It happens all the time – A patient cancels or reschedules at the last minute. The therapist now has a large block of free time. For a clinic owner, this represents a negative return on investment.
In reality, this time can be used very productively, especially if the therapist has a clear directive on how to use downtime.
Introducing 10 ideas to boost productivity during downtime in your practice. If you can implement even one or two of these ideas the next time a patient cancels, you might find that downtime is the most productive time for your practice.
1) Call the patients who have shown the greatest degree of improvement and congratulate them on a job well done. Remind them of their importance to you, and your commitment to them.
2) Write a newsletter for patients.
3) Write a press release, and research google and other search engines for the contact information of journalists in local newspapers and TV stations
4) Retrain and improve the phone script utilized by the staff to increase interaction with patients and callers.
5) Identify the single biggest topic that your patients want to hear about and find a physician who is also an expert at it. Call a physician and tell him you would like to organize a teleseminar or live workshop with him, and both sides can invite their patients. You now position yourself as an authority with the physician.
6) Identify a major brand that your customers identify with and think of a way to position yourself next to the brand (If a majority of your patients are mothers, you may want to say “Our treatment options will relieve pain, increase well being and make you feel as relaxed and content as eating a bag of OREO cookies)
7) Create lead generators for your website – narrate a 20 minute audio (using a simple voice recorder) advising patients about the ’10 best ways to ____’ and offer a free download of the audio to your patients on your website, in exchange for their email address.
8) Take the audio (mentioned above) and get it transcribed into a book that can also server as a lead generator on your website, or an in-person bonus / gift for patients in your clinic.
9) Introduce loyalty rewards – provide ongoing ‘members only’ benefits for patients who take the ‘most wanted response’ for your practice. (writing a letter to their physicians, giving you a testimonial, referring friends, family etc)
10) Resolve to ask for a testimonial from the next patient. Ask in a way that appreciates the patient, instead of obligating the therapist.
You can print this blog post and put a check mark next to each tip, as you complete these tasks. Good luck and see you in my next blog post!