Regular contact with your patients will generally lead to improved outcomes and happier patients.
A happier patient leads to more word-of-mouth referrals and clinic growth. That happy patient will not hesitate to return for future issues. Contrary to this, poor treatment planning will lead to poor clinical outcomes. Dissatisfied patients and unhappy practitioners quickly follows.
Retaining patients to optimise clinical outcomes comes down to a structured follow up treatment plan. This allows for regular intervention including education, assessments and progression of treatment and exercise programs.
Remember, you are the professional and patients look to you for advice to manage their condition. Patients are not trained to make decisions on follow up frequency. Therefore, it’s not fair to ask them when they want to come back for treatment. This is often seen in private practice.
Set a treatment plan
Setting a treatment plan is easy. The plan needs certain key components to be successfully adhered to. Most importantly, you need to agree with treatment goals and use key objective measures to drive compliance. Two easy questions need to be asked in the initial consultation, then re-visited often throughout the plan. Firstly, ‘What are your expectations of today’s consultation?’. Secondly, ‘What goals will you like to achieve with my help?’.
Treatment planning should be based on clinical reasoning. If money and time constraints are brought up, we then modify the initial plan. Practitioners that focus on the injury or condition and not other external factors will achieve better outcomes due to better treatment planning. Having some simple objection handling lines, can also help a lot with patient compliance to treatment planning.
Patient Retention Key messages
- We need to avoid under treating as this will lead to poor treatment compliance and hence poor outcomes.
- Take money out of the equation and make decisions based on best practice for your patients condition.
- Drive compliance and great outcomes with effective treatment planning, goal setting and regularly assessing key objective measures.
Retaining patients is a win-win situation for your clinic. You will see improved practitioner diary capacity. Plus, increased practitioner satisfaction and increased patient satisfaction with better clinical outcomes!