Medical practices intent on growth and expansion are always looking for ways to increase their patient volume. The traditional approach to adding more patients is providing the highest quality healthcare possible, then relying on word-of-mouth advertising. This approach rightfully puts emphasis on outcomes for your patients.
However, there are ways for medical practices to increase their patient volume that supplement those gained from the quality of the care that’s provided. Check out these 15 creative methods for increasing your patient volume.
1. Know your patients’ needs before they even tell you
As healthcare offices grow, it becomes more difficult to remember the specific needs of each patient. Front desk teams find themselves flipping through files and waiting for software to remind themselves of a patient’s need. These delays cause call queues that negatively impact the patient experience.
Tethering phone calls to patient profiles gives you and your team immediate access to patient information. When a patient calls, their profile pops up on your computer screen, along with information about upcoming appointments, outstanding balances, and notes from past visits. Having this information at your fingertips helps patients trust your office and feel you understand their needs.
2. Use missed call texts to eliminate phone tag and voicemails
Successful medical practices frequently deal with the challenge of being flooded with phone calls at certain times of day. These peak call times cause voicemails to pile up and games of phone tag to ensue. Reducing phone tag and cutting down on the amount of messages in your voicemail box improves the patient experience and allows you to see more patients.
Missed call texts is a tool enabled by linking your phones to automated text messaging. If potential or existing patients can’t reach your front desk with a phone call, they automatically receive a text message from your office number. Missed call texts open up opportunities for two-way text conversations. Texting with patients frees up your phone lines and makes life easier for receptionists and office managers. Weave makes call volume much more manageable for medical practices.
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3. Collect online reviews
Online reviews are one of the best ways for healthcare providers to increase their patient volume, whether they’re an urgent care, an emergency department, a small healthcare facility, a large healthcare organization, or even the Mayo Clinic. Physicians and providers that don’t focus their efforts on collecting online reviews are putting themselves at a significant disadvantage.
With the right system for gathering reviews, it’s easy to quickly amass a high number of positive reviews on sites like Google and Facebook. Review requests can be sent out to patients following appointments via text message. Smart software monitors your status on various review sites and notifies you of new reviews.
Get discovered by new patients with online reviews
Prospective patients, and consumers in general, rely heavily on online reviews to make decisions about their primary care physician or other medical specialist. While word-of-mouth marketing is still viable and important, the vast majority of people look online before stepping into a new healthcare practice. Online reviews are becoming as critical as consistent patient referrals.
Online reviews help improve a healthcare organization’s SEO (search engine optimization). When your patients are frequently posting reviews to key sites, your practice’s standing typically goes up in Google search results. Not every review needs to be positive. In fact, occasional negative reviews help humanize and authenticate healthcare providers.
Monitor your medical reputation with online reviews
As medical practices establish themselves on key review sites, they’re also able to keep track of how their current patients feel about them. Using digital spaces to gather reviews instead of the old paper and pen method makes it easier to monitor patient outcomes, patient retention, and patient satisfaction.
Customer reviews software updates medical practices about new posts and star-ratings on reviews sites. Positive reviews can be repurposed on social media and company websites. Office workers and physicians responding to negative online reviews should try to make up for inferior care and report slanderous reviews to site administrators.
Review requests via text links while patients are in office
Online review requests are becoming a standard part of digital health, telehealth, and virtual care. These requests let patients know their providers care about their opinions and their experiences. They also let health care workers know if they’re offering optimal health outcomes.
After appointments, health care practices should ask for online reviews via text. Be especially attentive to each new patient and find out what they think of your office. Attract prospective patients and increase patient volume by making texted review requests a habit.
4. Use call queues on high call days to avoid callers from hitting voicemail
Another way to handle days with high call traffic is by using call queues. The lack of a call queue results in full voicemail boxes and patients going unheard. Referred patients might give up on their quest to reach your front desk.
Call queues allow medical practices to better manage incoming calls from patients. Call queues give receptionists the time to regroup before taking the next call. Controlling the patient flow over the phone ensures staff members aren’t overwhelmed and maximizes their ability to render high quality customer service.
5. Use personalized auto appointment reminders
Although elderly patients may still prefer call reminders, many a medical patient in today’s world wants to get appointment reminders by text. Healthcare providers that forego this communication option are limiting their ability to increase patient volume. Thanks to modern, integrative software, appointment reminders are easy to distribute to each patient that visits your medical practice.
