Patient retention and acquisition are both important for the survival of a healthcare organization.
However, we often see that marketing for healthcare is aimed solely at grabbing the attention of prospective new patients. Few clinics remember to check in with their existing clients to ensure they return.
If you want to succeed, you need to focus on both groups of patients. The only way to achieve this is by improving your patient engagement levels. Let’s take a closer look.
Importance of Patient Retention
It can be a costly endeavor to acquire new patients. Of course, you will always need them. So while investing in your patient acquisition efforts is a must, you are more likely to get a better return on your investment by dealing with challenges in patient retention.
Loyal patients who are dedicated to you and your clinic have immeasurable value. Just like in any other business, new customer acquisition is five times as expensive as customer retention. And improving your retention rates by only 5% can increase your profits by up to 95%.
Profits are not the main concern, though. If your healthcare facility becomes known as a place patients do not return to, you seem unreliable.
A good reputation is vital for all businesses, especially those in healthcare. Patients want doctors and clinics they can trust. The inability to keep existing patients is treated as a sign of inexperience and unprofessionalism. Your practice will be seen as untrustworthy, and you’ll find it hard to attract new patients.
To improve your patient acquisition rates, you need to improve your patient retention rates. Both are critical, and both require your attention.
Benefits of Improving Patient Engagement
Improved engagement rates will benefit both you and your patients. Engaged patients are more inclined to listen to your medical advice. They follow through with your suggestions and recommendations. Most importantly, they are more engaged in their own health and wellbeing.
This allows you to provide your patients with superior care. You have the chance to get to know your patients better. You can learn about their lifestyles and habits, which allows you to provide more personalized treatments and solutions.
Improved patient engagement ensures better results and reduces the amount of time it takes you to treat individuals.
Not to mention you are less likely to deal with no-shows and appointment cancellations. Patients who are invested in their health and your clinic will make appointments as necessary and stick to them.
Tactics to Increase Patient Retention and Acquisition in Healthcare
There are numerous tactics to increase your patient retention and acquisition rates. All of them require your commitment to be effective.
The following are some of the top marketing for healthcare tactics that drive results, so let’s investigate.
1. Keep Your Patients Involved
There is no room in today’s medicine for an all-knowing doctor and a quietly accepting patient. Just saying which medicine they need to take and when is not enough for patients. They need to be thoroughly informed about their wellbeing and take an active part in maintaining their health.
Help your patients set realistic goals for their health. If they are smokers, don’t just say “quit smoking.” Advise them on the best ways to do so. Tell them about all the struggles and challenges awaiting them and all the benefits they can derive.
Remember to keep the information simple and straightforward. Medical professionals are accustomed to the medical jargon they use on a daily basis. That can be confusing and overwhelming to patients. Use plain, uncomplicated language to make sure your patients understand what you are saying.
2. Introduce EMRs
The best way to keep your patients in the loop about their health is by introducing Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). EMRs are becoming increasingly popular in healthcare institutions around the world. Over 86% of office-based physicians have already adopted EMRs, and more are in the middle of doing so.
Electronic medical records can make your job and your patients’ lives much easier. You get a clearer (and faster) insight into their previous medical history. You can immediately see whether they have critical medical conditions, allergies to certain medications, and more vital information.
This can prove to be lifesaving in situations when the patient is unconscious or unable to communicate for some reason.
EMRs can improve your diagnoses and streamline your processes, resulting in more satisfied patients.
3. Make Use of Social Media
Social media was created for improving communication, and taking advantage of it can help you immensely. By boosting your social media marketing, you improve your current patients’ engagement rates and acquire new patients more easily.
The best tactic for increasing engagement on social media is posting regular, valuable content. It can be in the form of Q&As, tutorials, informational videos, educational texts, and more. Just remember to stay active and responsive in the comment sections.
Social media is the most relevant advertising channel for 42% of millennials. Utilizing it will significantly boost your patient acquisition rates.
4. Don’t Forget Digital Marketing
Digital marketing as a whole can be extremely beneficial to businesses in the healthcare industry. You can invest in healthcare ads to reach the ever-growing number of internet users. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Pay per Click marketing, and similar digital tools are the most effective ways to stay relevant and improve patient acquisition.
Improved Patient Satisfaction Leads to Better Patient Retention
By boosting your marketing strategy and investing in improving your patients’ engagement levels, you will significantly increase their satisfaction levels.
Patients are more likely to return to you if they are satisfied with you, your clinic, and your services. Satisfied patients are the strongest asset for boosting word-of-mouth marketing for healthcare.
It does not take much to improve your patient retention and acquisition rates. Committing to just some of these tactics to increase patient retention and acquisition in healthcare will drive almost immediate results. All you need is dedication and consistency.
Ready to grow your practice?
iProv can help you make the most of your digital media marketing! Call us today at (501)653-6532 or visit our website to get started!