Have you noticed that January is often one of your slowest months? Most extended health benefit plans restart in January, so clinics often get busy in December as people try to use their benefits up. But, because of reduced hours and staff time-off due to the holidays, patients who aren’t able to schedule an appointment in December tend to not book in January (which you can get around by using InnoCare Connect). Additionally, many patients who start attending your clinic in December don’t rebook into January because they enter holiday mode, and the schedule really drops off come the new year.
Here are 4 tips to keep your schedule busy over the holidays and into January:
Communicate the importance of the treatment plan. When treating your patients in December, be diligent about explaining their treatment plans and goals for the new year. If you can get them to understand the importance of their therapy, they are more likely to book in January. And at the very least, it will make them less surprised to hear from you when you follow step 2!
Follow up with your patients in January. No matter how much you remind your patients to book into January to keep up with their treatment plans, you are going to have patients that are in holiday mode, going on vacation, or just don’t know their schedule and won’t book while they’re in the clinic. That is why it’s so important to pull your fall off report and reach out to those patients! Your fall off report can be easily pulled from your Practice Management Software (PMS). Ideally, you want to look at anyone who attended in the last 30 days that hasn't been booked in the new year and hasn’t been discharged yet. Give those patients a call – if you’ve communicated the importance of adhering to their treatment plan (like we discussed in Step 1), it will make for an easier conversation and they’ll be happy that you care enough about them to reach out to them.
Email patients who haven’t booked in a while. Don’t stop at contacting patients who haven’t attended in the last 30 days and haven’t yet been discharged. Expand that to anyone who attended their last appointment in the previous 6 months, or even the last year, but hasn’t been discharged yet. Send them an email welcoming them into the new year. This is an easy and positive way to reach out to this group of patients who haven’t been in the clinic recently.
Host an event in January at your clinic (Kids Day, Patient Appreciation Day, etc.). If your clinic has a specialty, like pelvic health or orthotics, host a day about that subject and offer discounts for that particular service. If you’re going to have a day like this, be sure to mention it in the email you’re sending out in the step above!
We all want to start the new year off right, and you can do that by ensuring a busy January schedule which will help your patients start their new year off right.