Your Next “New” Patient

If you have been in practice even a few short years your next “New” Patient is someone you have treated before.

This simple truth is missed by so many. People are much more likely to see you again, if you did a good job initially. Indeed, it then becomes possible to have a closed practice.

Too often, traditional marketing ignores this fact, with too much focus on new clientele, while doing nothing to embrace the ones that already know, like and will very well support you for years to come.

What the simplest solution?

Three things.

1. First, tell patients how much you appreciate them. Always say “thanks for coming back to see us again!”

2. Next, send them a Welcome Back letter. We use just 3 paragraphs, and print them automatically on every returning patient.

3. Lastly, there is no substitute for frequent contact.

Do those monthly newsletters on and off-line!

Make it simple. 

After many years, and testing everything from fancy color to ultra-modern, I will tell you home grown, written at least in part by you is best.
Most patients want to hear more about you! 

Here’s some more tips to use every day.

Maintain a good email list and use it at least twice monthly. Your patients are checking in with their web-gurus, even their health ones daily, sometimes more than once. How often do they hear good advice from you?

Again, it does not need to be a slick piece, just get it done.

Do phone recalls often! Go through your list, and ask your staff to call in and check in with folks who you may have not seen in a while.

Ask them to schedule a follow up visit with you. Even if they are OK at the time of your call, they remember this.

Do more elaborate recalls at least twice a year. Multi step, multi-media, simultaneously.

Do appreciation events, at least a few times a year.

And so on.

You get my drift.

So what usually fails here? No organized, autopilot systems to make all of this happen each and every day. No way to follow who comes from where, and what’s working well, and what’s not. No delegation or daily follow through.

In our experience, many practices could turn this free advice into significant increase in revenue in six to twelve months.

Most won’t. How about you?

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3 Responses

  1. Kurt says:

    This is all “great and nice” if one has a practice of patients who have great insurance and/or pay their bills. If not, one is only going to get a bunch of patients who come in, pay lip service to their advice and continue on with their lousy health behaviors. One only has to look at the obesity and diabetes epidemic in this country. OK, just blame the doctors for it!!
    I just retired and am not looking back. I had a large percentage of Medicare and public aid population. Try and change an old persons habits? Sheesh. Public aid dirtballs? Good luck. Suffice it to say I did have some public aid patients who though academically impaired and poor, did follow my instructions and thus had nice outcomes. Always a pleasure to see these folks and I didn’t mind taking the extra time to explain things as they were trying their hardest to heed what I had to say. The vast majority just ignored me and I had to pick up the pieces when they went to he!!
    I am so glad to be done! Up to hiking 5 miles a day to get my legs in shape and keeping a running tab of the miles travelled for fun! 🙂

    • If you are a Direct Primary Care Physician you do not get punished if your patient is non compliant. If they do not pay you dismiss them from the practice with 30 days notice. If they do not pay for 2 months they get a letter that says they have 30 days to find a new doc. I get paid the same whether or not they follow my instructions or not. I tell them the consequence of not following my instructions, MI, CVA, early death and document that in the chart that I told them. I tell them if they do not want to follow my advice we can still be friends but the outcome will not be pleasant for them. So far they have all stayed. No patients scheduled this AM. Rode a bike, ate breakfast and had coffee and working from home. If someone calls I’ll see them in the office. I love being a Physician again!

  2. Aaron M. Levine says:

    Keep it personal with the people. I closed my practice nearly 2 years ago. I have about once a week an old patient asking if I reopened. This was most recently yesterday. I agreed to help at a hospital with the Covid crisis. A patient in the ER chased me down. He recognized me with my mask on and asked if I had reopened the practice.

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