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How patient relationship management software cultivates sustained practice success

ryan-browne

Ryan Browne, Vice President of Client Success, Solutionreach

As with any business dependent on recurring revenue, healthcare practices are encouraged to engage with their patients and build relationships with them. As patients are becoming more responsible for the cost of their care, providing a high-quality patient experience is more important than ever.

With so many methods to connect and engage with patients — social media, newsletters, online reviews, etc. — developing strong patient relationships requires a large time investment. Fortunately for providers, technology is expanding to offer new, effective and efficient ways to manage the patient relationship.

Here are three reasons why implementing a PRM system is the right move for your healthcare practice.

Enhances marketing to new patients

According to a Johns Hopkins[1] study, 23 percent of patients saw three or more primary care doctors in two years, which means patients are exploring their options when it comes to healthcare. So how can practices best market to new patients? Meet them where they are — online.

Social media and online review sites are the two predominant online areas where patients spend the most time. Studies show 41 percent of people are influenced by social media tools as a means to choose a specific doctor or facility[2]. In addition, 77 percent of patients use online review sites[3] as their first steps in finding a new doctor.

Though maintaining an active online presence can be time-consuming, PRM systems help remove that burden to provide greater convenience for everyone involved. Whether it’s scheduling social media content, keeping track of online patient reviews or encouraging patients to post an online review, the right PRM software ensures a 360-degree view of a practice’s online presence.

Most importantly, a practice that actively connects with patients online will position itself as one that values patient relationships and feedback, resulting in a positive online reputation that will stand out from its competitors.

Specialized focus on patient retention

Retaining patients costs a practice 90 percent less[4] than bringing new patients in. A practice with a high patient retention rate will not only keep costs down, but also maximize revenue.

PRM systems foster greater patient retention through a specialized focus on consistent patient communication and outreach. They leverage features such as automated appointment reminders, integrated social media tools and even patient surveys to ensure constant and fulfilling connections with patients.

PRM systems also enhance the in-office patient experience in regards to retaining patients. By providing interactive tools in the office such as digital check-ins, practices can streamline the check-in process for patients and seamlessly promote additional outreach initiatives such as connecting on social media, submitting an online review or subscribing to monthly newsletters.

Patient retention programs in a PRM system will keep patients satisfied and coming back for future appointments.

Improves overall patient satisfaction

It’s no secret — improved patient outcomes start with more fulfilling patient engagement. One study revealed that 88 percent of adults believe[5] “working with healthcare professionals as partners will help them manage and improve their overall health.”

To best work with patients and keep them involved in their care, it’s important for practices to actively educate their patients.

Through a PRM system, providers can market strategically through tools such as a monthly e-newsletter that conveniently promotes patient education. Newsletters are ideal for providers to share practice news along with helpful wellness tips that encourage patient engagement through personalized, educational content. Consistent communication also allows patients to share feedback on various education tools, which ensures the practice is distributing optimal and relevant content to its readers. Because of the immediacy in which PRM systems enable practices to quickly provide educational resources to their patients, patient education becomes an even more impactful tool for patient satisfaction.

Automated continuing care through patient portals and follow-up reminders is also important in keeping patients engaged. Whether it’s 24/7 management of important healthcare related tasks or ensuring a return for necessary follow-up appointments, both help to fill the gaps in patient care between visits. A PRM system makes certain these continuation-of-care tasks are delivered both strategically and conveniently, maximizing their impact on the patient.

With PRM software, healthcare practices can effectively develop patient relationships that will result in better outcomes and lower patient medical costs[6] — a straightforward recipe for improving patient satisfaction.

Patients have transformed into everyday consumers, and with rising healthcare costs, patients are placing greater value on establishing meaningful relationships with their providers. PRM systems provide the tools needed to develop these relationships, effectively marketing to new patients and fostering high patient satisfaction to maintain sustained success.

[1] www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/doctor_shopping_by_obese_patients_negatively_affects_health

[2] www.pwc.com/us/en/health-industries/publications/health-care-social-media.html

[3] www.softwareadvice.com/resources/how-patients-use-online-reviews/

[4] www.healthcareitnews.com/blog/strategies-maximize-patient-engagement-retention

[5] www.healthcarebusinesstech.com/relationship-doc-patient/

[6] healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief_pdfs/healthpolicybrief_86.pdf

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