Patient recalls are a great way of improving the patient journey and keeping in touch with your patients, while letting them know you have a genuine interest and care for them.
Standard Patient Recalls
It’s a good idea to have a process in place to get in touch with patients after they complete their treatment with you. You might decide that you’ll reach out to patients 6 or 12 months after their last visit, and then every 6 or 12 months after that (unless they come back for treatment in between). This is a process which you can standardise and automate so that it’s less labour-intensive. The purpose of these emails should be to remind patients of your clinic and the services you offer, and to let them know that you’re available if they need any further treatment.
Personalised Patient Recalls
When a patient drops out of care unexpectedly, it’s better to take a more personalised approach to recall. The goal here is to make sure that the patient knows that you truly care for them. If you believe that the patient would still benefit from completing their treatment plan in order to be able to get back to doing what they love, reach out and let them know that, and try get them booked back in.
How you approach personalised patient recalls will depend on the reason the patient has dropped out of care. If you know the reason, you’ll be able to easily assess how and when to follow up with them. For example, if the patient misses their appointment because they are unwell, you might get back in touch with them in a week or 2. If a patient misses their appointment because of a work commitment, you might call them the next day to get them booked in. If you’re unsure of why a patient has dropped out of care, you should aim to learn more about why they’ve cancelled their appointment, and make your assessment based on that information.
How You Come Across
How you come across when doing patient recalls is important – you don’t want to come across as desperate. To avoid this, we recommend ensuring that the reason that you are doing the recall is authentic. If you are doing patient recalls because your diary is empty and you are trying to build up flow of patients (and revenue!), this is how you will come across. However, if you are doing a recall because you genuinely care about the patient and their wellbeing, and believe that you can help them, then that will come across in your messaging. To help with this, we recommend that you have a process in place and are consistent with how you do your recalls.
Don’t Do It Alone
One final thing we’d like to point out is that it doesn’t have to be you as a clinic owner or practitioner that has to be doing the patient recalls – this is a job that your reception team can help with! Particularly for standardised recalls, the reception or admin team can easily set up recurring emails/reminders to get in touch with patients. For personalised recalls, ensure the reception or admin team have the right information about the reasons the patient dropped out of care so they can deal with the recall appropriately.