Patient Retention Ideas: Some Creative Ways to Increase Patient Satisfaction

December 9, 2020

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve and competition grows for patient loyalty, recruitment and retention strategies in the healthcare industry are becoming more innovative and technologically savvy. As a result, providers now need to focus on better communication, increasing interaction and improving feedback. Digital signage allows hospitals, doctor’s offices and clinics to counter patient attrition increase patient retention and drive patient engagement by creating a consistent communication strategy across their systems.

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Improving Patient Retention with Better Communication

Example of a doctor bio.

Your patients don’t want to spend their time in your waiting room; they want to see their doctor and return to the comfort of their home as quickly as possible. Often, the longer wait times that patients experience lead to frustration and negatively impact satisfaction and retention. 

Therefore, retention in the healthcare industry is quickly becoming about minimizing frustration through better communication. Use the time your patients spend in your waiting room to communicate with them purposefully via digital signage. Introduce new staff members, including physician’s assistants and nurses, to your patients as they wait. Short staff bios provide a way for patients to immediately feel connected with their care team. Time spent getting to know their care team is not time patients consider wasted.

Instead of asking staff to inform patients of new procedures or offerings, take advantage of the digital signage already in your waiting rooms. Patients will look at your screens in an effort to fill their time. Use those screens to drive value for your practice. A dermatology clinic can promote new skincare products or new procedures to treat acne. Meanwhile, an orthopedic surgery center may want to highlight additional surgical offerings after hiring a new surgeon. Displaying this information on screens lets you market to patients without asking clinicians to sell.

All these communications help minimize a patient’s perceived wait time. Minimizing perceived wait time ultimately increases patient satisfaction, and patient satisfaction drives patient retention.

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Increase Retention by Facilitating Interaction

An example of signage promoting a clinic's mobile app.

Many patient retention specialists believe that the greatest opportunity to grab and keep the attention of patients is the first time they visit a facility. Use your digital signage to advertise your clinic’s app and ensure patients have the ability to communicate with their care providers at any time. Patients can send questions directly to their physician or nurse, address outstanding payments, update insurance information, review lab results, fill out surveys and so much more. The app gives you additional avenues of interaction while simplifying how you engage with your patients.

Providing an easy way for patients to accomplish tasks leads to greater patient satisfaction, and patient satisfaction drives long term patient retention. Plus, satisfied patients are much more likely to give you a positive review. When they check out, they can easily scan a QR code on your digital signage and leave a glowing review.

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Improved Experiences

An example of  on-screen trivia for a waiting room.

We've talked about how to improve engagement. Let's also discuss how to improve experience because better experiences drive satisfaction. You wouldn’t go back to a restaurant that made you wait for an hour and a half with outdated magazines to read. Why would a patient return to a practice that did the same to them?

Actively create better waiting room experiences for your patients by using digital signage to reduce perceived wait times.

Keep patients engaged with entertainment content meant to reduce nerves while simultaneously informing them about your clinic’s doctors and offerings. Educate them through trivia games they can play on their phone, ensuring safe, contactless engagement. All these tools reduce perceived weight times, provide additional value to your patients and increase patient retention.

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Include Feedback into your Patient Retention Strategies

Ultimately, understanding patient engagement comes down to giving your patients a voice. Many patients often feel like passive observers instead of empowered participants in their plan of care. Make sure your patients have a voice. Use your waiting room digital signage to display simple, one or two question surveys about wait times, entertainment, care preferences and more. Patients can answer these surveys safely from their own cell phones by scanning QR codes as they wait.

Sourcing patient feedback not only retains patients by giving them a chance to be heard but also gives your hospital useful information on how to improve your patient experience. What’s more, you can use surveys as an engagement tool to encourage happy patients to leave Google reviews, driving positive word of mouth.

Digital signage in your waiting rooms, lounge areas and individual exam rooms provides a powerful means to drive patient satisfaction and increase patient retention.

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