Patient loyalty is a win-win proposition for healthcare providers and the people whose health they support. From primary care to dentistry and the many specialists who regularly engage in repeat visits with patients, building this kind of bond improves healthcare outcomes and is simply smart business.
With the right technology in place, providers can position themselves to increase loyalty, improve satisfaction and develop a more consistent patient base.
Above: Patients want easy, convenient experiences driven by modern technology.
Why patient loyalty is so valuable – and how technology can help
With a high degree of patient loyalty, healthcare professionals can be more confident in the stability of their patient base. This approach allows providers to gain additional insight into the specific conditions and needs of each patient, encouraging a more complete picture of care. It can also boost practice efficiency. Physicians and administrators alike can spend less time on outreach to potential patients and more time providing quality, patient-centred services, the key economic driver for healthcare providers.
We’ve seen the results firsthand: Among the 3.6 million monthly patient visits to HealthEngine, 91% are returning patients booking an appointment with their regular practice.
Having the right tools in place for fostering patient loyalty is a critical consideration. A 2018 patient engagement survey conducted by software provider MedicalDirector found 70% of patients want their healthcare providers to modernise, placing more of an emphasis on the use of digital tools. That specifically includes technology to improve upon the management of appointments.
This clear patient preference is especially important to consider in the context of research from Deloitte that highlighted the need to adapt to the changing demands, expectations and needs of patients as a global healthcare priority. Digital tools that seemed like pure fantasy just a few decades ago are now in the palms of 90% of Australians’ hands, a separate report from Deloitte noted.
With the ability to and, increasingly, the expectation that they can set an appointment at any time, more traditional and limited approaches to setting appointments aren’t as effective. Providers that can address this key desire of today’s patients position themselves to boost loyalty, enjoying the many benefits that come along with it.
Considering patient preferences to enhance medical practice efficiency
Improving healthcare delivery in a way that creates a more relevant, positive and welcoming environment starts at the point of first contact. When patients have effective options for booking their next appointment whenever and wherever the thought comes to mind, your practice breaks down barriers that discourage first-time and return visits.
With a simple, user-friendly process for taking the critical step of setting an appointment, your practice can cultivate a steady stream of patients and reduce the inefficiencies that come with inconsistencies in this area. Additionally, offering this option to patients aligns with their desire for more modern, digital-focused experiences when interacting with their providers.
To learn more about how digital technology can improve patient loyalty within your practice, get in touch today.
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