Best Strategies to Improve Patient Recall, Compliance, and Retention


doctor talking with patient and looking at tablet

In the healthcare industry, patient recall and retention are crucial for both patient well-being and practice success. Regular check-ups, preventive care, and adherence to treatment plans are essential for managing chronic conditions, preventing illness, and ensuring optimal health outcomes.

This article explores key strategies practices should embrace to maximize patient recall, improve treatment compliance, and ultimately, foster long-term patient retention for your practice.

Understanding Patient Recall and Retention

Patient recall refers to the process of reminding patients to schedule follow-up appointments based on their healthcare needs. Retention, on the other hand, focuses on building long-lasting relationships with patients and encouraging them to return to your practice for ongoing care.

Benefits of Effective Patient Recall and Retention

  • Improved health outcomes: Regular check-ups and adherence to treatment plans lead to earlier detection of potential issues, better disease management, and overall improved patient health.
  • Increased patient satisfaction: When patients feel valued and receive consistent care, they are more likely to be satisfied with their healthcare experience and return to the practice.
  • Enhanced practice efficiency: Reduced no-shows and a consistent patient flow contribute to a smoother operation within the practice, allowing healthcare providers to focus on delivering quality care.
  • Boosted revenue: Retained patients are a reliable source of income for the practice.

Top Strategies for Effective Patient Recall

With today’s advanced healthcare technology, every practice should implement these tactics below to ensure patients are reminded of their appointments to reduce no-shows and maximize the provider’s appointment schedule.

  • Leverage technology: Utilize a patient relationship management (PRM) system for automated appointment reminders. These systems can send personalized emails, texts, or automated phone calls based on predefined schedules.
  • Multi-channel communication: Don’t rely on a single communication method. Offer patients the option to receive reminders through their preferred channels, such as email, text message, or phone call.
  • Personalize reminders: Generic reminders can be easily ignored. Tailor messages with the patient’s name, appointment purpose, and potential benefits of attending the follow-up visit.
  • Timely reminders: Send reminders at the optimal time for patient engagement. Studies suggest emails perform better on Tuesdays with afternoon deliveries, while text messages can be sent throughout the day.
  • Offer online scheduling: Allow patients to conveniently schedule follow-up appointments directly from the reminder message. This eliminates the need for phone calls and streamlines the process.

Strategies to Increase Patient Retention

There are many reasons patients choose to leave a practice for another provider, or they just stop seeking quality care. Here are some fundamental ways to ensure your practice is doing everything it can to retain patients.

  • Provide exceptional care: The foundation of patient retention lies in delivering high-quality, compassionate care. Build trust by actively listening to patients, addressing their concerns, and creating a personalized care plan. Patients who form a trusting bond with their provider are way more likely to stay connected to that practice.
  • Focus on patient experience: One bad experience can lose a long-term patient. Every practice should have a primary goal of ensuring each interaction with a patient is positive. This includes a welcoming, clean environment, efficient and friendly check-in/out processes, and well-trained staff who truly care about the patient.
  • Communicate effectively: Keep patients informed throughout their care journey. Provide clear instructions, answer questions promptly, and offer educational resources to empower patients in managing their health. Clear communications with their provider is one of the top priorities in patient surveys.
  • Offer multiple payment options: Ensure patients have easy access through your online portal to view their balance and pay their bill. Take all credit cards and offer payment plans on large balances. Request the copay from the patient at each visit and the balance due on their account to keep it up-to-date.
  • Expand business hours: Cater to patient needs by offering flexible appointment times, including evenings and weekends, as well as same-day scheduling. Explore telehealth options for added convenience.
  • Request feedback: Regularly seek patient feedback through surveys or reviews. Use this information to identify areas for improvement and demonstrate your commitment to patient satisfaction.
  • Express appreciation: Show patients you value their business. Medical care isn’t a commodity. Tell patients it was good to see them, inquire about their life, and send a post-visit thank you note.
  • Follow up after appointments: Reach out to patients after their visit to see how they’re doing, answer any lingering questions, and address any concerns.

Advanced Tactics to Improve Patient Compliance and Retention

When the fundamentals are taken care of, practices can work toward more advanced tactics that ramp up improved metrics.

  • Segmenting patient outreach: Categorize patients based on demographics, needs, and past behavior. This allows for targeted communication and ensures messages are relevant to each patient group.
  • Appointment reminders in multiple languages: Cater to a diverse patient population by offering reminders in their preferred language.
  • Integrate with patient portals: Allow patients to manage appointments, access medical records, and communicate with providers directly through a secure online portal.
  • Utilize patient testimonials and reviews: Positive feedback from satisfied patients can serve as powerful social proof and encourage others to choose your practice. Send a post-visit text and invite Google and online reviews.

UnisLink Offers the Newest Technology and Attentive Services to Improve Patient Recall and Retention

By implementing effective patient recall and retention strategies, healthcare practices can create a loyal patient base, improve overall health outcomes, and ensure long-term financial success.

UnisLink offers a full suite of RCM services using proprietary, advanced technology and supportive services to help a practice take advantage of all the features designed to improve patient recall and retention.

Some of those features include communicating with patients via multiple channels including text, email and printed correspondence and messaging tailored to each individual patient’s care plan.