10 Tips for Upgrading your Practice in the New Year

Today, patients are customers. When they walk through your doors, they have higher expectations than ever before.

They will not hesitate to utilize the power of social media and tell the world if their experiences with your medical practice are not as expected.

It is time for medical practices to set higher standards and deliver high-quality service to our patients because that is the only way to sustain yourself and grow your practice. Keep reading to learn how to do this with ten tips for upgrading your practice in the new year.

Give your practice a makeover.

You’ll never get another chance to make a first impression, so in the new year, make sure the outside of your practice looks inviting to current and potential patients. While you’re at it, it may be time for a quick indoor makeover as well.

Waiting rooms are a part of life for many patients, so make sure yours is clean, comfortable, and up to date. Keep the office clutter-free inside and the outside fresh and well maintained. Presentation is critical, and appearances matter just as much in healthcare as any other.

Ensure your website is engaging.

Patients will form opinions about your practice before they even meet you. The first impression before an actual visit will start with a well-designed, patient-friendly website. This is where visitors will want to learn about your practice and the range of services you offer.

Also, don’t forget to include interactive tools that allow patients to schedule appointments and communicate with your staff via email.

Respect your patients.

Your staff must commit to giving patients the attention they deserve throughout their visit.

Right from the moment the patient arrives for a scheduled appointment until they leave, your staff must provide excellent service.

Focus on details.

When staff members remember specific details about a patient, they feel appreciated and special.

Making it a priority to know basic information about your patient in the new year will be essential because personal details matter. It could be as simple as a question about their family, a pet, or recent travels. Be sure to address patients by their preferred name.

Quality front desk staff.

Your front desk staff are the primary liaisons for your patients. Quality patient communication begins with answering phones with enthusiasm and a staff willing to answer all their questions. When patients come in for their scheduled appointments, your front-office staff should make eye contact, smile, and have a positive and comforting attitude.

Your front office maintains patient flow, handles accounting, schedules appointments, verifies insurance, answers the phone, and much more. Most importantly, these are the first faces your patients will see during every visit. Maintaining a roster of high-quality front staff is vital in keeping an office running smoothly, patients happy, and driving revenue. They must be professional, smiling, providing consistency, and constantly communicating with patients and physicians.

Good patient communication.

Properly educating patients allows them to play a significant role in their care; this begins with good communication. The medical staff must accurately inform their patients but clearly and understandably.

Patient education and communication need to be more than just regurgitating tired instructions and information. With a team that listens, slows things down, builds a rapport, and shows empathy, you can provide high-level care and establish a solid patient-doctor relationship.

Improve your collections strategy.

Patient collections are an ongoing headache for most medical practices, especially with patients on high-deductible insurance plans.

If it’s a significant obstacle for your practice, it could be worth it to hire an outside agency in the new year. Otherwise, you may want to re-evaluate your overall collections strategy and make essential changes to your billing practices. Some good billing practice ideas include:

  • Incentivizing your billing staff.
  • Ensure your team contacts “slow payers” more frequently.
  • Train them on when to bring in a collection agency.

A good billing and collections strategy helps the practice and patients as well.

Optimize the scheduling process.

You must try to establish a well-managed appointment scheduling system that is professional and easy to navigate. If your website doesn’t have a patient portal, implement one immediately.

Patient portals are an excellent way to exchange necessary information safely and conveniently with patients. Ensure your patients have access to this little medical luxury that gives them constant contact with your practice and makes their lives easier.

Engage with your patients.

Are you utilizing social media and a robust website to connect with your patients? If not, it’s time.

In addition to social media, include an informative blog along with an online patient portal on your website so your patients can easily access their records and essential documents.

Utilize effective reminders.

Ensure you use effective reminders for your patients and tailor them to fit their needs. In our modern era, you should not have blanket-style reminders.

Ask your patients which method they prefer and then contact them that way. Little details like this can make a big difference in upgrading your patients’ experience.

While the general public may not always be the easiest to please, upgrading your practice isn’t rocket science. Rheumatology practices must provide the utmost care throughout each appointment experience. From appointment making and the front desk greeting to the actual treatment and a follow-up call, it is essential that the patient feels valued.

By finding little ways to upgrade a patients’ experience at all points in their journey with your practice, you will see improvements in satisfaction and retention.

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