ON Chiropractic Spring/Summer 2013 - Page 15

Business ON Chiropractic G uid a nce: A Patient-centred ‘Recall’ Strategy C hiropractors are not alone in the desire for effective patient recall strategies. Patient recalls are a challenge in many healthcare professions. In chiropractic, doctors are often torn between reminding patients of the benefits of periodic checkups and the time and effort required to do so. It can be challenging to motivate clinic staff to undertake this task on a regular basis. There is also the risk of alienating a patient who perceives a call from a well-intentioned chiropractor or staff member as a sales call. Approaching “patient recalls” as “patient care calls” will help avoid those challenges. With that patient focus in mind, the goals of care calls become: • • maintaining contact with patients, deepening relationships with patients, • • booking appointments where necessary, and reminding your patients that you care about them. Tactics to help you create a patient-centred strategy: 1  patient centred. Checking in with your patients Be periodically to monitor their status is patient centred care. Present your recalls to your patients as “Check-ins” not “check-ups”. 2  reasonable goals. Work with your staff to Set determine what amount of time is reasonable to spend on this task each week. Then set attainable goals taking that feedback into account. 3 Make use of the tools at your disposal. Often  times practice management software solutions offer recall features. These features can remind staff to check in with patients after pre-determined time periods. Some even contact patients automatically. 4 Develop a concise script. Busy people are more and  more frustrated by the interruptions of telemarketers and salespeople. Develop a concise script that will not be perceived as a waste of your patients’ time. Be sure that the script makes it clear that the goal of these calls is to ensure a high standard of care. 5  Track progress. Develop a tracking system or set aside time periodically to check in with your staff to see how they are doing. A tracking system may involve recording calls in a spreadsheet or in your practice management software. 6 Be ready to step in. As essential as clinic staff  members are to the success of your practice, they are not chiropractors. Put a system in place that ensures that you are quickly apprised of your patients’ treatment and customer service concerns as soon as possible so that you can respond effectively and directly. 7 Reward success. Let your staff know how much you  appreciate their efforts. Even modest gestures can make a big difference. Combined with diligence and positive reinforcement, these tactics will help you and your team overcome the challenges inherent in patient recalls. www.chiropractic.on.ca 15