2020 ignited many changes to the healthcare industry, one of which was a steep decline in the number of patients visiting healthcare providers. For instance, in a national survey of 1337 participants conducted by JAMA, 41% of respondents reported forgoing medical care from March through mid-July 2020, with reasons ranging from fear of contracting COVID-19 to financial concerns.
With this decrease in patient volume came significant revenue loss. One report estimated an average of $67,774 in gross revenue lost per full-time physician in 2020. They further estimated that the cost to neutralize the revenue losses caused by COVID-19 would be $15.1 billion for primary care practices.
With staggering numbers like these, it’s no surprise that providers are looking for ways to increase patient volume again in 2021. Here are some of the best ways to bring patients back to healthcare practices this year.
Shorten Wait Times
Oftentimes, people hesitate to make appointments in fear of long waits. Nobody enjoys sitting in waiting rooms, especially if they have busy work schedules and important places to go. However, if the practice offers digital check-in, then the patient will have already completed the pre-registration process prior to their visit, allowing them to enter the exam room sooner. If they are still concerned about social distancing, allow them the ability to stay in their cars until the doctor is ready for them, eliminating the waiting room altogether.
Offer Remote Healthcare Options
According to a recent study, “data shows that patients are more likely to visit a provider who offers digital services – 78 percent report wanting contactless healthcare care options instead of traditional in-person, paper-based processes.” As such, providers should consider incorporating telemedicine into their practice if they haven’t yet. With more people working remotely than ever before, it only makes sense for providers to follow suit and adopt a more remote model of healthcare as well.
Promote Positive Online Reviews
In a survey conducted in December 2020, over 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, while 73% of them only pay attention to ones posted in the past month. These statistics prove that online reputation management is integral in this digital age and one of the key factors for growth in businesses of any kind. In order to increase patient volume and revenue for healthcare providers, find ways to consistently promote positive reviews for your practice.
Proactively Prevent No-shows
Last-minute cancellations and no-shows happen, but there are ways to proactively decrease the number of them. Sending automated text and email reminders to patients on the days leading up to the appointment will increase attendance. If these electronic reminders are replacing phone call reminders, then front desk staff will also gain more freedom to focus on other important tasks.
Offer Online Appointment Scheduling
NRC Health found that in 2019, 80% of patients said they would switch providers for “convenience factors” alone. Offerings like online scheduling fall into this category. Give people the convenience they crave by allowing them to schedule their appointment from your website. That way, you’re more likely to obtain new patients while retaining the ones you currently have. Combine this with digital check-in and electronic form completion, and you’ll have the most convenient patient workflow available.
DocResponse Helps Increase Patient Volume
DocResponse is an excellent all-in-one solution to address the ways to grow patient volume mentioned above. This revolutionary patient engagement platform offers:
- Digital check-in
- Online appointment scheduling
- Reputation management
- Electronic screeners, questionnaires & consent forms
Through this technology, the healthcare industry will be able to rise to pre-COVID-19 revenue generation and patient volume levels in no time — possibly even increasing it in the process.
Schedule a demo today to learn why DocResponse is the best option for getting practices back on track in 2021!