Covid-19 affects the healthcare industry especially medical practices that experienced a negative financial impact directly or indirectly. For example- according to the Medical Group Management Association, there is a 60% decrease in patient volume since the beginning of COVID-19.
Lockdown in the US forced patients to stay indoors due to which many patients delayed or canceled preventive care, follow-up visits, screenings, and non-urgent procedures.
Recovering patient volumes will be a struggle for some practices amidst covid-19 however, creating a safety culture is one of the ways to gain patient volume.
The safety culture refers to the sum of what an organization is and what it does every day in the pursuit of zero harm for patients, staff, clinicians, and visitors.
Strong safety culture is associated with positive patient outcomes, improved quality, patient satisfaction, staff engagement and retention, and even financial strength.
Let’s look at more tips to recover patient volume amidst covid-19:
Outreach patients proactively
In this pandemic patients are not feeling safe hence practices need to take a proactive approach and let their patients feel valued. Practices need to call patients to let them know that it’s safe to visit.
While outreaching to patients start with those who have upcoming appointments and then focus on patients who are overdue for physicals, vaccines, and more.
All the conversations focus specifically on efforts are taking place to keep patients safe. Keep the focus on following to make patients feel safe:
- Reserve completely separate area for coronavirus patients
- Provisions for social distancing in the waiting room
- Provide a face mask and gloves when you arrive for your appointment
- Seeing providers wash their hands
The use of advanced technology such as Telemedicine, online booking, and use of the patient portal should be part of every practice’s strategy. This will ease patients to interact with their physicians regularly. Moreover, appropriate, virtual care is a promising option for working parents, those without access to transportation, or elderly patients who don’t feel comfortable coming into the practice.
Focus on the training of front-office staff
In this situation front office staff plays a crucial role in Recovering patient volume as they are likely interacting with patients who may have lost their job or a loved one due to COVID-19 or who are facing other pandemic-related challenges hence focused training in empathic communication helps to win patients loyalty.
Serve patients as quickly as possible
Patients are looking for quick appointments as practices are reopening. If patients are not accommodated quickly then they will switch to another provider.
Research suggests that various reasons for switching current provider which include their current provider lack empathy, another provider are willing to work with them on out-of-pocket costs and another provider has demonstrated better safety and cleaning procedures to protect patients from COVID-19.
Hence it is important to serve patients as quickly as possible to rebuild patient volume quickly.
Provide psychological support
Patients are struggling with various challenges like depression, bankruptcy, divorce, anxiety, and more due to COVID-19.
Hence the physician must embed a psychological health specialist into their practices to provide patients with the support they need.
We can conclude that practices must take an active part in recovering patient volume amidst covid-19 else they will go out of business. Moreover, it is also imperative to collect revenue owed to your practice, which can be tricky with patients in a COVID-19 era.
Are you looking for rebuilding your patient volume? We are here to help you actively. We are medical billing and coding experts.