April 2018

Keeping In Contact: 8 Ways to Get Patients Engaged

Published
April 1, 2018
A good read and ideas from Acupuncture Practice Management

Engaging with your patients is more important than ever, and one of the reasons I provide this newsletter to you, is so I can provide information that will assist you in operating your practice at the highest level and staying engaged with you my customer. I think this information is useful to all businesses.

Helping your patients understand and focus on measures that promote a healthy lifestyle can be very time consuming. It requires continuous communication and engagement with your patients and the ability to provide them with useful information. After all, helping your patients feel better and engaging with them along the way leads to increased success for your practice.But how can you find the time for these interactions and what are the best ways to engage with patients?

Here are 8 great ways to engage with your patients:

1. Automated Appointment Reminders

Setting up automated appointment reminders in your practice management software is by far the easiest way to stay in touch with your patients. Beyond keeping track of patients to remind them of their appointments, effective practice management should include a variety of other ways to reach out, engage and collect feedback and reviews from patients.

2. Social Media

Utilize social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. Starting a Facebook page orTwitter account will ensure that those who enjoy spending time browsing social media on a daily basis, will effortlessly and subtly receive pertinent information about your practice. You will be surprised how many of your patients a reactive on these networks, so don’t overlook them.

3. A short blog

Bearing your name or the name of your practice, these can be articles that deal with daily health issues that will remind patients in a positive way of your practice on a daily basis.

4. Video Blogs

Along the same lines a v-log (video blog)could be a fresh and entertaining way to engage patients who need a more visual means of connection. By making clear videos like “How to Take My Herbs” or“Shoulder Exercises for Frozen Shoulder”is a powerful medium that your patient can watch and be influenced by you outside the clinic.

5. Mail old-fashioned PhysicalCards

Setting technology aside, you can’t go wrong with physical cards. Not only do people enjoy getting mail, but these cards cannot be overlooked asFacebook can be. A physical card may have a higher likelihood of being read by patients who are not plugged into social media.

6. Call 5 patients every day

In addition, each day, practitioners and front desk staff could be in charge of 5calls to 5 patients. These could serve as friendly check-up and check-ins.Patients appreciate it when healthcare providers show interest in their health outside the clinic. Patients are also more likely to book an appointment while they are on the phone with you.

7. Host a talk at a local community hot-spot

An additional tool to connect with patients could be to host a talk at a local community hot-spot. The topics could be different every month, relating to holistic health care advances, products, topics, etc. It would be helpful to bring inexperienced members of the community to host the talks.

8. Host a party

Finally, who doesn’t love a party?Parties are fun to host and attend.Different seasonal parties could beheld, featuring snacks and door prizes.This is a great way to show that while professionalism is important, you understand that a bit of fun is necessary, too.

Connecting and engaging with patients through various means on a daily basis is key to a successful relationship between practitioner and patient.Continuous engagement with your patients ensures that your business thrives while keeping patients happy and healthy under your care.

Three Ways Fuse is Disrupting the Practice Management Software Market

1. Smart Screens

One of the key developments in Fuse software has been the introduction of SmartScreens. Here, you can view, filter, and act on real-time patient information and practice data from every location you manage, in a way that’s never been possible before. Easty explains further. “TheSmart Screens are really an incredible tool. You’ve got a snapshot that gives you a high-level look at the most important numbers in your practice – everything from receivables, production numbers, insurance claim status, hygiene retention and much more,” Easty said. “Then, you’re able to take immediate action on that same screen, whether it’s reminding a patient of prescribed treatment, or adding a new insurance plan to a patient profile.” Even more, Fuse allows you to access all of your reporting, scheduling, and patient data from each individual location using a simple toggle function. Easty also spoke about the easy-to-read dashboards that offer real-time information.“Wherever we go, one of the main issues we’ve heard is how much time it takes to run reports and cross reference information before making informed decisions.With Fuse, we’ve taken a lot of that headache away,”Easty said. “People were using old software that really didn’t do the best job pulling data together – you had togo find the information as opposed to having it compiled and easy to read on one screen.

