Physicians and medical practices looking to attract new clients and develop loyal patients need to understand how patients work. Patients typically wait until they’re sick before they select a provider.
So, whoever they see for this season’s flu will likely be who they return to for other services. Where a patient receives important episodic care influences and often decides where they’ll go for a mammogram or a physical. Given they had a good experience, of course.
The Amazon Effect
Just as consumers now expect same-day or next-day shipping, patients want the same when it comes to their health care. They either want the ability to book a same-day appointment or walk-in for an appointment but have a short wait.
In the Advisory Board Company’s Marketing and Planning Leadership Council’s Research Brief, they found that 93% of patients prefer being able to make same-day appointments, to being able to do a walk-in.
This preference boils down to not wanting the potential extra wait time that comes with being a walk-in. What’s more, is they’ll look elsewhere if they already have a Primary Care provider who can’t meet that need.
Consumers want the convenience of digital access with their Primary Care. This includes online access to their test results, appointments, and billing information. However, it also includes the ability to have virtual appointments if their medical issue is one that may not require an in-person visit.
Patients also cite that when they can take care of everything in the same place, it’s worth the drive. They don’t want to leave your office having to go to three different places to do blood work, x-rays, and pick up prescriptions. Think about your target client and what services you can provide from beginning to end of their Primary Care journey. If this means a change in your medical office space, it may be worth the cost of change.
Clear & Easy Access to Billing Information
Unsurprisingly, patients want upfront and easy access to billing information. Having it available online is terrific but making it clear how much they’ll pay upfront is even better. Ensure your billing department is efficient at working with insurance companies to be able to give patients accurate information quickly.
Prioritize Based on Your Customer
As you begin to think strategically about how to reach the needs of new consumers, you may be tempted to try to do all things at once. These four ways of providing convenience for the modern-day consumer are not impossible to do simultaneously. Rolling them out at the same time, however, may not be the best way to go about it.
You know your patients. Use market research and your intimate knowledge of the care you give to prioritize the shape of convenience that is most important to your patient. Focus on what will bring you new patients and new opportunities.