Treat Your Patients Like ‘Royalty’ Through the Patient Journey

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Act with intention to help your patients feel special

By Andrew Lotsis

As a patient comes through the door, is it their first, second, or third visit? Was the patient referred by a family member or friend? Perhaps they found your practice on Google. Is your practice their entry point for care or do they have a referral and were sent from either the family practice or local physician down the street? Where did their “journey” begin?

You work so hard to gain and build a trusted reputation in the community. It’s important to understand how and why your customers come through your door. Data is key! Track the source of each patient by including this information on your initial intake form and in the initial setup fields of your electronic medical record (EMR). Today, most, if not all EMRs include a mechanism to gather and track this information, giving you the ability to run reports to see how your patients and clients are getting to you.

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THE START OF THE PATIENT’S JOURNEY

The patient/client chose your practice. By approaching our patients and clients with the intention to further build trust and connectivity, we can let them know how much we appreciate their business.

Connectivity strategies are critical to establishing your practice as the most trusted and reliable solution for musculoskeletal injuries and all physical therapy needs within your community. Often the best are simple and inexpensive gestures that make each patient feel special and important.

The Price of a stamp!

  • Send thank you cards with a simple note of appreciation to each new patient and client.
  • Send thank you notes to your referral sources thanking them for each and every referral.

In this day in age of texting and social media, everyone welcomes a hand-written note. It’s authentic and shows that you spent time being grateful for their decision to choose you and your practice!

Celebrate graduations!

  • A last visit graduation gift is a nice touch. Perhaps a branded T-shirt and a picture on the Graduation wall? Everyone likes to be honored for their hard work and achievements!<
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    Post-evaluation follow-up calls: Have you ever had a health care provider call you to check-in with you the day after a visit or procedure? Wow, right? That personal touch will increase confidence in you and the care you are providing and keep your practice in the forefront of their mind for the next time and recommendations to others. Most patients appreciate even a voicemail message.

    THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

    Most EMR products offer customer engagement tools, such as Raintree Connect and Web PT’s REACH, that enable you to build a cadence of customer contact and automated appreciation. Using the right content, an automated patient journey will create connectivity with your patients and clients by:

    • Creating positive and frequent personalized interactions
    • Demonstrating your practice’s professional expertise and commitment to excellence.
    • Sharing your dedication to making every patient and client the best version of themselves.

    An automated patient journey will allow you and your clinical and front desk staff to spend more time interacting with and providing personal care to the patients in front of you.

    Planning, execution, consistency, and discipline are the keys to making a loyalty program successful. Make time in your schedule weekly to review the data related to patient engagement. Ensure your entire staff understands the whole patient lifecycle. As a patient’s journey isn’t limited to just before, during, and after their appointment, patient-oriented teams need to have an overview of the entire patient experience.

    Acting with intention to make your patients and clients feel special, like royalty, will in turn bring you loyalty! 


    Andrew Lotsis

    Andrew Lotsis is the CEO of Activepro Rehab Partners, a leading physical and occupational rehabilitation care development firm comprised of 54 practices in New Jersey and Maryland. He can be reached at alotsis@activeprorehab.com.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

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