. When it comes to caring for themselves, it’s easy to see how so many women could overlook routine OB/GYN needs. 

OB/GYN practices that focus on bringing their patients digital convenience and ongoing communication not only support patient health but fuel practice health, too — through higher appointment volume and better long-term patient retention.

Convenience is queen: How digital tools support effective communication and greater OB/GYN patient satisfaction

Like most Americans, OB/GYN patients live in a digital world. They’re accustomed to conducting research, making decisions, and completing important transactions online, often via their smartphone.

This is how they prefer to communicate and interact with their OB/GYN providers, as well. Healthcare practices that meet patients’ demand for digital convenience are likely to keep patients happier and more engaged in their healthcare. 

More than one-third of patients (36%) say they’ve left a healthcare provider over the past two years — eight of 10 did so because of a poor in-person experience and/or lack of access and communication. To support your overall retention and keep your patients coming back, make it easy for them to do business with you, and stay in touch in between visits.

 

Delivering digital convenience for today’s modern women

If OB/GYN patients tend to be too busy, how do you connect with them? Give them options. Let them connect with you and communicate on their terms, Give them an opportunity to choose how they reach you, and when. 

PatientPop research indicates that what patients want most from their healthcare provider is “a good listener,” so the more options you provide, the better. 

Prioritizing digital convenience and offering a wide range of communications tools (phone, two-way text messaging, email) demonstrates your efforts to make life — and healthcare — easier for them. At the same time, reaching out regularly with valuable communication shows your interest in helping them stay healthy. 

Here are some digital tools your OB/GYN patients will appreciate, helping you drive patient loyalty and retention — which can support long-term practice growth.

  • Online scheduling gives patients the opportunity to book or request an appointment on their time, not just during your office hours. They can schedule an appointment before your office opens, or late at night when many women have a little extra time to manage their calendars. 
  • Automated appointment reminders and confirmations can help OB/GYN patients keep track of appointments and help your practice reduce no-shows and last-minute cancellations.
  • Text messaging is patients’ preferred method of communication for interacting with healthcare providers and can help keep your phone lines open. According to PatientPop research, two-thirds of patients (66%) prefer text messages when receiving medical appointment reminders, and 59 percent would like text message reminders to book their next appointment.
  • Telehealth options for routine care or follow-up make it easier for women to stay on top of their health from the comfort of home.

Build OB/GYN patient loyalty with timely email campaigns

Unlike many businesses that frustrate consumers with spam and sales-related emails, OB/GYN practices are in a unique position. Most women want to hear from their healthcare providers. While marketing and advertising can help you attract prospective patients, it’s equally important to capitalize on opportunities to connect with existing patients. Your efforts  can drive return visits, as well as overall patient satisfaction. 

Email outreach is a key communication strategy for your OB/GYN practice to connect with women in between visits. Targeted email campaigns can help OB/GYN patients learn more about their health, related conditions they may have, and the treatments and services your practice provides. 

Well-timed emails can also help drive appointment volume, strengthen the patient-provider relationship, and support long-term patient retention. Consider segmenting your messages by age, demographics, or diagnosis, allowing for more relevant, personalized content.  

Not sure where to start? Here are a few examples of email messages and/or campaigns to consider for your OB/GYN patients:

  • Personalized reminders for routine care appointments such as Pap smears and annual well checks
  • An email linking to a blog post on your website that highlights the importance of annual mammograms during Breast Cancer Awareness month
  • A message featuring any new provider joining your team, with a link to their online or video bio
  • Any operational updates, such as a change in hours of operation, new office procedures related to COVID-19 (masking, screening), or the availability of flu vaccines 
  • Regular, specifically timed updates for pregnant mothers on what to expect at each stage of pregnancy 
  • Announcements of any new or innovative services or procedures your practice offers, such as robotic hysterectomies and the latest contraceptive options

The takeaway: Meet OB/GYN patients where they are online

As an OB/GYN provider, you understand the many challenges today’s busy women face. Put that understanding into action. Take advantage of digital tools to make one facet of their lives just a bit easier. In doing so, you can streamline your office operations while demonstrating your commitment to patient convenience. Chances are, they’ll thank you by sticking with your OB/GYN practice for years to come. 

Also available:

A modern guide to OB/GYN marketing and advertising

Patient survey: Tracking patient behavior, preferences, and habits in healthcare in 2021

Giving patients what they want in 2021: Top recommended actions for healthcare practices

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PatientPop
PatientPop is the leader in practice growth with the only all-in-one solution that empowers healthcare providers to improve every digital touchpoint of the patient journey. As experts in the healthcare technology space, PatientPop makes it easy for providers to thrive in the consumerization of healthcare and promote their practice online, attract patients, and retain them for life.

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