While the patients who come in for physical therapy treatment are often in pain, professionals can ease some stress associated with appointments by improving the patient experience. Physical therapy continuing education helps lay groundwork for this concept, but you can also use some creativity to establish techniques for gaining new clients and keeping the old.
1. Allow Online Appointment Scheduling
Many patients cannot make appointments via phone during business hours. If you establish a system on the web that allows your patients to request appointment times, you may see a rise in new clients. Online scheduling gives you a competitive edge over other offices, especially where younger patients are concerned.
2. Create Detailed Instructions
If you recommend a home exercise program to your physical therapy patients, you should create a more detailed set of instructions. You might involve pictures rather than stark descriptions of the movements. You might even use a website or link to YouTube videos in an email to facilitate a better understanding of the exercises.
3. Develop Patient Education Methods
While you attend physical therapy continuing education, most patients never will. Potential clients may need a clear understanding of what physical therapy can do for them before they schedule an appointment. Sometimes, education provides information about other methods of therapy that patients would not consider otherwise, like aquatic therapy.
You can educate your clients via a newsletter, which should be delivered consistently and regularly. You can also make personal phone calls to check in with patients and inform them about alternative options. Even putting printed brochures in the office can help patients understand the services you offer.
4. Send Appointment Reminders
You do not want to waste anybody’s time, and you don’t want them to waste yours either. Even well-meaning patients might accidentally miss an appointment. Appointment reminders take out some confusion.
You can send appointment reminders via a phone call, email, or text. Automatic reminders are the most effective and efficient methods of reminding patients, and professionals typically send successful reminders about three days before the appointment.
5. Establish a Patient Referral Program
Do you want your clients to share their positive experiences with friends and family members? Offer incentives for referrals based on a graduated program. With more referrals come bigger prizes, such as a free aquatic therapy session or perhaps home health tools.
6. Ask for Feedback
Measuring your patient’s experiences is critical to success. Management tools, like online surveys, allow you to gauge patient satisfaction and determine which areas may be lacking. Gathering information about these metrics allows you to make changes.
Maintaining a Positive Patient Experience Is Critical
When your patients have good experiences in your office, they are much more likely to come back. If you want to see the same faces in your office, physical therapy continuing education can help you stay on top of new ways to stay engaged. Stay up to date with your physical therapy courses to remain in the know.