Call intake and the reception/registration processes should be analyzed on a quarterly basis in every medical practice. This is the lifeblood of your business. Do not become over-confident that the patients will stay with your practice just because you have good providers. Most communities have many good doctors, so if your patient intake is not living up to their expectations, the patient almost always has other options. While the patients may take for granted the good customer service they do receive at your practice, they will definitely recognize when they don’t receive it. And, they will tell others.
Your practice should always have a goal to attract new patients either by patient referral or from other practices. But it is imperative that you always maintain a strong focus on repeat business and referrals. Through our experience, we have found that it costs ~5 times more to obtain a new patient than it does to keep the ones you already have. We have also found 5 primary areas why patients change their providers:
- a very small amount are due to deceased patients
- a small portion move away
- friends/family want the patient to see a different provider
- a larger portion is because the current provider no longer takes their insurance plan
- the largest portion is dissatisfied with the visit and feel like they experienced poor customer service
Being able to relate to how the patient sees your intake process is crucial. Do they feel that your practice requires too much paperwork? Are the waits too long? Is your front desk staff meeting the patients’ expectations? All this information should be obtained and analyzed on a quarterly basis so your practice can continuously tweak the intake process. This will ensure the experience continues to be positive for your patients, as well as give them a reason to continue having you as their doctor, and referring friends and family to your practice.
Advantage Administration, Inc. provides expert analysis and recommendations based on extensive experience in the medical/healthcare field. Our team is experienced in identifying and finding solutions for common and unique problems in medical practices that can make your practice more efficient and successful.