How do you retain your patients?
Retain your Patients! How do you determine your chiropractic patients are at risk of missing their appointments?
To retain your patients, you need a plan. How can you see what the trend is for your office? Can you find this information in reports? Probably, but you have dig deeply into them to find the information and then you have to take action on it by assigning follow-up to your staff. There must be an easier way to do this automatically and Genesis Chiropractic Software has it built-in for you!
Learn how you can use alerts, notifications and the radar chart in addition to reports to retain your patients. The radar chart uses two time periods to compare several of your metrics. This lets you see if you’re meeting your goals with a quick glance at the graph. Alerts and notifications will let you create pop-up messages on the schedule to inform you when a patient has no future appointments or their care plan is running out of visits.
Using these tools is how you automatically retain your patients. These will allow tasks to be created and those will prompt your staff to follow-up with those patients. To retain a patient is much less expensive than advertising to attract new patients.
Read the transcript:
Jason: All right, it’s four minutes past the hour, Jess. I think it’s time to kick this off. Let’s share, and…perfect. Well, as all of our notifications said, today’s topic is on patient retention and, more specifically, really, how you can use alerts and notifications, and the big graphic up on the screen called your radar chart, we call it the radar chart, anyway, in addition to reports. So, we’re gonna start by talking about, you know, the problem that we’re trying to solve is, you’ve got a patient that walks through the door, how many of those patients are you able to retain? And everybody knows that this is the lifeblood of your practice, and yet we see so many practices, I was looking at one earlier this morning, Jess, just telling you about it, that’s averaging, over the last year, over 50 new patients a month, yet their visit counts remain stable. They’re plateaued. You know, with minor fluctuations.
So, how do we avoid that? You have to change something, right? You’ve got to do something differently in your practice in order to do that, and step number one is figuring out how on Earth you can recognize which patients are at risk. And so, first of all, we wanna talk about how you can see what your trend is, how is it that you’re doing? And a lot of times, you think to yourself, “I’ve got to go digging deep within the bowels of the system to find all of the relevant reports,” and I’d like to point out, Jess, that’s it’s not really the case, is it?
Jason: So, what we’re showing here is, what we refer to as that radar chart. And just for one moment, Jess, would you mind ex-ing out of it and just showing them? This is on your homepage when you login. If you don’t see it, then you’re among the few that have not switched over and that center portion, pretty much, is just the place where you’ve been opening tasks, and it should have an option for you to, you know, show me my health monitor.
Jessica: Yeah. It’s a blue link up at the top. It says, “Show me my practice health monitor.”
Jason: Perfect. You click that, and the problem is, when you first look at it, it won’t be configured. So, we’re gonna need to do a little bit extra in order for this one to be meaningful, but I’d like to show you how meaningful it is now. So, pop it back out again, Jess, if you don’t mind. So, first is, what are we looking at? This allows you to look at a graph that’s a circle, and each one of the metrics ends up being an axis on this circle, such as new patients. You know, for this particular practice, our demo practice, they had 18 patients one month and they had 14 patients the next month. If you look at the upper-right-hand corner of the popout, those months and their corresponding colors, which Jess is highlighting right now, are there. So, July of 2013, all the way through April of 2016. I know it’ll be a little ridiculous, Jess, but if you don’t mind clicking on the metric, I’d appreciate it. It also will graph out exactly what your data points were between that time, and right now we’re looking at this on monthly basis. I don’t think it’s necessary to do it weekly or daily for this particular metric given the time span that we’ve got, but it will give you all of the data points. You know, for this practice, obviously, you can see that it was doing well and then it stopped doing well. But if it’s your practice and that was the case, you’d know about it. You don’t have to go digging too deeply. Close that one popup. But the one thing you should notice when looking at new patients is, along that new-patient axis, you’ll see two points, one in green and one, I think purple, you can call that color?
