The return of the patient is a crucial moment for the health professional to evaluate the results obtained since the last consultation, and thus conclude or continue the treatment. However, a large number of patients miss the return because they think it is not important, or that their health problem has already been solved.
In addition to the factors mentioned above, there is also the fact that many patients forget the date when the return was scheduled, thus increasing the number of absenteeism in the clinic. With that in mind, in this article, we will give you tips on how to improve the relationship with the patient so that he does not forget or ignore the return visits.
Perform a humanized service
When a person is hospitalized or seeking medical attention, it is very likely that they are fragile and have psychological distress. In this way, humanized care comes to meet the patient's need to feel confident in the situation in which he is going through and face it positively.
In this type of service, communication is one of the main points to stand out. It must be clear and efficient in a way that allows the exchange of information between health professionals and patients. It is important to take into account the emotional state not only of the patient but also of the family, and answer their questions in a way that conveys empathy, security, and trust, so that as soon as the patient feels comfortable to be seen again by the same professional.
Reinforce the importance of returning to the patient
When in medical consultation, the patient is evaluated clinically through a detailed conversation where his complaints and symptoms are addressed. After that, it is normal for the health professional to perform physical examinations, and most of the time the patient is asked for laboratory or imaging tests, the purpose of which is to assist in diagnosis or prevention.
It is important to make these aspects clear, as it is precisely in the return that the health professional with the patient will have the opportunity to discuss the results of the exams, the risks related to certain results, whether they are short, medium or long term, and the measures that must be implemented to improve health as a whole.
Use management software to schedule your return
Medical software has numerous facilities, and we will list here some that concern the return. As an example, we will use the Ninsaúde Apolo software, where the first facility is because, when the health professional finishes an appointment, he can insert a notice so that the secretary knows the number of days on which the patient must return.
This warning will be shown on the scheduling screen, when using the Return option, selecting the patient in question, the system automatically shows the number of days that was suggested by the health professional, facilitating the work of the secretary.
In addition to the example above, the secretary can schedule the return in another way, and if the professional has suggested the number of days the patient should return, even in this second option the observation is available.
This second way makes the job practical because the secretary does not need to look for the patient's name on the agenda, which is usually kept together with canceled, missing, and stand-by patients. In this case, the system itself suggests for the return only patients who have had their care completed in the last hours at the clinic.
Send reminders to patients
The Ninsaúde Apolo software can bring benefits not only when scheduling the return, but also when it is necessary to send a reminder to the patient. Many patients indeed miss the returns because they think it is a consultation without much relevance, but this can be circumvented mainly with the second tip of this article.
If you feel that the patient can still ignore the return, you can schedule the sending of an email marketing commenting on all the points that make the return an important meeting.
With Ninsaúde Apolo's email marketing functionality, the professional can save an email template on a specific subject (in this case, the return), and configure it so that it is always sent after the patient has had an appointment at the clinic (like after the first appointment at the clinic), or days before returning. It is also possible to use other available filters, such as the care branch filter, ICD, tags, age, among others.
Although some patients ignore the return of their own free will, many of them do not attend because they forget. Even if you send an e-mail commenting on how important the presence is to the appointment, the most efficient way to make the patient not forget is to make a call or an automatic confirmation message.
At Ninsaúde Apolo the secretary has access to the list of all patients who need to be confirmed and can do this manually (by contacting them by phone), or by sending a confirmation via SMS or WhatsApp, which can be sent a few days before the appointment.
The automatic confirmation functionality is excellent because in addition to saving time at the reception, if the appointment is canceled, the status is automatically updated and the place is available for another patient who wants to use the same date and time. The patient may also contact you to reschedule using the number provided on the screen, or the secretary may offer you a new day.
With these tips, the number of return visits is sure to increase and this can bring you the long-awaited patient loyalty.
You can follow more tips like this one here on the blog, and if you are not a Ninsaúde Apolo user yet, just contact the sales team to request a demo.