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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
Despite years of technological improvements in electronic medical records, most clinics still rely on an obsolete patient onboarding process. Between patients filling out paper forms and staff data entry the whole experience can be an event to be endured.
Worse yet, impersonal patient onboarding can result in patients abandoning care before it really begins. Resulting in a loss of potential impact and revenues.
Therapists are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Participation with insurance companies requires precise patient data to get paid properly. A lot of productive clinic treatment time is consumed by filling out and storing patient information.
KNOW WHAT’S HARD ABOUT GETTING REFERRALS?
Staying connected with loyal patients when you’re so busy taking care of the patient right in front of you!
Most therapists have helped thousands of people and have written meticulous notes in clinical records. But therapists typically do a poor job of staying connected with satisfied clients and managing our networks.
Future referrals and incomes are lost because we don’t maintain strong connections with our most precious resource–our loyal clients.
It’s not like we’re just plain stupid but we’ve never really had to really worry that much about it before. Physicians and networks normally fed us all the referrals we ever needed, sometimes too many. Well times have changed and now therapists must compete like crazy for good quality referrals.
And the truth is most therapists don’t know how!
THESE EXPERTS WILL HELP YOU SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.
I’ve collected the advice of 10 expert therapists on the email strategies they use to build strong connections with their patients and referral sources. Most therapists already have fantastic relationships with our patients. We just need a few tips and tools to turn them into word of mouth referrals.
Wouldn’t you love your satisfied patients to send referrals to you?
Of course you would. Common sense tells you that it’s good for business.
The power of physician referrals and expensive traditional marketing campaigns is on the wane; word of mouth referrals are what drive most practices today.
People naturally trust the recommendation of a family member or friend over anything sent to them by a faceless clinic. People especially trust someone with whom they’ve had a positive experience.
Science has shown that people are hard-wired to recommend services and products to their friends. It’s a instinct that drives any successful word of mouth referral system.
I want to open your eyes to a new way of getting referrals:
Send great emails to your current and former patients to nurture positive relationships and referrals.
As you maintain a strong connection with your highly satisfied patients they will be more likely to use your services again and make referrals when prompted.
Specifically, I want you to develop an automated email marketing system to increase trust and income for your business.
“I know how important new referrals are but I barely have enough time to treat my patients and get my documentation done. Who has any time to market anyway?”
If you’re like most therapists you can relate to the above sentiments. However, you’ve probably also experienced times when a steady stream of new patients added vitality and income to your clinic. Plus it’s just more fun when the patient flow hums along.
Knowing the value of new referrals is not the problem.
The problem is how do we generate new referrals when most of our time and focus is on taking care of the patient right in front of us.
In order to successfully manage my solo therapy practice I had to wear many hats. In addition to a full case load, extra time was devoted to billing, the next moment it might be personnel and the next might be cleaning the bathroom.
One thing I always struggled with was to block out regular time for marketing. It seemed the only time I made it a priority was when our schedules became uncomfortably slow. Only then would I have the motivation and time to generate more referrals.
It wasn’t like my patients didn’t get great results or that I didn’t have significant database of people I’d helped. The problem have I had NO idea how to use my client list to grow my practice. If only I had a marketing system that operated on autopilot. Now that would be just what the doctor ordered.