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Creating an Effective Patient Recall Program

Patient recall programs are activities that bring the patient back into your office on a routine basis.  The program should be directed at both active and inactive patients.
The Method
The only effective method for activating inactive patients is to have a well-trained person from the practice initiate telephone calls.  Even for someone who is effective at this task, it’s probably their least favorite thing to do.  Knowing that up front means it is important to set goals and monitor their activity, both in terms of time allocated and the successes they are having.  Attaching incentives for the person charged with this activity can only improve performance.
It is important to differentiate between patients who should be followed for medical reasons and patients who are being recalled to maintain their active status within the practice.  A determination needs to be made at the end of the initial office visit which category the patient will fall into.  For existing patients where the determination was not made at the initial visit the staff needs to be given the criteria and the chart should be reviewed prior to making the call. Again, you will be calling three types of patients.  They are: 

  • Patients who purchased hearing aids from the practice but are no longer active.
  • Patients who were tested and did not purchase.
  • Patients were seen for medical reasons and were not candidates for hearing aids, but who should be monitored.

Each month your files should be reviewed and patients who need to be recalled should be identified.  You can contact them with a reminder card and then follow-up with a telephone call taking the same approach above.  Your staff should have a much higher success rate with the active versus inactive patients.  There may still need to be some prompting on their part but the majority should make appointments.
Why is a patient recall program a good idea?

  • By updating your files, you eliminate mailing correspondence to patients who are inactive.
  • You will increase the opportunity to provide existing patients additional products and services.
  • The value of your practice will increase based on the active number of files you have, should you decide to sell it.
  • You have an opportunity to reclaim patients that may have switched to a competitor.
  • You can eliminate an unhappy patient making negative comments about your practice.

Not sure how to get the ball rolling?  Call us.  We can help you to identify and to train the right person in your practice.  A effective patient recall program is an ideal way to lessen your reliance on advertising to meet your monthly goals.