As a healthcare facility, you want to provide the best care possible to all your patients, but doing so requires financial stability. Your patients are your customers. To have the best chances of maintaining a healthy financial position, you need a steady flow of patients nourishing your business’s revenue.

Patient churn refers to the phenomenon where a dissatisfied patient cancels their appointment or chooses another healthcare provider over your organization. Customer churn affects your practice’s finances, reputation, and ability to provide medical services to other patients in need. Saying that avoiding patient churn is the bedrock of a thriving healthcare industry wouldn’t be an understatement.

At Weave, we provide an all-in-one solution for preventing patient churn tailored to your business needs, goals, and requirements. Our software can boost patient engagement and improve patient satisfaction so your healthcare organization attracts new patients while retaining your current ones. Below, we discuss our top tips for reducing patient churn.

Understanding Patient Churn

To improve patient engagement at your facility, you must understand patient churn and how it affects healthcare organizations.

In healthcare, patient churn refers to losing patients from a medical practice through switching providers or discontinuing care. Churn can significantly impact your practice’s revenue and reputation. High customer churn rates often indicate patient dissatisfaction with care quality, communication, or convenience.

Understanding and addressing the underlying causes of patient churn can help healthcare providers maintain a stable patient base, ensure consistent revenue, and uphold a positive reputation in the healthcare community. Patients churn for many reasons. For example, some patients may simply move out of town while others may decide to schedule with other healthcare providers.

You can calculate your patient churn rate by subtracting your actual visit count from your expected visit count. Then, divide that number by your expected visit number and multiply the decimal by 100 to receive your rate.

For example, if you expected 100 patients to arrive between Monday and Friday and only 80 showed, you would subtract 80 from 100 to receive 20. Then, you would divide 20 by 100 to receive .02, then multiply the decimal by 100 to get a churn rate of 20%. Ultimately, you would discover that 20% of your patients are not arriving for their appointments.

The top factors contributing to a high patient churn rate include the following:

  • Long wait times
  • Non-realistic cost expectations
  • Poor communication
  • Non-realistic expectations regarding treatment progress
  • Friction when scheduling appointments
  • Confusion with follow-ups
  • Non-synced customer data
  • And more

The Impact of Patient Churn

Your profitability will decrease when your facility has fewer patients on the schedule. With a lower cash flow, you will have less financial stability to support your current patients, which means your doctors may not have access to all the necessary equipment and treatment tools.

Patient churn can also affect a healthcare provider’s reputation. Many patients leave online reviews that can negatively impact the opinions of physicians and your practice as a whole. Your practice could risk losing potential new and current patients based on your online reputation.

Key Strategies To Reduce Patient Churn

Now that you understand what patient churn is, let’s discuss our top tips for reducing patient churn at your healthcare facility.

Enhancing Patient Communication

Communication is key, especially in the patient-provider relationship. Research shows that patient satisfaction increases when care providers can properly explain treatment protocols and procedures to patients. Patients need to understand their diagnosis, how to take their medications, when to schedule follow-ups, and how to communicate with their providers moving forward if they have any questions.

Increasing patient communication at your healthcare facility can prevent potential friction, ultimately preventing churn. According to clinical research, approximately one-third of patients fail to take their medications as prescribed, resulting in potential treatment failure and patient dissatisfaction. By increasing appointment lengths and communication protocols, you can prevent gaps in treatment, ensuring that patients have the best care possible.

Weave provides healthcare software for meaningful communication between patients and providers. Patients can enjoy features like automated appointment reminders, personalized care plans synced to their dashboard, and instant provider messaging while providers view all patient data in one simple place for more effective communication.

Leveraging Technology for Patient Engagement

To reduce patient churn, you need to make your services as accessible as possible. Every process a customer interacts with should feel personalized, simple, and integrated. By leveraging technology, practices can cut costs, streamline critical patient experience steps, and reduce patient churn.