Appointment reminders can include your facility’s address and links to health information, pages for patient education, and digital forms. Personalizing these appointment reminders with names, birthday messages, and other details make them stand out to patients. Set up appointment reminders to go out at specific dates and times to ensure that patients see them.
6. Make patient scheduling easy with smart text confirmation
Even by splitting patient communication into texts and calls, office managers and receptionists can have a hard time keeping track of every bit of information about patient appointments. Finding ways to automate confirmed appointments is becoming popular in the modern health system.
Smart text confirmations use artificial intelligence to interpret patient responses to appointment reminders. This AI understands colloquial language and even emojis. Once the software reads a message from a patient, smart text confirmations notify your front desk of accepted appointments, cancellations, and opportunities to reschedule.
7. Spruce up and optimize your medical website
Every credible medical practice today needs its own website. Because of how “online” our lives are, a website is one of the first exposures to your office for prospective patients. An aesthetically pleasing and functional website directly impacts your patient volume.
Don’t be afraid to hire an expert to spruce up your website. You don’t necessarily need to have someone working on it full-time; contracting some help occasionally can still lead to vast improvements to your site. Include information about your staff, opportunities for chatting with your front desk, and social media links on your website.
8. Utilize social media to build a fan club
Social media profiles are another way to organically increase patient volume. While medical practices should continue to engage with their communities in-person, an active online presence is an obvious method for attracting more patients. Popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube are great places to start if you don’t already have a social media presence.
Let your patients know about new hires by sharing their stories on Facebook. If your physical therapy practice has a new interior, post a picture of it on Instagram. Interview willing patients and upload the video to YouTube.
9. Identify and fill appointment gaps with Quick Fill capabilities
One way to increase patient volume is to make sure every gap in the schedule is filled, even when your practice has same-day cancellations. Historically, last-minute cancellations lead to panicked phone calls or just a lull in the schedule. New technology allows practices to quickly find a replacement for patients that cancel.
Quick Fill lists give practices insight into which other patients would likely schedule an appointment on short notice. Once a set of patients is identified, front desks can send out text blasts to those candidates. This level of intervention keeps patient volume humming despite unexpected setbacks.
10. Get a dedicated multi-location platform when running several offices
Growing practices often have multiple locations throughout their communities. Having multiple locations is one of the vital signs that a young practice is succeeding. However, as the size of a practice increases, so does the difficulty of running it successfully.
Unifying your multi-location practice with an effective communicative platform will be essential to its ability to flourish. Practices should have the power to merge data from newly acquired offices, generate revenue effectively, and replicate the performance of high-performing offices.
11. Run social media and Google Ads to reach your audience
This blog post has already mentioned the utility of social media platforms. Medical practices don’t need to update their social media profiles every single day, but having someone on staff post new content and check message boards regularly is a must in today’s climate.
Online advertisements are another terrific option for increasing patient volume. Google Ads is a popular service for those seeking to advertise their medical practice online. Google Ads makes it possible to get your office’s name seen on relevant sites and social media platforms without having to pay for each individual ad spot.
12. Offer follow-up appointment times to patients
Some medical practices are too casual about follow-up appointments. Offering follow-ups in person, by phone, or by text makes certain patients are getting optimal care and that a good patient volume is maintained. Today’s technology simplifies follow-ups, many of which can be conducted via telehealth.
13. Introduce new patient services
When physicians think of patient services, they might be immediately resistant to having to learn a whole new skill or pay a new type of doctor. The services offered to patients don’t always have to be medical procedures, however. Giving patients simple luxuries like espresso in the lobby, comfortable neck pillows, and even just improved lines of communication and easy-to-navigate patient portals can make a world of difference.
14. Try 10-minute appointment increments
A carefully planned daily schedule is a surefire way to increase your patient volume. Stacking short appointments can be tricky, but managing these short appointments successfully allows practices to see more patients. Again, telehealth is beneficial in this regard.
15. Improve team communication to lead to better patient experiences
Experience practitioners know that effective team communication is one of the hallmarks of a world-class healthcare practice. Weave Team is a solution for offices trying to keep their physicians, nurses, and office staff on the same page. Team members can even communicate with each other if they’re working from home or traveling to conferences through our mobile app.
Increase your patient volume with Weave
This list of creative ways to increase patient volume involves a host of communication solutions. These solutions are unified by Weave, an all-in-one platform growing medical practices. To learn about the whole gamut of products available to expanding healthcare offices through Weave, contact our team today for a free demo.