Patient Relationship Management & Your Practice
A lot goes into running a successful practice. Of course, the thing that’s the most important to your practice is delivering great oral health care outcomes. One of the key ways to accomplish this is staying engaged with your patients. This is where patient relationship management can be quite powerful. Patient communication software is an essential element of that.
Patient engagement and patient relationship management go hand in hand. When you keep our patients engaged, you are showing them healthcare’s equivalent to great customer service. Keeping your patients engaged keeps them coming back to your practice. Plus, it turns them into advocates for your practice. Many of those highly-desired, five-star Google reviews come from engaged patients.
However, patient relationship management can be time-consuming for your staff. This is especially true if they are having to follow up with patients manually.
Let’s explore how managing your patient relationships with software can be so beneficial for your dentistry practice.
The Ins & Outs of Patient Relationship Management
Having a good patient communication tool that integrates with your PMS is essential to patient satisfaction – and therefore, patient relationship management. As we discussed in an earlier blog, patients have indicated that they would be more engaged if they were contacted between appointments. In fact, 42% of patients say that they would be more engaged if contacted between visits. Patient engagement is the main ingredient in this relationship management. This is where a tool can help.
Staying connected to your patients throughout the patient journey is paramount. As a practice, ask yourself these key questions:
- Are you communicating with your patients by the method they prefer, i.e., text, phone, email?
- Do you have a messaging cadence in place with touchpoints at every step in the patient journey, i.e., appointment reminders, fasting reminders, pre-medication reminders?
- Is your staff able to keep up with the workflow that you have in place for this messaging cadence?
- If your staff cannot keep up with the workflow, what other changes could you implement? What can you automate?
- And, finally, have you considered switching to a patient management tool that allows you to automate some of this messaging cadence?
Maintaining this level of patient relationship management can seem like a daunting task. The good news? There is a competitive market of patient communication tools that can support you in accomplishing these goals.
Patient Communication Tools in Action
What are the many ways that a patient communication tool can help? First of all, a good patient communication tool will integrate with your PMS, allowing you to conduct messaging in a holistic, user-friendly way.
Patient relationship management starts as soon as your patient fills out their intake form. Collecting pertinent information in an efficient, user-friendly way – right off the bat – sets your patient’s expectations about your practice. Best practices for the starting point of this relationship include:
- Sending forms digitally, before the appointment
- Finding a customizable forms tool that allows you to ask detailed questions
- Assuring the patient that you have stored the information safely, according to HIPAA
A patient communication tool is able to streamline a lot of these processes for you. It can keep track of which patient needs which type of form, according to their appointment type. Integrating a patient communication tool that can automate and customize a lot of your messaging makes this process that much easier.
Patient relationship management also involves communicating with your patients in the way they want. Many patients, especially your younger ones, will respond much more readily to a text than a voicemail or phone call.
Automating communication is a key feature of a patient communication tool. Your staff saves time and creates efficient workflows, allowing you to focus on delivering great outcomes for your patients.
Giving your staff the tools to maintain a good workflow, while maintaining a positive and communicative relationship with your patients, is one of the main benefits of a patient communication tool.
Plus, when your patients are happy, they leave great reviews! You can build requests for a review into your messaging cadence. This prompts your happy patient to become advocates for your practice!
Patient Relationship Management in the Field
Investing in a patient communication tool goes a long way towards achieving your patient management goals. Your staff is able to save on time through automation – without sacrificing any key moments of patient engagement.
But what does a good patient communication tool look like in the field?
Well, at Intiveo, we know something about that.
At Intiveo, our focus is patient communication. We help facilitate patient relationship management. From our experience with our customers, we can draw on some examples of what it looks like when patient relationship management is succeeding.
At Sharma Oral Surgery, the staff there saw a significant change, for the better, in their patient relationship management. This is because they were able to easily keep patients engaged. Dr. Sharama was able to send out another layer of communication, in the form of pre- and post-operative instructions. This allowed them to improve their patient care, setting their patients up for a successful appointment outcome.
Bluewater Dental & Lighthouse Dental Centre saw a 200% increase in patient reviews. This indicates improved patient relationship management because their patients were motivated enough to become advocates for their practice. This practice also noted that their confirmation rates had climbed to a comfortable 92-100% success rate. Again, this shows how engaged are when a practice prioritizes that patient relationship management.
Managing your patient relationships through engagement also contributes to a decrease in no-shows. This was true for Lakeside Pediatric Dentistry, which saw an 80% decrease in no-shows once they started investing in patient relationship management. The busy parents of their young patients responded very well to the frequency of the engagement and messaging cadence.
Curious about Intiveo? Book a free demo today!
What are the takeaways from seeing a patient communication tool in the field?
- Patients respond to frequent messaging, which is made easier by automating that messaging through patient management tools
- Consistent patient relationship management decreases the chance of no-shows, which is a positive outcome for your bottom line
- Engaged patients are more likely to review!
- Engaging consistently with patients also prompts them to be more communicative, leading to an increase in confirmation rates and successful outcomes
Building strong patient relationship management is a fundamental pillar of a smoothly running practice. When you invest in a communication tool, you invest in these patient relationships.
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