At Vital Interaction™, we fully believe that cultivating patient relationships is one of the best ways that medical practices can boost patient satisfaction. If nurtured, relationships go a long way.
We understand that you have a lot of patients but not a lot of time. And we also understand that your staff is already doing everything possible to deliver top-quality care and service to your patients.
But you don’t have to do anything crazy (or crazy expensive) to show patients you care. It really is the “little” things in life that matter most. By taking just a little time and putting forth a smidgen of effort, you can build rapport and foster strong relationships with your patients that will ultimately translate to healthy patient satisfaction scores.
So, how, exactly, can you achieve this?
By “going to the [messages]”—specifically, your After-appointment messages.
Read on for a look at how you can use this nifty, multi-purpose message as part of your strategy to improve patient satisfaction.
The Role of After-appointment Messages in Improving Patient Satisfaction
Our customers can attest to the fact that we are super literal with our naming conventions. Take our After-appointment messages, for example. The name itself gives you a pretty good understanding of what kind of message it is.
These less-than-creative names aren’t due to a lack of creativity on our part. Rather, we purposefully name them for their uses; we define our message types by kind and call them “Message Kinds.”
We have quite the variety of message kinds, and they include:
- Appointment Reminder
- After Appointment
- Appointment Cancellation
- Appointment Delay/Move-up
- Custom Message
- Birthday Note
- Product Pick-up
- Lab Results
Our After-appointment messages are designed to be sent to patients, as the name indicates, after their appointment. This type of message can be linked to specific appointment types, and is triggered when a patient’s appointment status changes in your practice management system (PMS) following his or her appointment.
The length of time between a patient’s appointment and the delivery of the message can be defined in your system and strategically used. These messages are configured to be sent during a defined time period following an appointment, ranging anywhere from one day to two weeks.
For delayed After-appointment messages, the use case is typically for sending special instructions, such as after a procedure. However, otherwise, we find that sending the message soon after the appointment is best.
Leveraging After-appointment Messages to Boost Patient Satisfaction
While there is any number of creative ways you can use After-appointment messages to nurture patient relationships, we’re going to outline two approaches we’ve developed and have seen positive results from. We recommend considering employing After-appointment messages to deliver:
- Patient satisfaction surveys
- Special instructions or a friendly reminder
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Surveys and Social Media Links
Monitoring and measuring patient satisfaction is a key part of ensuring that your practice is successful and continuing to grow. And so, it's rare these days to find a group that doesn't offer their patients an opportunity to provide feedback.
Through our After-appointment messages, Vital Interaction™ customers have a great way to provide just that.
These simple but effective messages provide you the opportunity to deliver a friendly thank-you note, for example, that includes a link to your survey site (If you don’t already have a survey in place, we can help—talk with your account manager today.).
The more patients you send these survey-inclusive messages, the more patients who will complete the survey and offer feedback. The better and more feedback you get, the better you’re able to identify both positive and negative trends and make changes accordingly.
After-appointment messages can be set so that patients only receives them once a month or once a year. It’s really up to you and what your goals are. These messages can be a particularly great tool if, for example, you have a complex, lengthy survey and want to limit it to only one request each year.
In addition to using after-appointment messages to obtain valuable feedback, these messages can also help with some of your marketing initiatives. For example, if social media and/or online reviews are an important piece of your marketing plan, after-appointment messages can prompt patients to engage on your social sites.
Special Instructions and Friendly Reminders
After-appointment messages can also be used to deliver special instructions to patients, following minor procedures or specific appointment types. They can even serve as gentle reminders to complete certain tasks that will help with their recovery.
If your staff manually calls patients with simple reminders like these, I recommend considering using automated messaging. This will help cut down on time-intensive calls and enable your team to spend more time with those patients needing extra attention.
By taking a few moments to configure your After-appointment messages with your patients in mind, you are making great strides in improving your patient relationships and, ultimately, your patient satisfaction scores.
Are you making good use of your After-appointment messages? They are a standard feature in most all Vital Interaction™ packages. Ask us how your practice can benefit from this multi-purpose message.
Not a Vital Interaction™ customer yet? Discover what Vital Interaction™ can do for your practice by visiting www.VitalInteraction.com or calling (512) 487-7625.