Physicians: Increase Patient Loyalty by Improving Customer Service

Posted by Sherry Anderson on Jan 17, 2017 11:05:00 AM

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5 Quick Tips for Your Practice

Consumers are taking a more proactive role today in choosing their healthcare providers. These decisions often have little to Adult patients in waiting room reading_REDUCED.jpgdo with medical care, but result from patients’ experience with the practice. Friendliness of the staff, wait times and cleanliness of the office, among other factors, play a big role in whether patients stay with a doctor. 

Moreover, most people choose a new physician based on word-of-mouth from friends, relatives and colleagues. A negative experience, especially, will be passed along to your potential patient base. And with the rise of social media, word spreads faster than ever.

Therefore, physicians must build loyalty among their patients by providing excellent customer service, a.k.a. “patient experience.”

Here are five quick tips for achieving this goal:  


  • Make a great first impression. For most patients, their first interaction with a practice is when they call to make an appointment -- so ensure the call goes well from the patient’s perspective. For instance, have a friendly “people person” take patient calls and provide a high level of care. Don’t keep patients waiting on the phone a long time. And don’t make people wait weeks for their first appointment. Instead, keep a few slots open each day for new appointments, so you can build your patient roster. 
  • Be welcoming and informative. Your staff should be friendly and hospitable, from check-in through check-out. They should introduce themselves and explain any care they’re providing and how long it will take. At check-in, chat warmly: ask patients if they found the office easily, etc. Before the patient leaves, thank them for coming. 
  • Be mindful of patients’ time. Avoid overbooking, so patients don’t have long waits beyond their scheduled appointment time. If you run late, tell patients when they check in or as soon as possible. You can even call those who haven’t arrived yet. 
  • Forge a human connection. In the age of electronic health records, be sure to look patients in the eye. Don’t sit and type most of the time you’re together. Interact with each patient on a personal level. 
  • Offer personal finance solutions. With the rise of high-deductible health-insurance plans, patients are often hit with unexpected costs from a doctor visit. Physicians need to understand patients’ payment obligations and communicate them in advance to the patient. Doctors can help their patients manage these costs by offering payment plans. These steps will also help ensure the practice receives payment.

These are just a few of the many ways to enhance patient experience. For more tips,please click here or the link below.  

In fact, Continuum works closely with physician practices to identify areas for improvement and implement positive changes.  

We’re upping our own customer-service game, too, with significant improvements to our support model for physician practices -- from how we onboard a practice to our platform, to how we provide post-implementation support. This year, we will launch enhanced advisory services for all clients, to ensure we truly help transform physician offices into high-performance care centers, and guide them through shifting payment models and other changes to the healthcare system.

To learn more about our services, call (856) 782-3300 or email

For more on how to enhance patient experience DOWNLOAD ADDITIONAL TIPS NOW.


Sherry Anderson Headshot 2016_LowRes.jpgSherry Anderson, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience

As Continuum’s Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, Ms. Anderson is responsible for all aspects of the relationship between Continuum and its clients, including driving Continuum’s customer engagement model to maximize customer acquisition, retention and profitability. With 14 years of experience in healthcare, Ms. Anderson brings significant depth in healthcare technology business strategy, proven success in technical and operational decision-making across complex integrations, and extensive experience in customer, partner, and shareholder management.

Topics: patient satisfaction, patient experience, patient loyalty, customer service

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