What is Patient Relationship Management?

PATIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

 

Do you take your patients for granted?

 

When I think about the absolute essentials of a thriving therapy practice. Three essentials come to mind:

  1. A remarkable patient experience
  2. Remarkable provider-patient relationships
  3. A remarkable profit margin

In all of these factors, relationships play a vital role. You might say its all about relationships.

Unfortunately in the hurried pace of healthcare sometimes therapists take patients for granted. Some therapists have allowed the minutiae of insurance demands and government regulations to crowd the most important predictor of practice success–positive patient relationships.

Therapists tend to focus their resources on getting new referrals rather than retaining current patients for life. Choosing where to invest your energy and time can be challenging, especially when it comes to marketing. It’s tempting to look beyond investing in the patient relationship right in front of you to a referral stream that’s “out there someplace”. In reality, every one of your patients has the potential to become a referral source.

Some of you may believe you already know what your patients want and that you deliver exceptional service. But have you ever asked them what they think of your scheduling process, your payment policies or their satisfaction with the care they received from your assistants?

A loyal patient is not made just through great therapy, though obviously, results do matter. It’s paying attention to the essential details that make patients’ entire experience at your clinic exceptional. In order for your clinic to stand out, you’ll need to strive to execute the practice essentials with every patient.

A loyal patient is not made just through great therapy outcomes, though obviously, results do matter. It’s paying attention to the essential details that make patients’ entire experience at your clinic exceptional. In order for your clinic to stand out from the competition, you’ll need to strive to execute the practice essentials with every patient.

The question is how do I do this with so many demands on my time?

How To Read Your Patients’ Minds

how to read your patient's minds

Don’t you wish you could read your patients’ minds?

At times it would be helpful to know what people are thinking and feeling when we interact with them. We do our best to motivate them to check out our services or follow through with their plan of care. Too often they just don’t seem to get it and we have no clue why.

Here’s what a prospective patient with back pain might be saying to themselves…

“Severe back pain just hit me again, and I’m anxious that I’ll have to take time off from work.

I can’t decide if I want to see a therapist or a chiropractor, I’ve heard good and bad things about both. Next, if I go with a therapist, I must decide which one.

I do a quick Google search and see there are two clinics the same distance from my work so I base my decision on which clinic has the easiest way to schedule an appointment; I don’t want to spend a lot of time on the phone.(which my boss hates)

An important factor for people like me when deciding where to get healthcare, is can I trust them. What’s their bedside manner like? How much time will it take? How much will cost? What will they do to me?

The problem for us is we don’t know what the experience will be like until we’re already there. That makes me a little anxious but this pain is killing me.

While I definitely prefer physical therapy to chiropractors, I also value my time, and I’m not going to spend a half a day just to get some help. I want the total experience to be something I can live with and afford.”

If a therapist created a patient journey map for this acute back pain patient they could quickly see an opportunity to capitalize on prospects who want to take the hassle out of healthcare. Creating a patient journey map can be a challenge but is well worth the effort.

Lifecycle Marketing – How to Grow your Practice and Feel Good about It

Lifecycle Markeing

 

There are a lot of people who want your money

There are a lot of marketers on the Internet who want to take your money. They promise you how to effortlessly get a steady stream of patients–in exchange for your hard earned cash. Their pitch goes something like this…

 

How Bob Got 22 New Patients In One Hour

By Doing Just “One Thing” Really Well

 

It sounds too good to be true (probably is) but the headline still grabs you. You’re vulnerable, you’ve tried marketing but have nagging doubts you’re doing it right. You’re passionate and good at what you do but this marketing thing is frustrating.

You say to yourself, “It can’t be that hard, I’m intelligent, after all, I made it through graduate school, didn’t I?” Somehow if people knew you and understood how you could help them, your schedule would be packed.

None-the-less, new referrals trickle in and you still have open slots in your schedule. Growing your practice sure seems a lot harder than it should be and it takes forever to see any results.

In a weak moment, when patient visits are down you buy the guru’s book or sign up for a training program. You might even fly to a conference in another city. You jump head first into the hottest marketing program, put in the work and see some initial progress.

But then you hit the wall.

You find things not adding up like you had hoped. The marketing tactics don’t feel right. They feel way too pushy and unprofessional. They take too much time away from patient care and your personal life. Trust me I’ve been down that road a couple of times.