Jason: Yeah? So, the one in purple is toward the outer edge of the circle, and the one in green is a little bit less than halfway, we’ll call that. And that is actually an indication of performance based on a goal set. So, when I said “configured,” that configuration will actually tell you how you’re doing according to what goals you’ve set for your practice. So, in this particular case, let’s just say you’ve set the new-patient goal of 25 patients a month that you’re going to sign up and start treating. That way, if it was 25 and you actually had 25, that purple mark would be all the way out at the outer edge. But here, you’re not all the way out at the outer edge. It’s telling you that you did not hit your goal, so it’s short of that extremity. But you can also set what’s bad for you as well. If you say anything less than 15 patients is a complete and total failure for the month, you can set that metric as well. But, why is this important? You wanna be able to see, at a glance, whether or not you’re doing well. Having to go look at reports, we found, can be way too cumbersome for our practice owners, our office managers, the people that actually care about these patients. So, we wanted to create a tool that will help you do that.
Now, new patients. Not necessarily talking patient retention just yet, but when you’re talking about patients versus visits, over a time frame, you then are able to measure whether or not your new patients are actually sticking around or they’re replacing existing patients. Because, if you don’t see an uptrend in your visit counts when you see lots and lots of new patients, there’s something that’s going wrong. So, that next metric to the right of it is patient visits. And again, I don’t know how small it comes over on the screenshare, but the numbers are 71 and 76, representing…
Jessica: Sixty six.
Jason: Sixty six. Thank you for the correction. Representing what the values were on the two respective months that are shown on the graph. So, again, you’re able to see here that 18 new patients a month and 14 new patients a month, how that translates into actual visits for the practice based on the goals that you’ve set for the practice. We wanna make sure that you can do other things with this as well. Right now, you don’t see no-shows on this practice. Jess, can we show them how they would actually add a metric?
Jessica: Sure. So, there is a little gear icon up at the top-right, and if you click on that you have two options. One is to set the practice configuration. This does have to be done first. This is where you’re going to be setting your goals, and it sets the default metric that everyone sees. Once that is set up, each individual person can go in and set their own personal preference. So, if you have, you know, the front desk, they wanna be looking at scheduling, and new patients and no-shows. But maybe the billing…
Jason: Total collections? Not necessarily relevant to their job performance.
Jessica: Right. But maybe your billers, you know, they wanna look at the collections, they wanna look at the billings, they wanna look at that type of thing. And then the doctors, of course, the unsigned notes and the workbench claims. So, each individual person can set up their own metrics that they’re going to see, but you first wanna start off by going to the practice config. And any physician role or office manager can set this up, and…I am filtered in here, let me get back to the full list. This will give you the full list of all the different metrics that are available.
Jason: And you’ll note that there are a lot.
Jessica: There are a lot. Let’s just make that a little wider so you can see the whole names of them. So, you can select as many you’d like. Just be aware, if you have too many metrics that radar chart is just going to be a mess and you’re not going to actually be able to read any of the metrics. So, you probably want to limit it to…
Jason: About less than 10, we deemed to be the right number. Anything more than 10. And even 10 can even be pushing it. Anything more than 10. And keep in mind, if you have a very small monitor it does make a difference. So, you know, keep that in mind that, not only do we real estate limitations when it comes to how much we can actually fit in our radar chart, your actual computer screen real estate size is a factor as well.
Jessica: Right. So, you can mark which ones you wanna show as the default, and, of course, you wanna fill in the bad and good goals for each of those that you select, and possibly some of the other ones in case some of your front-office or billers are going to be looking at ones that are not the default. Sometimes, the bad number is actually gonna be the higher number for un-billed visits, unsigned notes, no-shows…
Jason: Like basketball or golf. Basketball, high score wins. Golf, low score wins. You know, one’s good, one’s bad.
Jason: You’re not a sports person, I get that. But hopefully, everyone out there who’s listening, if your threshold in golf is you want to shoot a 72, you know, that would be your good mark and 96 would be your bad mark. I wish I could shoot a 96.
Jason: It’s not a bad score for mere mortals.
Jessica: Got it. All right. So, you wanted to look at no-shows?
Jason: Yeah, no-shows.
Jessica: All right. So, we have no-shows as an option here. We also have no-shows that don’t count the ones where they actually called and cancelled. So, you have your options. I’m just going to show no-shows and…
Jason: So, would bad be in 15?
Jessica: Let’s go with bad, 15, good, 0.
Jessica: All right. So, I’m gonna fill in my goals, I’m gonna hit save at the top-left and exit out of this window. And I’m going to hit the little refresh icon, which didn’t do it. So, I’m going to refresh.