The top healthcare technologies your facility can integrate to increase patient satisfaction include IVR systems for intelligent calling, EHR systems for personalized experiences, telehealth for quality at-home services, artificial intelligence for rapid data analytics, customer platforms for scheduling and payments, and insurance verification to streamline the checkout step.

Weave offers cutting-edge tech for healthcare facilities, including advanced IVR systems, customer portals, insurance verification, automated reminders, and more. 

If you’re interested in increasing your response times to boost engagement levels and reduce patient churn, check out our free webinar below:

Speed to Lead: How quick response times impact patient/client engagement – Weave Webinar

Streamlining the Patient Experience

Patients may choose another healthcare provider if they experience a long wait time or other issues during their appointment. Improving your facility’s efficiency can reduce wait times, schedule more patients, and boost patient retention. Here are our top tips for cutting wait times:

  • Gather patient data before the visit with intelligent forms and sync that data with your EHR system to streamline the process.
  • Eliminate non-critical activities or find ways to automate them so your staff can focus on the patients being treated.
  • Integrate self-scheduling technology so your front-desk staff can help with more critical tasks.
  • Use intelligent phones so patients can directly reach the correct person when they need help with payments, procedures, scheduling, etc.
  • Use on-call scheduling to prevent doctor burnout, scheduling mishaps, and other complications that often happen in healthcare.
  • Automate insurance verification to reduce the new patient check-in timeline.

Weave’s platform offers tools to help you accomplish the above and more. With our software, you can optimize customer flow, reduce administrative burdens, and cut down wait times to provide a more personalized customer experience.

Interested in learning more about providing a more personalized customer experience? Check out our free webinar:

How to Personalize your Patient Experience in 2023 – Weave Webinar

Building Strong Patient Relationships

Patients want to feel like their providers are on the same page as them. When you show empathy and personalization across your services, your patients know you understand their needs. Building strong relationships at scale isn’t always easy, but you can do so by keeping detailed patient data records and using tools to personalize interactions.

With Weave, providers can receive an in-depth view of the patient’s full medical history before providing services. Patients will enjoy personalized experiences across everything from the text message reminders they receive before appointments to their patient portal, where they can view lab reports or service payment schedules.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Patient Retention for Healthcare Providers

The future of patient retention revolves around technology. Patients expect fast, personalized experiences catered to their needs. To satisfy those expectations, your practice needs a seamless system that eliminates timely, manual processes while streamlining care.

As more practices embrace modern consumer demands, we’re seeing new trends emerge around EHR systems, scheduling processes, insurance verification steps, payment options, and more. With Weave, your facility can stay ahead of the curve. Our solution allows you to provide minimal wait times, personalized service, and top-notch care to boost satisfaction while increasing retention. Check out our free webinar below on how to increase patient retention:

5 Ways to Increase Patient Retention in 2023 – Weave Webinar

Reduce Churn and Enhance Patient Satisfaction at Your Facility With Weave

To reduce patient churn at your facility, you must adopt strategies for enhancing communication, streamlining the customer experience, and building stronger patient relationships. Healthcare providers can do so by leveraging technology.

At Weave, our all-in-one service tackles everything from insurance verification and pre-appointment forms to appointment scheduling and reminders. With Weave, you can provide a better patient experience at scale. Get a demo of Weave today to see how we can reduce churn at your healthcare organization.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Patient Churn

What does patient churn mean?

Patient churn refers to the loss of patients from a healthcare provider's practice over time. Understanding and managing patient churn is crucial for maintaining a stable patient base and ensuring the financial health of a healthcare practice.

What is the average patient churn rate?

Patient churn rate can vary across different specialities and locations. However, the average patient churn rate for healthcare practices is between 40-50%.

What is the difference between customer retention and churn?

Customer retention refers to keeping existing customers engaged and continuing to use a practice's services, while churn describes losing customers who discontinue their engagement or visitation.