Building a patient load in hard work. And, we know it’s easy to get discouraged by clinic closures. But, the closure of your clinic doesn’t mean you’re going to lose all those patients. There are ways to maintain your patient load even through the COVID-19 crisis.
Although it’s true that none of us have been through something like this before, there are patient retention strategies that can be used. It may not be realistic to expect that you’ll return to a full patient load when we’re through this, but you can at least take steps to maintain as many of your patients as possible.
When a clinic closure happens, things are abnormal for a while, even after the clinic re-opens. If you want to get back to a regular routine in your physiotherapy practice quickly, you’ll need to take steps now to ensure that can happen.
Ways to Maintain Your Patient Load
Keep in contact
Phone or email your patients to let them know that you are still here, and that you will be here once the clinic re-opens. Let your patients know you care. I have been reaching out to my patients regularly since the quarantine began, and my physiotherapist colleagues have been doing the same. We have all agreed that every single patient has had a positive response to these phone calls. They will see that you are going the extra mile for them and that you truly care about their well-being. This will make them more likely to come back to you once the clinic is open again. And don’t just check in on their physical concerns. Ask about how they are feeling about the COVID-19 crisis and being cooped up inside all day. They will appreciate the gesture.
Offer phone or video appointments
If you’re permitted to do so, offer phone or video check-ins. Maintaining a patient’s treatment program remotely isn’t always an option, but if it is, do it! Being able to see how exercises are being done over video can really help the patient and it helps to build rapport while you aren’t able to meet in person.
Build your online presence
You can also use this time to ramp up your online presence. Record helpful videos, host Q&A sessions, and share tips and resources. This allows you to remain a support for your patients and you might even reach a new audience.
Strategies for When the Clinic Re-opens
We don’t know when clinics will be allowed to re-open again, but when they do, there are some steps you should take to make sure your patients are aware.
Announce the clinic’s re-opening
Contact everyone to let them know when the clinic will be open. You could even hold an open house or re-opening event so that your patients know you are back and ready to treat them.
Reschedule standing appointments
Many of your patients will have had their appointments cancelled, so reach out to them with new dates so that you can pick up where you left off.