We’ve all got it happen. A patient comes in or maybe even a half dozen times once. Then they break their next appointment or don’t make one in any way rather than coming into our clinic again. They don’t come back to our phone calls or emails. Of course there could be many possibilities and it may have nothing in connection with you in any way.
But it’s likely that it boils down to a few things we could all do in different ways to lower the number of disappearing patients. Listed below are my ideas with this subject and I hope they resonate with you or offer you some food for thought. I believe most patient disappearance comes down to three things: poor office-patient communication and education, poor business and office management, or inflexible payment and prices options. Are some ideas on how can you improve Here?
To keep a patient for the long haul, we need to do our extreme to ensure that patients see, hear, and understand all our communication with them. Firstly, this is important when educating patients about the necessity of getting a complete treatment, however many you believe are required to get the patient well using acupuncture. With natural therapy this might translate into how many weeks or months of herbs you think they’ll need to take.
Secondly, signage in your medical clinic can go a long way toward explaining things about our medication as well as what you specifically offer to patients and to your community. You can and probably should have “did you know” type signs about various conditions that you want to treat. For instance if you want to treat insomnia, a straightforward indication that says “Did you know sleep problems are the most common diseases in the US today?
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can offer quick and effective help for many patients who experience sleep disorders. Require information for a friend or family member today.” can be effective at educating your patients about the broad scope of conditions that you can treat and about which they didn’t know. Third, your written educational materials should be easy-to-read and understand.
Be wary of using the term “qi” when speaking to patients or writing educational flyers or website copy. We are not even able to translate this term accurately into English. One friend of mine always schedules a supplementary 30-45 minutes into her first appointment with a patient. Finally, I would recommend bonding phone calls and reminder phone calls (or texts or email messages), as well as semi-regular snail and email email marketing communications.
A bonding call is performed within 24 hrs of a first appointment and treatment. For snail mail, I believe the best use from it is to send a birthday or “thinking of you” card now and then, but one which has a particular, hand-written message in it instead of just signing your name.
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Here’s wishing this card finds you well and growing. I saw that your birthday is coming up and it occurred to me that I recently attended a workshop where I learned a new type of treatment for your condition. If you ever have a recurrence of symptoms and wish to discuss it, please don’t wait to give me a call. Meanwhile, stay well and revel in your birthday. PS. Did your son enter one of the schools he had used on? ” You here get the idea. Keep it friendly, short, and specific to their life for some reason.
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