The holiday season is often the busiest time of year for most families. With so much focus on holiday planning and events, the last thing on your patients’ minds is communicating with their doctor’s office.
During such a hectic period, it’s even more likely that your medical practice will experience higher patient no-show rates and revenue loss. But, there are steps your medical practice can take to increase patient engagement during the holiday season.
We’ve compiled 3 patient engagement tips to break through the holiday clutter:
1. Focus on Patient Communication with Automated Appointment Reminders
Did you know that sending automated appointment reminders to your patients can reduce missed appointments by up to 40%? Not only that, but sending automated appointment reminders through patient-preferred communication methods (text, voice or email) makes them 5 times more likely to show up for their scheduled appointment. With their minds elsewhere during the holidays, automated appointment reminders not only get patients in the door, but can also improve patient satisfaction by going the extra mile to ensure your patients get the care they need.
2. Use Flexible Scheduling to Increase Patient Satisfaction
To increase patient engagement, demonstrate to your patients that you understand how challenging this time of year can be. The request for reschedules is likely higher during this season, so plan ahead at your medical practice to be as accommodating as possible. Consider keeping gaps within your daily schedule to fit last minute changes, or implement a patient ‘stand-by’ list for those looking to reschedule as soon as possible. Especially around the holidays, a little accomodation goes a long way to increase patient engagement, improve patient satisfaction, and optimize patient retention.
3. Leverage Social Media to Improve Patient Engagement
If your medical practice already has a social media presence, the holiday season is a great time to increase social media use to build up patient engagement. If your medical practice has not yet implemented social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, it’s a great time to start! The holidays provide plenty of social media content opportunities – consider sharing office holiday photos, tips for staying healthy during the holiday season, or even running a holiday patient raffle. Regular use of social media will keep you top of mind with patients year-round!