Maintaining a successful medical or dental practice depends on your ability to sustain excellent patient satisfaction, experience, and engagement.

But how are you defining patient experience? Are you operating under the impression that it’s all about your patient’s interactions with you, personally? If so, you may be missing opportunities to improve on other, high impact factors.

When your patient leaves your office, of course they remember how you treated them, how they feel about how you treated them, and their confidence in your ability to treat them. So yes, your interactions are huge drivers of patient loyalty.

Now consider what happens when that patient needs to reach out after the appointment. How are their calls handled? How easy is it for them to get new appointments scheduled? How accessible, informed, and courteous is the person who answers those calls? Does every caller receive your staff’s undivided attention or do they frequently get placed on hold, asked to wait, or roll to an answering service?

As I’m sure you’ve read, a new wave of consumerism has come to the medical and dental professions. Patients today are taking an customer approach to their health care provider options. Their expectations are high. And their experiences, impressions, and disappointments are shared across multiple online review sites. Providers who make the scheduling process easy and painless, even pleasant, are the ones who will win out.

In other words, most of your patients have become sophisticated buyers. They’re used to having their calls answered, their questions to be addressed, and to be treated as a valued consumer when making purchases. And they expect the same – honestly, more – of their health care providers.

So, how easy is it for current and prospective patients to reach you?

Don’t guess the answer. Don’t ask your front desk team to tell you. Ask your patients. Send out a survey. Or, at the very least, dial your own office (from an unknown number) at different times of the day. How often do you roll to an answering service or voicemail? Have a friend or colleague call to make an appointment. How often are they put on hold? How promptly are their questions were answered? How easy was it to get an appointment scheduled?

The paradox of a growing practice is more incoming calls and appointment requests can result in a decline in experience. Often, spikes in call volumes create chaos with office staff. Over tie, it undermines patient engagement, making you increasingly vulnerable to patient attrition.

Outsourcing is Often the Smartest Solution, boosting satisfaction while improving efficiency.

Here’s how:

Reduce Missed Appointments
When you outsource appointment scheduling, you ensure that calls are answered promptly, handled professionally, and documented efficiently. Your outsourced team of inbound patient care agents is in charge of making that happen, every time. They’re not interrupting patient calls with any other activities or unrelated office matters. That reduction – or elimination – in missed or bungled calls means more appointments scheduled and far fewer of them missed.

Elevate Your Office Staff
Your front office staff are responsible for multiple activities that directly affect the smooth operation of your practice. Asking them to drop higher-level responsibilities – like in-office patient interactions, billing, and other sensitive matters – every time the phone rings can lead to frustration and employee disengagement. Outsourcing the appointment scheduling sends a powerful that you value your staff’s time and talents and want them to grow in their career with you.

Improve ROI
Outsourcing is an investment that allows you to grow appointments, reduce patient attrition, and boost employee satisfaction and loyalty. But it also cuts costs. When the workflow of your in-house staff is no longer interrupted by sporadic, unpredictable call volumes, you’re spending less and gaining more.

Schedule Appointments at Your Patient’s Convenience
Are you still asking patients to stand at the front desk, schedule their next appointment, then giving them a little handwritten follow-up card with the appointment date? A call center that specializes in appointment setting can eliminate all of that. Now, your patients can dial the scheduling number at their convenience and receive a reminder call or text prior to their appointment.

Engage Patients with a Consistent, Positive Message on Every Call
Does your office staff handle every call beautifully? Do they touch on every key point you wish to convey to every patient? Can you confidently expect every call to flow flawlessly – no matter what else is going on in the office when the phone rings? Working with the team of inbound patient care agents means you can expect that, every time.

Are you ready to take your appointment scheduling to the next level? Skybridge Americas specializes in improving patient loyalty, increasing appointments, and improving efficiency. Reach out! We’d love to talk about how we can help your practice grow and thrive!

by Bobby Matthews
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Skybridge Americas

bmatthews@skybridgeamericas.com


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