4 Simple Strategies To Make Your Patients Stick

sticky_patientI’m excited for this New Year!

I can feel it’s going to be great!

I’m starting another practice and I’m really excited about it.

I’ll be sharing some of my experiences from the marketing trenches with you, so stay tuned!

We’re all looking for the missing ingredient that will magically convert our practice from an up and down roller coaster of patients coming in, and leaving all too soon, to a stable, predictable secure platform of growth.

It’s that patient revolving door that hurts every practice.

It’s an all too common problem that EVERY healthcare provider experiences.

Granted, some of us experience it a lot less than others.

But it’s still an unfortunate reality of being in private practice.

Let me let you in on a little secret…there is no magic-marketing bullet.

No matter how many slick marketing ploys you enact, no matter how many new patients they bring in, they ultimately do you no good if patients don’t stick with you.

Right?

You spent time developing an initial relationship with your new patients.

You’re working closely with them over time, so it only makes sense that they grow to know, like and trust you.

There’s a “relationship” there.

So it’s understandable why It’s a lot easier to cultivate that relationship, as opposed to keep going out and trying to get more new patients.

While the marketing “gurus” might argue otherwise, successful practitioners have been doing so with simple, proven systems that they have implemented with consistency AND focus on patient education that keeps them sticking around longer.

They all point to one common denominator to their success…consistent patient education.

After all, if you’re not educating your patients consistently AND systematically, you might as well be handing out band-aids and aspirin because that’s exactly how patients will view us.

You can’t build a practice on that.

Educating your patients does not have to be grueling work, but if definitely needs to be ultra consistent and never-ending.  And while that does take work, my goal is to help you make that as easy as possible.

Here are some ideas on how you can add a consistent punch to your patient education.

4 Simple Strategies To Make Your Patients Stick

  • Develop your 3-minute acupuncture elevator speech and recite it to EVERY patient that walks in your door. From time to time ask your patients what they would tell a friend if their friend asked them about what they are seeing you for. You may be surprised as to the answer you’ll get. Some patients will have no idea as to how to explain their care when asked and others will give you simple answers that make a ton sense. The more your patients can share with their friends and family members, the more people they can refer.

  • Put up a dry-erase board on your wall. Hang a whiteboard with interesting, thought provoking statements that capture your patients attention and provoke them to ask you about it.  Each week, or month, write something simple on the board. For instance, “Ask me about your Wei Qi,” or “Do you know that there is an Evil Wind out there? Ask me about it,” or “Want to stop sniffling and sneezing? Ask me how.” The idea of the white board is to stimulate questions from your patients. When they ask you a question, you provide the answer and that leads to a better understanding of what it is you do and the scope of conditions that you can treat. Therefore, when a friend or family member of theirs has a problem, they will remember something about an Evil Wind invading and causing illness. 🙂 Using whiteboards is not only fun, but it can be another avenue for you to dispense quality information.

  • Make sure each patient goes home with some sort of handout EVERY visit – a brochure, booklet, patient help sheet, education card, informative article, etc… Something that they can handout, drop off of have on their desk. You’ll be surprised at how often marketing materials get shared. I once had a client bring in a brochure that was over 2 years old asking how acupuncture can help their diabetes. (I know this because our last version of this one particular brochure was used over 2 years ago)

  • Ask your patients these questions.

    • Why do you think acupuncture could help you?”

    • “How serious do you perceive your problem to be?”

    • “How long do you think it will take to get the results you want?”

    • “What has your lack of health prevented you from doing or enjoying?”

They’re important questions because you’ll know how you have been doing in the patient education arena.

If your patients can answer them to your satisfaction, you’ve done well at the patient education process.

Lifetime patients are what you should be striving for in your practice.

It doesn’t mean that you have to, or even should, see them every week, or even every month for that matter.

But what a “Life-time” patient is, is a patient who is aware that when something is wrong, or out-of-balance with them or even their family or friends. And A life-time patient comes out of consistent, and systematized patient education.

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