The Throughlines Blog

What makes patients choose one health clinic over another?

Business, Business Growth, Client care, Communication, Patient care

Thanks to increased connectivity and the internet, patients are free to research their choice of practitioner along any parameters they feel are important.
For some, convenience and proximity matter most. Or due to necessity, price and perceived value. But more often than not, it’s the following factors that really make or break the patient’s decision to choose You.

Reputation

It goes without saying that as an Allied Health professional, your name and your clinic’s name carry a reputation in line with your expertise, knowledge, bedside manner and results.
Almost all patients take heed of recommendations given to them by GPs, friends, family or social media.
Your reputation as a professional healthcare provider is usually the most impactful influence on a patient’s decision to contact you.

Connection

Whereas reputation can guide a patient towards your clinic, it is the next action that creates the firmest bond – how your front desk connects with them when they ring to book an appointment.

Each voice carries rich emotion and intent that is instantly interpreted by the listener. Patients can sense within seconds, whether the upcoming experience will be positive or not. Every human being subconsciously responds to, and mirrors, the other in an interaction.
A successful connection is when a patient’s first call is greeted by a compassionate, friendly voice. The greeter treats the patient as a person deserving of time, respect and full attention. A successful dialogue is guided by the receptionist from beginning to end in a clear, efficient and empathetic way. The patient feels safe, and sure – definitely not confused!

The result is a booking, and a patient who looks forward to experiencing the solutions-focussed appointment.

Communication

The way we communicate, and the quality of the information we share is incredibly important. Patients going through illness or injury can feel frightened or worried. Their typical cognition may suffer as a result of their illness.
It’s normal for patients to demand quick answers to multiple questions, require information to be repeated, or need us to take the time to give thorough advice to deal with their concerns. Good communicators are prepared and accommodating.

Patients choose you when they feel they can trust you and your team.

Great communication goes beyond the time spent in the consult room. Your reception team should be proactive regarding follow-up appointments, appointment reminders, and appointment/clinic/practitioner updates. These touchpoints should be delivered in a way the patient understands – digitally, or via analogue means.

Before, during and after an appointment, a clinic has many opportunities to really show they care.

By personalising their communication, clinics can provide patients with the specific information that matters to them. Customised and well-presented information sheets, verbal advice, informal check-ins and value-packed web content offer a huge incentive for patients to choose your clinic, over and over again.

Ease

Patients choose easy over difficult, any day. Who wouldn’t?! Nobody enjoys convoluted processes when a click on a screen will do. We don’t fax. We don’t like long forms. Nobody enjoys searching high and low for a phone number…and no one likes leaving a voice message in the hope of a return call.

A clinic can have everything else going for it, but if it’s difficult to contact them, make a booking, remember the booking or know how to prepare for an appointment, a patient WILL go elsewhere.

Ease of interaction is a huge motivating factor in a patients’ choice of health clinic.

Feeling well-cared for

Patients remember how you make them feel. In our time of need, we all appreciate compassionate, caring interactions that are authentic. This impression begins to form from the very first glimpse of your clinic – your website, your smile on a photo, or the voice on the phone.
Then, a consistent, thoughtful approach throughout all interactions ensures your patient will feel cared for, for years to come.

Our team at Throughlines exist to represent your clinic to the highest of standards. We excel in helping you and your health clinic put your best foot forward, every day, with every patient.
 

Contact us today to learn more about how we work.

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