7 Ways To Keep Patients Coming Back
- Patients experience better outcomes when they continue maintenance care after their initial problem improves.
- To keep patients coming back, chiropractors need to give them a clear, compelling reason to do so.
- Focus on ongoing education, hands-on involvement, and top-of-mind awareness.
Research shows that patients who pursue chiropractic maintenance care can prevent new episodes and reduce the impact of their current condition. But while patients who are in pain are eager to show up to their appointments, what happens when they start feeling better?
The Challenge of Patient Retention
Patient care is a challenge for chiropractors. Your goal is to help patients get back on their feet and feel their best. But once you do this, patients often move on and never come back. This forces chiropractors to depend on a constant stream of new patients, which can be expensive and inefficient.
A better approach is to help patients understand the value of maintenance care. Here are seven tips chiropractors can use to keep patients coming back.
1. Understand What Stops Patients From Coming Back
Patients quit their chiropractic care for a number of reasons. Some may have maxed out their insurance benefits, or ongoing care might not be in their budget. Others may not see any value in continuing care after their initial problem is resolved.
Some may have experienced progress but started declining again and think that chiropractic isn’t working for them. Others may be skeptical as to whether your treatments are working at all.
It’s important for chiropractors to recognize potential barriers and find ways to overcome them. For instance, if it’s a financial barrier, consider offering a payment plan or recommending fewer visits. If they’re experiencing decline, help them realize this is a normal part of the healing process and that they will start to improve again.
Ideally, you’ll learn about patient barriers during the treatment phase and before they’re ready for maintenance. Reinforce the importance of ongoing care with every visit and offer proof when possible. The more a patient sees the value in continuous care, the more likely they’ll be to listen.
2. Take a Seeing-Is-Believing Approach
Some patients are perfectly content to continue with their treatment plan. However, they may not feel compelled to continue receiving maintenance care unless they can see how it benefits them.
One way to do this is to use tools and techniques that allow patients to see the improvements with their own eyes. Kinesiology tests, the Pettibon system, x-rays, and spinal nerve charts give patients a clearer before-and-after snapshot. They can see the progress they’ve made by the end of their care.
With proof in hand, it’s easier to encourage them to keep coming back. Continuing care means making more progress instead of stalling or declining.
3. Focus on Patient Education
Patient education allows patients to play an active role in their care. It’s not enough for them to feel better. They need to understand why they feel better after receiving chiropractic care.
This helps them connect your treatments to their results. They understand what may have led to their condition as well as how you’re helping to improve it. Share things they can do at home to maintain the corrections, heal faster, and reduce the likelihood for future injury.
Patient education serves two purposes. It helps patients achieve greater outcomes because they’re participating in their care, and it helps to reinforce your expertise and build trust. Trust is a big factor when patients are deciding whether to continue with chiropractic care.
4. Recall Your Former Patients
For patients who have already dropped off your radar, a recall plan can help you reignite the conversation.
Have your staff call patients you haven’t seen in the past 12 months for a no-pressure chat. Check in to see how they’re doing and see if their symptoms have improved or returned.
If their symptoms have returned, you have the perfect opportunity to invite them in for a check-up. If they’re feeling their best, use this time to ask if they know anyone who might want to improve their quality of life, too.
5. Send Birthday Cards to Patients
There’s nothing like a personalized message to make an impact on someone. Birthday cards are a great way to keep in touch with former and current patients. Let them know you’re thinking of them and place yourself at the top of their mind.
Better still, with CT Engage, patient communication software available from inside ChiroTouch, you can take advantage of email messaging features that will send birthday greetings for you automatically.
For patients who haven’t been into your practice lately, you might include a small gift or incentive to schedule an appointment. This might be a free maintenance check-up or a discount on services, for example.
6. Invite Patients to Hands-On Workshops
Weekly or monthly healthcare workshops offer a number of ways to connect with patients. You can educate them on topics or chiropractic benefits that might not come up in the treatment room. Chiropractic can help with a number of symptoms, such as sleep quality, digestion, chronic pain, and more. Workshops are an opportunity to show how powerful ongoing chiropractic treatments can be.
As an added bonus, workshops are a great way to encourage patients to bring a friend or family member. This can help you get more leads while sharing the benefits of chiropractic.
7. Offer Specific Reasons to Keep Patients Coming Back
Don’t be afraid to be direct with patients who might not come back for maintenance care. Being honest can help to put their care into perspective.
For example, if you’ve been treating patients for degenerative disorders, you might share that they need a checkup every 6-12 months to ensure the disease hasn’t gotten worse. Tailor your recommendations to their health concerns and talk about why it’s important to continue monitoring them.
How ChiroTouch Can Help Keep Patients Coming Back
ChiroTouch helps you manage every aspect of your practice, including patient relationships. It streamlines patient communication, simplifies appointment scheduling, and supports treatment plans with details that help patients put their care into perspective. Learn more when you book a demo.