The Covid pandemic undoubtedly has caused much hardship for people everywhere. And though we all wish 2020 could have been different, there are some key lessons that have been brought to light as we’ve worked through the challenges.
The thing is, these lessons aren’t anything new. They’re things we should have already been doing and the pandemic just put them in the spotlight.
The lessons I’m referring to here are the importance of understanding your patients, your patients’ lifecycle, and how they relate to business success.
When these principles aren’t applied properly, practice success is a long shot whether during a pandemic or not.
Let’s explore these lessons in more detail as a reminder for how we need to be conducting business and approaching patient relationships.
Understanding your Patients’ Lifecycle Allows you to Build True Relationships
When you have a firm understanding of your patients’ lifecycle, you know how to effectively connect and build trust with patients at every touchpoint along the way.
We have the ability, and it’s our duty, to build trust and decrease fear, doubt, and uncertainty for our patients at every touchpoint in their journey.
And the relationships that get built along this journey are what will carry your practice through tough times like we are experiencing now.
On the other hand, if you don’t understand your patients’ lifecycle, how are you able to consistently develop these relationships?
How can you say you’re building relationships without being able to describe how they’re strategically built along this journey?
Connecting and building relationships is much more than sending follow up emails or leaving quick voice messages for your patients.
It requires empathy and a commitment to always putting the patient first.
All the clients I have trained understand these principles and were applying them well before the pandemic hit. When the uncertainty crept in across the world, they were diligent about calling their clients to check in and continue building on their already established relationships. Meaning, they retained their patients and also played a role in decreasing their fear.
What was crazy to see was how many practice owners did nothing at all. They were paralyzed by the situation because they didn’t understand their patients’ lifecycle and also didn’t have relationships strong enough to weather the storm.
As we move into 2021, building true patient relationships is a must. People want real solutions to their problems and can see right through you if you’re just trying to make a sale. There are too many resources and alternatives for your patients to seek out if a connection isn’t formed with your practice.
Business Success is Rooted in Understanding your Patients’ Lifecycle
The foundations of business success are the same as they were when the pandemic hit, but those that didn’t already have an understanding of their patients’ lifecycle were poorly positioned to handle the chaos.
I know a Pediatric business that is trying to collect $25K in outstanding copays because they didn’t have the right business systems to handle the changes due to the pandemic. They didn’t have a firm understanding of how patients flow through his business and are now facing the consequences.
You have to remember that you can’t always control chaos, but you can control your response to it and the outcomes that follow.
You have control over the processes that lead to business success. And when chaos does come, it’s easy for you to look at your systems and see where you need to pivot or re-adjust to the present circumstances.
To drive home this point, I like to compare solving business problems to putting out fires.
Fires are much easier to put out when they are small or not happening at all.
You need to keep these fires small so they don’t get out of control.
You need a systematic way to prevent the fires and also respond quickly when they do start.
Being able to approach solving business problems like putting out fires requires a proactive mindset. More specifically, a mindset focused on the patient lifecycle which allows you to think ahead and solve problems before they even happen.
Start Doing What you Should’ve Already Been Doing for Patient and Practice Success
If you don’t understand your patients’ lifecycle, you don’t understand your business.
You will never truly be a successful business owner if you don’t understand this.
You have to put patient success first and everything else follows.
This isn’t to say you won’t be successful, but you won’t be building success off of helping patients.
You’ll just be an insurance billing company that happens to have people visiting it.
If this information resonates with you and you’d like to get your practice into shape for 2021, please reach out to The Client Experience Company. Or Email me Jerry@ClientExperienceCompany.com