Those of us who have lived most of our careers in the healthcare ecosystem have a limited perspective on attracting people who need our services. We have lived so long under the physician referral system it’s hard to see getting patients any other way.

What we need is a fresh perspective on attracting and keeping new patients. Let’s take a new look on how to attract, connect and delight new patients through a process called lifecycle marketing.

Success- What Happens If It’s Not What You Think It Is?

How Do You Define Success?

 

I don’t think that anyone wakes up in the morning wishing that today would be a total waste. Nobody has the deep down desire to fail, although many do.

I believe that most therapists want to be successful in life/work/family regardless of how they define success. I also believe that the way success is most commonly defined is mistaken.

How do you define success?

Perhaps this article originally published by my course building coach Leslie Taylor will help.

First Impressions: How To Make A Remarkable One

Use Intake Q To Craft A Remarkable Onboarding Experience

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

 

We often think of first impressions of being when we come face-to-face with our clients for the first time. It usually goes something like this…a new evaluation appears on our schedules, we glance at the chart before we open the door, we greet the new patient by name and introduce ourselves. Perhaps we smile and shake their hand before we sit down on a stool to take their medical history.

The first impression right?

All of us want to create a good first impression with our patients. The rest of the treatment experience goes better if we get off to a good start. Unfortunately, we don’t know where first impressions come from nor do we know exactly when they happen. Somewhere in the patient experience, an impression is made about your practice that sticks with your patient long after they leave your clinic.

Influencing patients’ first impressions will go a long way in determining outcomes, loyalty and what they share with others. To probe a little deeper into creating positive first impressions and simple ways we might influence them I’ve invited someone that I admire that does this very well. He naturally and consistently forms good impressions on most of the people he encounters. 

I’d like to introduce you to a guest author and good friend, Tom Kruse. Not the movie star but a physical therapist who is a rock star to those who know him well. I thought you all would benefit from hearing from therapists who are making an impact like yourself in your own quiet way. I’m blessed to interact with change makers on a weekly basis. Periodically I will provide them this platform to share their stories. 

Probably like you, Tom is a therapy entrepreneur who wants to make a difference in the world. He successfully launched his practice in 2015 which has been growing steadily ever since. 

Tom felt called to leave corporate therapy after 15 years to start his own practice. Even though highly successful at his previous employer, he found the pace difficult to sustain and less rewarding. He was getting home late for family dinners, shouldering more administrative responsibilities and had a gnawing feeling he wasn’t providing the best care he could. 

How To Eliminate Patient No-Shows

Create An Experience So Remarkable Patients Won't Miss It

Eliminate No Shows

 

Did you have several patients not show up for their appointments this week?

Join the club. I had my fair share. 

Patient no-shows can be one of the most frustrating aspects of a therapist’s job, with good reason.

We put all time and effort into the initial evaluation, entering information into the EMR, calculating functional limitations, outlining the plan of care, designing a home exercise program(with handouts no less) only to have the patient be a no-show for their next appointment.

You’re confident they need your services and you’re more than capable of helping them reach their goals.  

Despite how sincere and convincing you are, for one reason or another, you seem to have more no-shows than you’d expect.

Not only are no-shows exasperating they are a real time and money suck. No one gets paid for a no-show. Unfortunately, all the expenses related to missed appointments–staff salaries, rent, utilities, etc still must be paid.

While you can’t eliminate no-shows totally from your practice, busting common no-show myths can go a long way in reducing their prevalence. By slightly shifting your mindset and making a couple of changes you can create a patient experience patients will hate to miss. 

3 STEPS TO A REMARKABLE THERAPY BRAND

The Best Way To Stand Out In A Crowd

 stand-out-600x600

 

 

How Are You Going To Stand Out?

 

Healthcare in the U.S. is going berzerk right now. Fierce competition has created a situation where therapists need to be recognized as the best–period. There will always be “therapy jobs” but there is less room for average performers to find a promising career path.

With therapy schools are pumping out more graduates year after year, how are you to find and keep a primo therapy job?

Building a remarkable therapy brand is the best way to advance and protect your career. Click To Tweet

I believe the most important skill for therapists to develop will not be clinical, it will not be technological, it’s not economical/business acumen. It will be the ability to manage their own careers.

There has been an unprecedented change in the physical therapy profession. For the first time, a substantial and increasing number of therapists can choose what they want to do with their careers. 

