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Patient Retention for Hospitals – Going Beyond Basics

It’s clear what patient retention for hospitals means in general. But, to understand how it influences your long-term success in the bustling healthcare industry, we’ll need a more detailed explanation.

Patient retention is one of the key metrics for measuring the growth and success of the healthcare business. It affects both financial stability and the quality of provided care, and it’s important for many reasons: on one hand, it ensures a steady flow of revenue and reduces the costs related to acquiring new patients. On the other hand, it helps you build a reputation based on the excellence and trustworthiness of your care.

Yet, despite its importance, many hospitals still struggle to keep pace with the personalized, patient-centric approaches that smaller practices are famous for. All signs lead to the conclusion that hospitals aren’t doing enough to retain their patients.

What’s So Appealing About Small Practices?

The popularity of smaller practices among patients can be due to the personalized care and convenience they offer. They often provide a more intimate experience, where patients feel seen and heard as people rather than numbers. This personal touch is crucial to patients choosing small practices over large healthcare entities for their needs, negatively affecting patient retention for hospitals.

A welcoming atmosphere of small practices, where doctors and the staff know patients by name, understand their medical history, and provide individual care is what makes up patients’ minds. A direct, personalized approach creates a strong sense of trust among patients, making them return for future care.

Also, convenience plays a big role. Small practices are typically more accessible, offering more flexibility and a fast turnover as well as geographic convenience. The simplicity of processes reduces wait times and makes healthcare more accessible to patients, enhancing their overall experience. In hospitals, the situation is quite different—excruciatingly long wait times for appointments, treatments, and access to information are frustrating for patients and make them look for care elsewhere.

All of this highlights a gap in the patient experience offered by larger hospitals, which can often feel impersonal and daunting due to their size and the volume of patients they handle. By understanding and adapting to some of these appealing aspects of small practices, you can improve their patient retention rates and performance in general.

Learning from Small Practices to Enhance Patient Retention for Hospitals

You can benefit a lot from observing the patient retention tactics of small practices. Making each patient feel valued and understood through personalized interactions should be the first thing to “steal”.

Effective appointment scheduling is another lesson worth learning. User-friendly online platforms for scheduling appointments contribute to patient satisfaction. Adopting this practice makes your patient’s journey more convenient and effective and brings your hospital into the 21st century.

Reviews are small practices’ secret weapon in enhancing engagement with the audience. Serving as a direct line of communication with patients, they allow for quick replies to their concerns and questions and help improve the quality of service. Applying this strategy will help humanize your hospital brand, connect with patients in a more personal (and personalized!) way, get actionable insights, and, ultimately, attract and retain more patients.

A strong staff-patient relationship (the signature of small practices) can be a turning point in patient retention for hospitals. This personal bond makes patients feel safe and supported, contributing to their loyalty. 

Hospitals Still Have a Lot to Show

You can learn a lot from the personalized care models of small practices, it’s true. However, they still have unique strengths that can be used to improve patient retention.

One of these perks is the advanced medical technology and specialized care that hospitals offer. Providing diagnostics and treatments unavailable to small practices is where patients see the value of hospitals, highlighting the comprehensive care you provide. 

Hospitals have a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare at their disposal. Different specialists and departments under one roof provide deeper care for patients, especially those with complex medical needs. Extensive research and educational resources make treatments more innovative, with higher success rates. 

Hospitals can leverage their larger scale by offering a wider range of services, like emergency care, specialized surgeries, and full diagnostic tests. Providing the full spectrum of care has a positive effect on retention for hospitals.

You might then think that you don’t need any additional improvement of services as long as you offer what small practices don’t —but where do your patients disappear to, then? 

Everyone will turn to a hospital for more advanced care if they need it. But what you’re missing out on are all the regular checkups and smaller issues people deal with. Though these procedures may not be as profitable as big surgeries and serious treatments are, this means that you’re not fostering patient loyalty—so you may not even be their hospital of choice when they need these types of healthcare services.

