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If you’ve been losing patients lately but can’t seem to wrap your head around the reasons why, worry no more. It is not a new thing for a medical practice to lose some of its clients. In fact, it happens every day.

Medical Practice

But you know what makes issues like this a rather simple one to solve?

There always seem to be some common reasons behind it. Prevent these "reasons," and you will have protected your medical business from ever experiencing a client loss.

Poor customer relations at the front desk

The biggest reason why most medical organizations lose patients is not because their doctors are incompetent but mostly because the guys at the front desk suck. I, personally, have walked away from a dental specialist before simply because I felt insulted by the way their receptionist approached me.

Here are some of the commonest unacceptable behaviors from a front desk employee that may chase a patient away.

  • Missed calls or late response

Patients are likely going to be walking away from your office if your call center is always missing their calls or taking too long to respond to phone calls. Unfortunately, this is a common trend with medical offices rely on land-based telephone lines.

Luckily for you, there is now the VoIP phone systems which allows you to take customers’ call over the internet, thereby reducing the chances of missed calls and late responses.

Luckily for you, there is now the VoIP phone systems which allows you to take customers’ call over the internet, thereby reducing the chances of missed calls and late responses.

When you start using a VoIP system, you can choose where your calls ring and how. For instance, you might select the first few rings to be forwarded to your office. If you don’t answer the call, it will then be routed to your laptop or mobile phone at another location, say your house.

In short, calls no longer have to be missed.

VoIP is a good glimpse into what the future holds in communications and a proof of what will happen after plain old telephone service is gone. So, reach out to a VoIP app provider today and equip your front desk employees with it.

  • Poor phone skills:

If patients perceive your front desk staff as being rude, indifferent, and impatient on the phone, they’ll likely drop the call and put a call through to someone else.

  • Long hold times:

Asking people to wait on the line for long periods (close to 5 minutes) is totally unacceptable in today’s world. Apparently, this is what you get when your medical organization is still relying on old, traditional phone systems. You can prevent this by equipping your front desk staff with the best medical office phone system so that even when they aren’t on seat, they can attend to patients from wherever they are.

  • Zero-knowledge about your profession

A patient can be put off from booking an appointment with your office simply because your front-desk staff didn’t exude any confidence in answering some health-related questions posed by the patient.

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Long wait times

According to a recent survey, about 30% of patients say they have left a doctor’s office simply because they were kept waiting for more than 20 minutes.

When you consider that the average wait time for patients in US hospitals is just over 20 minutes, I think you can understand why most people will choose to walk away after a long wait.

Asking people to sit and wait for their turn may not be a bad thing to do if the wait time doesn't exceed five to twenty minutes. But when people have to wait for hours before they get the chance to see you, they’ll likely not want to come back again.

Inflexible office hours

Another common reason why most hospitals lose patients is because of the inflexibility of their medical practitioners. You walk up to many hospitals, and they tell you, "Oh, we're sorry, our specialist doesn’t come to work on weekends.”

For some, their off days might even be on a Friday, Wednesday, or Monday.

Yes, we get it; a medical practitioner cannot always be available at all times. However, being flexible with your schedule is non-negotiable if you want to retain your clients.

For starters, you can include evening, late day, early morning, or even Saturday options!

Poor patient relationship

Imagine that the hotel you lodged at on your last holiday vacation constantly checked up on you via messages, emails, and DMs despite the fact that it’s been months since you checked out from there. What do you think you’ll do the next time you have a reason to visit the same place?

Book an accommodation at the hotel, of course!

This is exactly how a patient feels when you constantly reach out to them.

The reason why most patients don’t return to the hospital or a specialist they last worked with is because they see no reason why they should. However, if there existed a solid patient-doctor relationship, don't you think the client will be more than happy to return whenever they need you?

Of course, they will!

Therefore, you and your team should avoid making the mistake of just neglecting patients once you’ve rendered your services to them. Instead, develop a patient outreach strategy to reach out to clients once in a while.

Outdated methods

It may surprise you to know that patients are as informed about the happenings in the industry as you are. So when they notice or hear that there is a better specialist somewhere, who’s offering a much more precise treatment solution than what you’re giving them, they’re more than likely to jump ship and never return to your office.

This is a very common trend in the medical industry.

As the industry is evolving, more and more treatment methods might be introduced, many of which are bound to be better than what existed before. As such, patients – many of whom might be in search of a quick fix to their conditions – turn to these new methods.

As a medical practitioner, the best thing you can do for your business is to constantly stay on top of any new developments in the industry. So that when a patient comes demanding for any of these new methods, your hospital will have the answers they seek.

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