Therapists have an almost unlimited number of options of what they want to do with their lives. In addition, the average work life span is now close to sixty years and most therapists will have more than one career during that time. 

For many of you, choosing a job will not be solely based upon salary and benefits. You might want a job where you can contribute to the good of not just society but the world.

The good news it’s now up to therapists to choose employment that is meaningful to them.

The bad news is it’s now up to therapists to choose employment that is meaningful to them.

Many therapists are unprepared for the responsibility and uncertainty that self-determination brings.

3 Ways To Make Your Patient Experience Remarkable

 Remarkable Patient Experience

 

How do we create an experience that our patients will be compelled to share?

 

Lately, I’ve been intrigued by what makes something remarkable. People don’t care about how hard we work, how much paperwork we have, or about our bills. We’re self-centered, all of us, we talk about the things we want, things that make us feel better, that reward us….

Most therapists are so busy shouting about how qualified they are, about their average services and hustling to get ahead that they lose sight of their most powerful strategy… creating a patient experience so remarkable that people can’t help but talk about.

 

The key to success to any practice is to deliver great, remarkable service. Michael Hyatt refers to it as the “Wow Factor” in his book Platform.

In today’s noisy marketplace, if you want to capture–and keep–your patients’ attention, you need to build WOW into whatever you’re offering, Hyatt says. That makes sense in retail but it seems harder to make happen in the highly regulated healthcare industry.

Hyatt talks about how to wow our clients and set boundaries in this podcast episode: How Can I Wow My Clients And Set Boundaries?. You also might find helpful his description of the 10 Elements of Wow in a blog post on his website. It shows how to recognize wow experiences around you and to create wow experiences for the people you serve.

We need to be exploring new technologies like online scheduling, automated email follow-ups and key touchpoints to help us deliver a patient experience that’s packed with wow. Here are 3 practical ways to bake wow into your daily patient experiences:

 

3 WAYS YOU CAN BECOME REMARKABLE

 

Do You Want To Add A Cash Business To Your Practice?

Add A Cash Business To Your Practice

Do you want to add a cash business to your practice that can generate enough dependable revenue to unchain you from insurance companies?

Then solve real problems for real people.

Chasing the latest treatments fads you’re not qualified to address will lead to nothing but dead-ends. I’m talking about “businesses” like acupuncture, Pilates, TRX bands or with products you don’t understand or personally care about.

You’ll want to add a cash business that engages your strongest interests and passions. But at the end of the day, that cash business needs to operate in a profitable niche where you’ll be able to help people overcome very specific challenges.

Narrowing your focus and building your knowledge in a specific area of cash practice may seem counterintuitive. But in a competitive marketplace vying for your patient’s attention, it’s the only way to rise above the competition.

Instead of developing a cash business that applies to a variety of patients. Why not be the go-to authority in a smaller slice of cash services pie that has been overlooked?

'If you try to serve everyone, you'll end up serving no one.'Click To Tweet

There is a competitive advantage to being a category authority where your extensive knowledge and expertise helps you get noticed. Getting noticed is half the battle in establishing a cash business at your clinic.

Once you’ve established yourself as an authority in a specific practice niche you can often expand your practice into other patient populations.

Revitalize Your Patient Onboarding

Give Your Patient Onboarding A Lyft

How To Give Your Patient Onboarding A Lyft

 

How might a company like Uber or Lyft revitalize your patient onboarding experience?

The days are gone when I hailed a cab to get a ride from the airport to my hotel. Now getting a ride is as simple as pulling out your smartphone, tapping a Uber or Lyft app and waiting for your ride to show up.

The experience is much more convenient and enjoyable. While I wait for my driver, I’m entertained by watching little cars drive around on my phone like a video game.The app handles the money exchange, the driver seems to be a regular guy so I normally sit back and strike up a friendly conversation.

I can see how ride-sharing services have rapidly established themselves as an alternative to the traditional paid transportation experience.–driver in control, the rider in the backseat, awkward conversation and payment is through a meter which I never quite trust. They drive, you pay.

I got to wondering what practice owners can learn from the ride-sharing phenomenon and apply it to our patient intake process.  Rather than keeping our patient intake process like a cab ride to be endured, how might we reinvent it to be more like a satisfying ride-sharing experience?