By binding together the personalized, patient-centric character of small practices with hospitals’ inherent strengths in technology, specialization, and comprehensive care, you can create a compelling value that saves and grows their patient base.

Innovative Patient Retention Strategies for Hospitals

To level up patient retention for hospitals, you can implement a range of innovative strategies. Here are some forward-thinking approaches that blend the best of small practices with the strengths unique to larger medical institutions. 

Adopt Patient-Centered Care

Shifting to patient-centered care means making patients active participants in their healthcare experience. This model includes respect for their values, preferences, and expressed needs. You can incorporate shared decision-making, where patients are fully informed and involved in their treatment plans, developing a sense of ownership and satisfaction with their care.

This doesn’t mean you need to alter your professional expertise to the patient’s desires. Moreover, it’s about making your patient aware that successful care is a mutual reward.

Open More Communication Channels for Your Patients 

Your patients are mostly online. They use different channels to get every possible piece of information when choosing healthcare. That means that good old face-to-face conversations need the support of digital technology.

You can develop comprehensive communication strategies to enhance interaction with patients. A mobile app that gives easy access to medical records, appointment scheduling, and direct communication with doctors will have a positive effect on patient retention for hospitals. Besides improving interaction, a tool like this encourages patients to manage their health more actively.

Use Digital Marketing to Reach a Wider Audience

In the digital era, marketing went digital too, and it’s eagerly waiting for the healthcare industry to catch up. The ads fly directly to the targeted audience, rather than waiting to be seen at the back of the newspapers.

Digital marketing strategies, like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or social media engagement, can significantly expand your reach. Relevant content that addresses common health concerns and promotes the services is likely to attract a broader audience and convert it into loyal patients. This conversion directly leads to better patient retention for hospitals.

Drive Patient Retention with Personalized Care

People engage with content that feels relatable and personal to them. This psychological trick is successfully used in marketing—personalized messaging drives the desired results.

Tailoring marketing content to address someone’s specific preferences can increase patient retention for hospitals. But, it’s impossible to tailor messages for each patient individually. Instead, you can segment and target your audience based on factors like age, health conditions, and interests, speaking directly to each group’s needs, like those with chronic lower back pain or sinusitis.

Review Management Brings More Patients

The one source of information potential patients will certainly use when choosing healthcare is online reviews. These real-life insights into a patient’s experience can be decisive in shaping a healthcare entity’s reputation.

Besides collecting feedback for measuring and data analysis, you should also demonstrate a commitment to acting on that feedback. By making visible changes based on patient input, hospitals show that they value and respond to their patients’ needs and experiences.

Boosting Patient Retention for Hospitals: Progress Monitoring and Strategy Adjustments

You can only know the true scale of your success if you measure it. Fortunately, the digital era allows us to do it with high precision and in the preferred time frame.

Implementing change is a lasting process, but regular monitoring and evaluation can allow for a more agile approach and faster results. You should track the progress of your marketing efforts against the set objectives and be ready to fine-tune strategies based on feedback and outcomes. Continuous improvement should be the goal, with a willingness to adapt and innovate as necessary.

Make Patients Return With the Help of Innovative Solutions

It’s obvious that small practices are setting high standards for personalized care and patient engagement. Still, hospitals have quite a potential to keep pace—comprehensive care based on the latest medical improvements will certainly draw patients’ attention. The trick is to make it more personal, simpler, and faster.

If you’re determined to apply scalable, measurable strategies for patient retention at your hospital, a specialized and HIPAA-compliant marketing platform can be of great help. SocialClimb offers innovative solutions tailored to establish direct and clear communication with your target audience. It seamlessly integrates with big and complex healthcare systems, streamlining processes with the help of automation. With extensive reporting features, you can dive into your patients’ online behavior and refine your communication to meet their needs with a valuable personal touch.

Making patients the center of your care and earning their loyalty is not a one-time effort. It takes time, consistency, and grit to keep up with the latest digital trends. A specialized healthcare marketing platform ensures a seamless process that’s always aligned with technological and compliance changes.

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