2. WalkMe onboarding and continuing education

Whether you’re converting to a new solution or bringing on a new office member, the idea of consistently training team members on practice management software can be extremely daunting. Easty and other specialists heard this feedback from dental professionals – the exact reason why the WalkMe toolwas integrated. “One of the biggest concerns I hear about onboarding is that you’ve got team members doing things differently, so they struggle to help one another, and there’s just no continuity,” Easty said. “The WalkMe tool helps train everyone the same way, and then reinforces that same training every time an on boarded employee uses the tool for quick help.” As a step-by-step interactive experience, WalkMe allows the new user to learn key functionality while actually completing tasks. As users gain proficiency, WalkMe is always there, able to reinforce best practices and remind users of the best path to complete their work. “It’s your guide by the side,” Easty said. “It allows you onboard new team members quickly and really helps jog your memory, even if you’ve been using the product for a while. There are going to be tasks you simply don’t do every day, and it’s great to have immediate help without having to pick up the phone or consult with someone else in the office.

3. Clinical Timeline

From historical information and billing to imaging and beyond, Clinical Timeline functionality in Fuse makes it easier than ever to get the complete picture on every patient.“When we look at this overview page, it tells the patient’s story,” Easty said. “This is the spot where all of the patient’s clinical evidence is housed. You don’t need to check three or four different places to gather information – I can grab it immediately and get a full understanding of this person’s history.” It’s true – Fuse allows you to view everything from patient conditions to clinical notes, treatment plans, clinical forms, clinical documents, perio exams, images and more.Plus, it’s updated in real time, creating a better experience for you and your patients. According to Easty, it’s not just the organization that Fuse offers, but the data integration and layers of depth available at a moment’s notice. “When a doctor needs to research, they can click on a tooth and get everything from perio readings and images to past referrals and other notes,” Easty said. “You can access stored files like letters and emails from specialists. It’s truly a remarkable source of information.

Patience is a Virtue….Until You Have No Time

By Dr. Lisa Aldisert, Pharos Alliance

People are short on patience these days. They claim that they're too overwhelmed, have too many commitments, and don’t have nearly enough time. If you ask them to be patient, they may lash out at you with an impatient burst of anger.

Leaders are as challenged as their employees in this regard. When they emote a burst of frustration when something isn’t finished within minutes after it was assigned, they're adding to workplace stress.

Frequently, clients ask me how to handle this (it’s not necessarily the question they ask, by the way, but it’s the meaning behind the question). The bottom line: You can’t have unrealistic expectations of your staff. They expect and respect deadlines and demands that are customary for your company and industry. It’s when you go overboard that problems arise.

Of course, there are times when you have to ask for more within ridiculous time frames. When you do this, remember the courtesies that leaders should demonstrate to their people. Simple things, such assaying “please” and “thank you”,make a big difference.

Show empathy. “I know this is asking a lot, but our client is relying on us to complete this three days earlier than the original deadline.We all need to pitch in and get it done” is so much more effective than, “I don’t care about your personal plans - just get it done”.

Finally, make these requests sparingly. If you’re constantly asking people to rush and deliver, it just becomes noise. Then everyone is cranky and forget about patience.

The irony is that you can almost get away with being impatient...if your demands are peppered with some courtesy and empathy and are parsed judiciously.

At Patterson Dental we often talk about creating a great “patient experience” and why this is so important in your practice. I think we can all agree that patient’s purchasing habits have changed over the last few years. The question is have we adapted to our patients? Are we creating more value for our services and building stronger relationships? I want to do this in my business and also want to help you do this in your practice. I believe we have great ideas to share and help implement in your practice.Let’s work together and reach our potential and have some fun in dentistry!“”

-Brad Backman