In today's healthcare market, it is critical to connect with your patients in a way that will improve outcomes as well as patient satisfaction. Without a proper strategy to improve patient engagment, and specifically, mobile patient engagment, your Physical Therapy practice may be missing out on significant opportunities to increase revenue and develop a meaningful long-term relationship with your patients.
It may be common knowledge, but SMS text messages have an 98% open rate within the first minute, and a 90% open rate within the first 10 minutes. Compare that to a 20% open rate for e-mail, and it’s should be crystal clear that a mobile patient engagement strategy is crucial for the success of your practice.
First, it is important to note that technology has evolved, and there is no longer the need, nor awkwardness, to exchange mobile phone numbers simply for the purpose of exchanging instant messages. Physical Therapy specific apps such as Vinitial have eliminated this barrier and opened up two-way communication in a simple and sophisticated manner.
This is great news for providers to both maintain privacy while delivering valuable reminders to their patients as part of their treatment program, as well as offering a simple method for patients to communicate with them. After all, a more engaged patient leads to better outcomes, and therefore, a happier patient population.
For patients, things change over the coarse of treatment such as schedules, finances and progress. Creating a simple way for patients tocommunicate these changes with your practice will help ensure engagement and improve outcomes. And what happens long after the treatment plan is over, yet conditions persist or change? Offering an easy way for patients to communicate with your practice on their terms ensure that your practice is the first in mind when considering further treatment or evaluations.
For providers,reducing no-show rates and appointment cancelations have a significant impact on your balance sheet and overall profitability of your practice. Timely appointment reminders are the easiest method for reducing no-shows. Further, creating an automated follow up with you patients 3-6 or 9 months after discharge helps maintain communication with your patients, while creating opportunities for repeat business.
Lastly, and almost as important as all of the above, is the ability to easily communicate a patient balance and create a method to capture payment instantly. The first step is to formalize and clearly communicate your practices financial policy. For patients willing to pay their medical bills, why create barriers for collection? Roadblocks to revenue include limited office hours, forms to fill in and mail, and limited payment options. Communicate any outstanding balance via SMS, and your collections will improve overnight!
While there is no single solution to reducing no-show rates, capturing more patient payments and engaging with your patients, enabling your practice with mobile patient engagement solution will significantly increase the ease in which these tasks are performed.