How to Reactivate Patients for Optimal Care and Treatment
A multibillion-dollar industry, healthcare requires constant innovation to improve patient outcomes. By keeping up with current healthcare trends, you can offer your patients options that are effective and take into account their needs and wants.
The healthcare industry is currently focusing on the patient experience to improve patient compliance and the need to optimize user-friendliness and facilitate the interaction between physician and patient.
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Patients can disengage from their care, which leads to poor health outcomes. As a result, healthcare providers need new methods and tactics to reactivate patients. With more patients than ever suffering from complex chronic conditions and an overburdened healthcare system with fewer physicians to tend to them, it’s more important than ever that healthcare organizations prioritize patient adherence to keep individuals healthy, engaged, and continually utilizing their healthcare services.
Patient Reactivation Methods and Tactics
Reactivating inactive patients is the main objective of a patient reactivation campaign. These campaigns utilize a combination of strategies and incentives to target former patients. By determining the reasons a patient left your practice and offering the right solution to persuade them to return, you can regain their trust in the long run.
Reactivation efforts aim to reenergize unengaged patients and transform them into active patients again. Creating a compelling reactivation campaign that concisely captures the attention of inactive patients can be challenging. The following are some innovative methods and tactics you can use to boost your patient reactivation rate.
1. Identify Reactivation Patients
Retention and reactivation of your patients are two different approaches. Patients that return to your clinic more than once need retention methods. In contrast, you must use reactivation techniques for patients whose business you have lost (attrition rate) due to a single visit to your clinic.
It is essential to determine a time frame before contacting your patients. Are you seeking to reach out to those who visited your clinic a month ago? Or are you trying to regain patients from a year ago?
Former patients are still prospects, regardless of how long it’s been since they visited your practice. It is your responsibility to ensure that they become regular and loyal clients. Therefore, it’s vital that you identify reactivation patients. They are the patients who were in your care but are no longer your active clients. This could be because their coverage has changed (they no longer have health insurance or their insurance company has dropped them) or because they relocated out of the area.
2. Find Out Why They Stopped Visiting You
When dealing with a patient who has fallen off the radar, it is important to find out why they stopped coming to see you in the first place—understanding the "why" of your patients' inactivity is critical for your reactivation strategy to be successful.
You may send out incentive-based surveys to patients. Surveys allow you to understand how your patients perceive their experiences with your organization, including questions about what they liked or didn't like about their experience, how well providers communicated with them, and whether they would recommend you to others pursuing similar services or treatments. Ensure that your survey includes an exciting offer, such as a discount or gift, to encourage your former patients to complete the survey. It is essential to obtain answers in order to render a valuable service based on their response.
You can ask them why they haven't been visiting you and what could be done to make an appointment more convenient for them the next time around. If finances are the problem, offer them an alternative payment option, such as cash payments or sliding scale fees based on income level, so that low-income families avoid incurring excessive expenses.
3. Send Email or Text Reminders
A good patient relationship management system should let you send automatic appointment reminders. This will make it easier for you to get patients to make new appointments or show up to the next one. Maintain patient engagement between appointments by employing personalized reminders, such as:
We are sending you a friendly reminder that your next appointment is coming up, so we've scheduled it for [date and time]. We know you're busy, and we're grateful for your time. We want to make sure that you don't forget.
[Office location] is a great place to get some work done while awaiting your appointment. Our staff will check you in as quickly as possible.
4. Offer Occasional Time-Sensitive Special Promotions
If you allow current patients to disengage from your active patient list, they will likely seek treatment from another provider when they need your services again. Therefore, providing special offers to your patients is one way to entice them back into your practice, especially if they feel forgotten over the past few months or years. For example, if a patient has been off treatment for six months, send them a coupon for 20% off their next order. Or if a patient has been off treatment for a year or more, send them a coupon for 50% off their next order. Whatever you do, make sure that these coupons are time-sensitive and only available for a limited time.
5. Engage Patients Through Digital Outreach
Most patients prefer phone calls, but some prefer email, text, or HIPAA-compliant video chat. The key is understanding which channel works best to reach reactivation patients. Ensure you have an effective patient engagement program in place. To be successful, it needs to be personalized and timely.
An excellent way to do this is through communication channels that patients have already expressed interest in using. For instance, social media outlets like Facebook are a superb way to reach patients. It's beneficial if your practice has a blog where people can comment on posts or interact with each other. This helps build community among your patients, who may appreciate knowing they're not alone in facing specific health issues or mental health dilemmas.
6. Provide an Easy Return Process for Former Patients
A successful reactivation process is essential from a business perspective. A patient who returns to your clinic after an extended absence has demonstrated a level of commitment that few patients have. These patients are worth the extra effort to ensure their return is as smooth as possible.
A welcome note can help remind patients about your practice, especially if it’s been a while since they last visited you. It’s also a good opportunity to provide valuable information about what happened during their previous visits or any changes you might have made since then, such as new staff members or clinic hours, that might make them feel more comfortable returning. Make sure everyone in your clinic knows how important it is for them to do this because it helps reinforce the trust between you and your patients and increases loyalty towards your practice.
7. Keeping Track of Your Success
Sort your patients into groups and try out several different methods to ascertain which one works best for each group. Next, implement the strategies that are most effective.
The most significant metric is the "win-back rate," a measure of the number of patients returning and remaining loyal to your practice. You may want to ensure that returning patients are not just coming back for a one-time discount but are also sticking with you for good. If this number is too low, it can indicate a problem with your methods. You want to know what works, what doesn't, and how often you're successful. By tracking your success, you can figure out what works best to get your patients to return.
It’s essential to reactivate lost patients in light of the rising costs associated with acquiring a new patient, as well as the possibility of bolstering your revenue. A progressive patient reactivation strategy helps ensure that patients remain top-of-mind and promotes patient engagement.
Get in touch with us to learn more about how to increase patient reactivation rates and keep your practice on track so you can focus on what matters most: delivering the best care possible.