Patient leakage is one of the major concerns that many healthcare providers deal with. But studies show that retention rates are higher when doctors offer transparent data and emphasize clear communication. So, whenever a leakage problem is recognized, caregivers may want to run a satisfaction survey to see what’s working and what’s not. They can then take tangible steps – like getting medical answering services to minimize wait times – to address them.
Most medical caregivers would wish to have 100% patient retention rates, but that’s often hard to accomplish. A new report from Fibroblast, a referral management company, revealed that 62% of healthcare facilities are losing more than 10% of their revenue due to patients going to other health systems. Some facilities reported losing at least 20% of revenue from mismanaged referrals and patient leakage.
It costs about 5X more to obtain a new patient than to retain an existing one. This is why patient retention is critical. So, if you are losing patients – whether due to poorly managed referrals or unclear communication – you may want to come up with ways to stop the trend. But you’ll need to understand your current processes to determine why your patients are leaving. You may realize that your patients are seeking help elsewhere because of one of these reasons.
Front office blunders
If you callers perceive your secretary as rushing through calls or being rude, they will feel the need to contact another facility. The same applies to when they have to wait for several minutes on a call to get help. Again, today’s clients don’t want confusion or misinformation from your part. If your survey reveals problems in this area, you may benefit from working with medical answering services. These experts are professional, well-organized, and always ready to help your patients when they call.
Lack of doctor-patient relationship
Patients want to work with doctors who are willing to listen and communicate well. They also want to feel that the doctor cares and understands them. Unless you try to nurture and maintain a good relationship with your patients, you’re likely to lose them to your competitors.
Bad patient experience
A patient can leave a facility never to return when they have had a bad experience. It could be that they were treated like another number, or that they were issued with the wrong medicine and so on. And the patient’s bad experience is likely to cost you a lot – especially when they go around warning people against you. When the patient shares their experience with others, they are likely to influence them not to come to your facility.
Poor management of referrals
There are times when you may need to refer your patients to another facility for specialized care. But these are still your patients. Not communicating with them or failing to offer them with transparent data of their condition can make them stick with your competitor. When you refer patients, make sure you have better monitoring solutions.
You can prevent patient loss by simply being proactive rather than reactive in your approach. This means coming up with a plan for process enhancement, team training, relationship management and reviewing and responding to feedback, etc.