Jason: We’ll refresh. And the whole point of this is we’re talking about patient retention today and, you know, the no-show metric gets left out on purpose so that we can show you how you can add it to yours, and we’ll add it…
Jessica: We must have personal preferences set. Let me clear the personal prefs from those.
Jason: Thank you, thank you. And so, when you are talking about a practice that needs to do something to improve retention, how often do you wanna look at no-shows? How often do you want to be aware of what your no-show trend is? Because even if you are looking at this for May, it’s going to give you the current number, and I’ll actually…what is the term? Prorate or project?
Jessica: Project. It gives a projection of what the current month will be at the end of a month. So, when you’re comparing these things, it’s comparing the full month. So, showing you where you are right now, you’re always gonna be doing horrible compared to most other months. And if you’re not, that’s a little worrying. So, it projects where you’ll be, based on what has happened so far, in the first couple days of the month.
Jason: So, if you had two no-shows in the first five days of the month, it’s going to assume two no-shows for every five days in the month. So, it’ll do the math and actually predict that you’re going to have 12 no-shows that month.
Jessica: Right. So, anything current month is a projection. Anything in the past will be accurate, based on the actual count.
Jason: So, in practices that we’ve recently set up, Jess, we go down and we make sure that the front-desk person has this in their face, the office manager does, and actually the practice owners all have this metric. You wanna be able to look at this and say, “Oh my gosh, either I’m doing really, really well,” like that same practice this morning I was talking to you about that has 50 new patients every single month but no visit increases, they almost have no no-shows. They’re under 6% for no-shows. So, the patients that they get through the door and commit, they’re there for life, they show up, not a problem. But if you have a high no-show rate, you wanna be able to keep your finger on it. Is it going down? Is it going up? And this is a way where you don’t have to dig through reports. Every time you login, you can see how that’s going.
Would you mind going back into the gear one more time? One other recommendation that we always ask practice owners to look at, as well, is seeing how many patients walk out of their office without a future appointment set up. Where, in this particular case, most of the practices that we deal with, it’s unacceptable if they don’t have a patient that has a return appointment date set up. So, we wanna make sure that you’ve got your finger on the pulse of that as well. And it looks like you might have to refresh yet again. Clear the measure, that’s all right.
Jessica: Yeah. Well, the personal preferences, it…
Jason: Yeah. So, here, we added two new metrics, on the fly, for our demonstration account. So, you can see the daily “no future appointments” and the no-shows. It’s going to help you, as a practice owner, understand what direction your patient retention is going in. If you can see this…and you can click on these metrics, if you don’t mind doing that, it will bring it up. And then you can even double-stack these, no-shows in red, your daily “no future appointments” in blue. So, you can see how it’s going over any sort of time frame. And you can change that time frame. We want make sure that you don’t lose touch on these things.
Next question is, you know, what do I do? Right? We have additional reports which will actually help you dig in and see who it’s happening with. Some for instances are if you have more than one clinician or more than one location. Is it a specific location I’m having a problem with? Is it a specific clinician’s patients that aren’t returning, or chronically no-showing or, you know, they show up for the first two visits and then they’re done? We wanna be able to show you the next step of that and, if you can close the popup now, Jess, I’ll just say this for anybody who is listening right now that has questions, we ask that you type them in. We’d be happy to address them on the fly if we can. If not, we’ll always go back to them and make sure that they get answered. And Jess, can you just give little blurb on how to do that?
Jessica: Yeah. On the left-hand side of your screen, you should actually see a chat window. If you do not see it up at the top-left, there’s a button that says “Show chat,” and if you click on that you’ll get the chat window and then you can type in the question.
Jason: Perfect. So, how do I order reports and scheduling, please? You know, perhaps we should call this retention. So, there are a couple of things that we wanna show you here, three in particular. You’ve got you no-show report and you’ve got your patients with no future appointments. If you can click on the no future appointments one for an example, this allows you to look at a time frame. On the bottom, you might have to hit CTRL plus just a little bit to help the viewers get a better look at that.
Jessica: Sure. Just wanted to run and see if we can get some…
Jason: Some data? Yeah. So, in this particular case, it’s going to show you which patient, which account number they were, which physician, when their last visit was, what the patient age is. We also include insurance. One thing that we noticed that, if a certain referral source or a certain payer is having a problem, that’s another thing that our practice owners and office managers wanted to know about. And again, this no-future-appointment allows you to put in a note, right? When do they put in this note in, Jess?
