Patient engagement is one of the most effective ways to boost patient retention for any clinical practice.
According to Emergen Research, the patient engagement solutions market will be worth $41.2 billion by 2027. That’s no mistake: healthcare providers and systems are increasingly seeing the value of patient engagement for improving health outcomes and increasing their patient retention rates.
So how does patient engagement translate into retention, and how does it compare to investing in new patient acquisition?
- Patient churn is the rate at which patients stop returning to your practice and is often the result of poor patient experiences.
- Patient retention can be as much as 25 times less expensive than new patient acquisition from a marketing perspective.
- Patient engagement is one of the most effective ways to boost patient retention by offering high-quality, patient-focused care.
Why is Patient Retention So Important?
Patient retention is crucial to the long-term health of any business. When a patient remains a paying customer over time, it provides the business with a steady stream of revenue and encourages repeat business and referrals.
On the other hand, if a patient stops coming into the practice, it can negatively impact both the business and the customer’s health. This is why it is essential to understand how your patient experience impacts patient retention.
What is Patient Churn Rate?
One of the most commonly used metrics in the healthcare industry when discussing patient retention is the patient churn rate.
When a patient stops coming into your practice, it is referred to as patient churn. Your practice’s “churn rate” is the percentage of patients who stop coming to your practice. It’s also referred to as patient attrition.
While there are a lot of factors that could impact a patient’s decision to cease coming into the practice, a high patient churn rate is most often the result of a poor patient experience. To reduce the likelihood of a high patient churn rate, practitioners must pay close attention to the patient experience and ensure that every interaction is positive.
Which is Harder: Patient Retention or Acquisition?
Patient retention and patient acquisition are two of the most difficult aspects of business management, and each presents its own set of challenges.
It is often argued that patient retention is the harder of the two to achieve. While most people are familiar with the type of external promotion that new patient acquisition relies on, patient retention can seem mercurial and impenetrable. That’s why most businesses focus on acquiring new patients, but rarely invest the time and effort required to retain the customers they already have.
But once you understand the link between patient engagement and retention, it becomes as actionable and effective as any traditional patient acquisition marketing methods. When you see how high the return on investment for patient retention is, you’ll see what an efficient use of time and resources it is.
Which Offers Better ROI: Patient Retention or Acquisition?
Across a range of industries, acquiring a new customer costs anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than keeping an existing customer. Marketing experts agree that patient retention is less expensive from a marketing standpoint than patient acquisition.
Both patient retention and new patient acquisition have an essential place in any healthcare practice. Still, if you are looking for the highest return on investment, patient retention is the most efficient use of your resources.
How Does Patient Engagement Impact Patient Retention?
Patient engagement is one of the most effective methods of patient retention. When a patient becomes actively involved in the health and well-being of their body and mind, they are much more likely to continue coming into the practice for care.
What is the Value of Patient Engagement?
Patient engagement refers to activities undertaken by patients to help their healthcare providers improve the quality of care that they receive. Engaging patients in these activities can result in improved patient satisfaction, better health outcomes, and ultimately increased loyalty.
By creating a culture of patient engagement, you are providing your patients with numerous advantages, including:
- receiving reminders for appointments, which improves the efficiency of their visit and can save your practice up to 14% of your revenue otherwise lost to missed appointments
- being actively involved in the decision-making process, which empowers them as equal participants in their own healthcare
- the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback, which results in more specialized services that are tailored to their needs
- a reduced chance of complication and readmission, since their engagement helps you to identify patients with higher risk factors such as pneumonia and take the necessary precautions in advance
- receiving ongoing education on the latest healthcare trends and developments, which helps your patients stay up to date on preventative care
How Does Patient Engagement Impact Retention?
By developing a patient engagement strategy, you ensure that every patient is provided with high-quality, patient-centered, personalized care. This directly translates into patient satisfaction and retention.
That’s why patient engagement is a critical factor in retaining current customers. When a patient is actively involved in their healthcare experience, it boosts health outcomes and gives them a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for the services that are being provided. This, in turn, encourages them to stay with the practice longer and refer new business and friends to the practice.
By encouraging a culture of patient engagement, you can directly improve your patient retention rates, and help your practice to grow and thrive.
Increase Your Patient Retention with Wellbe
Patient engagement technology is transforming healthcare and making patient retention easier for practitioners everywhere.
Contact us today to learn more about how our personalized care automation can help you boost patient engagement and improve your patient retention rates!