In your practice, you need to make sure you plug the leaky buckets. The biggest leaky bucket is patient dropout. Without plugging this hole, you’ll constantly be in a place where you need new patients.
There are several keys when it comes to plugging the patient dropout bucket. First, start with the end in mind. If your financial plans and educational plans in your office during the course of your first two visits are not in alignment with a Lifetime Wellness practice, that will create not just a leaky bucket but a bottomless pail. Start there first, and make sure you are planting seeds for the kind of garden that you would like. Otherwise, you’re going to have nothing but weeds and frustration.
The next area to help with the leaky bucket syndrome of new patients leaving is how you handle the first missed appointment. The first time ever that a patient misses an appointment, this has to be like sending out the FBI for them. You have to treat it as if you are sitting at a restaurant waiting for a date to show up, and they stood you up. If nothing happens when
someone misses their first appointment, they have learned something from you, which is that it’s no big deal. However if you respond appropriately and largely at that first missed appointment, they will learn a lesson. That lesson has to be they don’t miss an appointment without calling, and that the appointment is made up within 24 hours. The other lesson that is most important in terms of remedying patient drop out is understanding why patients drop out. I know people will think it’s time or money or symptoms going away. The truth of the matter is that you’re building a relationship with them and patient dropout is (bottom line) related to them having the feeling that they’re taken for granted. If they don’t continually feel like you are in a relationship with them, that you’re nurturing and grateful for, they drop out—just like any other relationship. If your spouse, significant other, kids, or family members felt taken for granted, then the relationship doesn’t thrive. Make sure people have an outstanding experience each and every visit. Keep the patient education fresh with e-mails, articles, blog posts, videos, workshops, hand outs, and more. Plug your leaky bucket!