Jessica: It’s the reason why there’s no appointment. When you got in touch with the patient and found out, “Okay, they moved away, they’re not coming back, they just have been busy,” whatever it might be, just for your own records. So, you can track if there’s an overarching reason that the majority of your patients aren’t coming back. You know, prices, “Don’t take my insurance,” that type of thing.
Jason: Root cause discovery would be nice in that area. So, if you see that there’s a problem in the radar chart…remember, we don’t want you going to reports, we want you to be able to see that without going to reports. You see that there’s a trend. Here’s where you come to see which patients and if there’s any other really pertinent information. You got there by going to reports, scheduling, and then you clicked on the no-future-appointment dropdown and you’re able to run this over, you know, the same exact time range if you’d like to.
Jessica: Well, it does 90 days at a time.
Jason: Okay. That’s helpful. So, I saw it show social security number and show address down there. I know the “show address” could be helpful if you wanted to look at, you know, are they coming from a certain area, perhaps a community event, etc., that you held? You wanna be able to get as much information as possible. Can you head over to the no-show report for us?
So, here, this is run from February 17th all the way through May 18th. Gives you really similar information. Again, you know you have a problem, you’re gonna come over here and check out which ones are no-showing to give you a better idea, “Hey, do I just need to have this one clinician sell better? Do we need to have better commitments? Do we need to have credit cards online? What is it that we need to do in order to help these patients keep their commitments and keep coming back?” This also allows you to put a reason in, but will this reason populate from any other place or do you have to come in here and type it?
Jessica: If you cancel the appointment on the schedule and you put in a cancellation reason, it’ll show up here. You can put it here, it’ll show up on the schedule. It also shows that in the patient’s schedge tab in their account.
Jason: Perfect. So, this also gives the referral source, you’ll notice, which is something that our providers asked for a few years back because they’d like to know where that patient is coming from that, all of a sudden, stops showing up. So, under the umbrella of patient retention here, we wanna help you, as a practice owner, identify and then figure out what’s happening. And then, in previous webinars that we’ve given, we’ve gone over other things that you can do, like reminder-call services, text message services, email services, as well as tasks that can be automated to open up to your staff members to reach out to them, you know, after the fact. So, we wanna talk about other ways, but only briefly, to prevent and/or keep in contact with these.
Diagnosing why this is happening, so that you can have a better process in place to keep it from happening, is our primary goal here. So, other things that will help you look at patient retention that we’ve talked about in the past, or you can run statistical reports and do some other data to see, you know, how many new patients that you’re seeing. But the only other one that I can really tell you about is…Jess, can you go to the billing stats report? And here, I wanna talk about unique patients. How many unique patients are you seeing in a given month? So, when you wanna know how many actual patients that you saw, visits can be somewhat misleading, I think is the term I’m looking for. Because sometimes you have a month where you had a whole bunch of extra visits but you didn’t actually see any new patients, or your new patients didn’t stay on-board.
So, if you run this over a time frame and…actually, if you don’t mind just running it by provider right now, Jess. I apologize. Up two. So, if you just run this over the entire office, yeah, that four-month time frame is just fine. It’s gonna give you one line item. Now, one line item is going to break it down and give you the provider ID in the first column, the name of your practice in the second. Those are obviously not that useful but it’s gonna tell you, “Over that time frame, you only saw 18 patients.” Obviously, this is a demonstration account. That data isn’t, probably, a great representation of what your practice is doing. But if you were to run this by month of service, by provider, over that same time frame, which the billing stats report allows you to do something like that, it will tell you how many unique patients you actually saw in that month. I don’t know if it’s something we’ll have to create here. Actually, just do it in the month of service. You don’t have to do it by provider, it’ll give you the same information anyway.
So, here, it’s gonna give you, month by month, tell you how many unique patients that you saw. Don’t look at that total of 66 on that last line because that’s adding them all up, but that will tell you you saw 7 unique patients in the month of February, 5 in the month of May…excuse me. And this will give you a better indication of how many people are actually getting treated in your practice. This is something that I’ve been asked quite a bit about over the last few months for those practices that are really serious about seeing who is getting treated in their practice and how well their practice is actually doing.
