By Michael Tetreault, Editor, Concierge Medicine Today
JULY 16, 2015 – Relevance is determined by patients in today’s marketplace by measuring your freely provided “intangible offerings.” Meaning, it’s the little things that count … and ultimately, the ROI and time you put into these “little things” you do for your patients, will mean increased renewals and patient satisfaction. Physicians tell us that one of the most stressful times each year for them and their patients is when that patient decides for themselves whether or not the services you are providing for them for the annual, quarterly or monthly fee is worth it. According to the Concierge Medicine Research Collective, those times typically arise in August-September of each year and January. While nationally, the patient renewal rates in Concierge Medicine offices remains high (bet. 88%-95%, Source: Concierge Medicine Today, polling data), physicians and staff must remember … ‘it’s the little things that count.’
Small, intangibles inside your practice are things you think about that no one else in your community is thinking about that ultimately benefits your patients and creates top of mind awareness and value in the eyes of your customer(s).
There are currently six things you can do to impact patients in a big way that some smart, savvy and sophisticated medical practices are already doing. And the best part, it will cost you nothing … just your time and your “sweat equity” spent reading this story.
- Ask Your Patients About Their Kids Texting Habits.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. You’ve probably heard this phrase before, right? Well, it’s a golden rule of sorts in the world of healthcare and you should remember it, everyday. It has become the new normal to see teenagers texting on their mobile devices while walkign down the street, waitinf for the busi, riding the train or hanging out with friends. In fact, according to Neilsen, American teens send an average of more than 3,300 texts each month. That’s more than 100 per day! Asking a concerned mother or father of a teen in your practice about their children is always nice. Asking them about something that happens 100 times per day that could aid in the health of their kids and improve a parent-child relationship, well, that’s priceless … like the commercial says. Start reading up on neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, thumb and finger pain. It not only helps you be more aware of modern-day symptoms, it can help you improve the relationships with your existing patients … and possibly gain a few new ones too!
- Text Therapy for Your Patients.
This might sound really strange, but texting arthritis and carpal tunnel issues are impacting people these days in a big way … because just about everyone spends a lot of time texting each day. Think of stretches and exercises you can encourage your patients to do to help relieve that finger/hand tension. Your patients will be very grateful. Here’s an example. Nicole Logan, a physiotherapist in Victoria, British Columbia, says that doing one or more of her stretches with her patients is helping to relieve texting-related pain … and leaving her patients leaving the office feeling ‘wow, no one else took the time to help me … and this was really helpful!’ Other examples include:
- Free Wifi Should Be Available When Patients Walk Into Your Office. Additionally, you should secure it with a password and have a small sign in your lobby where patients can log-in to it securely, if you keep them waiting.
- If you serve beverages … don’t serve drinks high in sugar or calories. It just sends the wrong message.
- Extended Office/Clinic Hours To Accommodate Monday-Friday Workers.
You might think this is a hassle for you or your staff … but your patients will enjoy the benefits of later hours once or twice a week.
- Lobbies Matter. Update Yours by Removing the Glass Window In Your Lobby and Replace Outdated, Worn out Chairs with Comfortable Couches.
Nothing says I don’t really care like having a patient walk into your office and have to tap on the glass to let them know they have arrived. Consider removing entirely this glass shield between you and the patient and get rid of that ugly couch and those outdated chairs.
- BONUS TREND! If you want to start an interesting conversation with a patient about health … ask them if they’ve updated their Living Will, Will and a healthcare power of attorney in the event of an accident of emergency. See what happens! Afterall, if you’re saying to your patients that you’re taking care of the whole person … start caring about the whole person.