So, I want all the practice owners and office managers listening to this to really realize that this is built off of a methodology. Identify easily, through the radar chart, diagnose through reports, and then, finally, automate as much as you possibly can. But not all of it’s automated. Selling to patients is something you can’t really automate. Helping with patient education tools, something that cements how serious their condition is, we can talk about those things. We offer some options to help out with that, but it typically comes down to the practice owner and the clinician making sure that they have the right internal policies in place to make that happen. Well, Jess, anything to add on that?
Jason: So, any questions that have been typed in, up to this point?
Jessica: Can you please demo how to get the graph to appear? I don’t know if I can.
Jason: That’s a great question, though, for those practices that are maybe brand new but we really can’t go there.
Jessica: I don’t know if any of our demo users don’t have it turned on already. What happens is, in this field, you have the “Ask a question” box. And it’s just a blue link up at the top that says, “Click here to see your practice health monitor.” You click on that, I think it asks if you wanna save this setting.
Jessica: Say yes, and it’ll show you this chart. It will be just a big red circle because you won’t have anything configured yet, most likely, but that is how you get the radar chart to show up.
Jason: And if you click on the question mark right next to it, it will give you instructions on how to actually do that. And if you need help, just open a task to us and we’ll be happy to assist you with that, because we’d like you to make this a part of your regimen if you feel like you need help in this area.
Jessica: Yeah. One thing to note, I do know that a lot of people tried to compare the exact numbers to some of our reports. One thing to note about the radar chart is that it is based off of snapshots taken every night. Every night the system looks back at the past 24 hours and gets the new numbers for the past 24 hours. So, if you are going back after the fact and making an appointment a no-show because it was accidentally checked in, or scheduling patients who weren’t there before, those are not going to be counted on this radar chart. But if you go and run reports, which are live and updated every night, they will show up there.
Jason: The best example of this that one that we see come through often, Jess, it’s got to be the no-show metric, where they’ll run a report and their report will say they only have 50 no-shows, but the radar chart will say they have 75. And the radar chart’s right and the 50 is right.
Jessica: Because they’re rescheduling them.
Jason: Because they’re rescheduling them and they’re no longer considered no-shows by the report standard, but the snapshot that the radar chart took…
Jessica: As of that night, they were a no-show.
Jason: They were a no-show. And you don’t necessarily want that to change, and I’ve had a consistent conversation with practice owners and office managers about that. It was wasted time. It was time that could have been used to treat other patients, train, market, whatever it was, but people were there waiting for that patient to show up and they weren’t there. So, I’m gonna see if that answered the question, and if there are any other questions. Oh, the point-to-point card. Oh, okay. Gotcha. If I’m not mistaken, Bruce is simply looking to see how he can see the metrics to show up on the graph. So, it’s simply clicking on the words.
Jessica: Yeah. Click on the words, if you can move it out of your way, I know I did zoom in a little bit more. Now, each one you click on is going to show all of them. Now, of course, I’m only showing two months so my range is a bit smaller than it was under this user. But each one you click on will just appear and you can get your line graph. Again, switch to weekly, daily. Please, if you have a huge range, don’t do daily. One, it’ll be pretty useless, it will be a red line, but that way you can get your line graphs. And if you want to remove one of them, again, just click on it again and it will be removed, or if you just wanna exit out.
Jason: I hope that answers your question, Bruce. If anyone else has any other questions, feel free to type them in. We’ll be tackling those as they come, and…perfect. And if there are any other questions on other topics after this, feel free to type them in now and we’ll get to them in just a moment, if there are no other questions about, you know, the radar chart or any other patient retention reports that we’re going over.
Jessica: You know, I do know some people have started customizing this. You know, you can change the colors and all of the different metrics that you choose to show. If you do find that you are updating the practice configuration and you are not seeing the update when you hit the refresh icon, under personal preferences, you saw me do this a couple of times, under advanced, there is a way to clear you personal preferences, the ones that you selected at one point. If you clear those out, you will go, again, to the default measures. So, you’ll be able to see any of the updates that you made if you just clear those out. We get a lot of tickets saying, you know, “My radar chart’s not updating. We configured it for new measures and I can’t get them to appear,” and that’s a simple fix.
Jason: All right. Well, we’ll open this up for pretty much any type of question you have, system-related or, well, maybe not otherwise. Just all system-related ones, right?
Jessica: Let’s go with the system.
Jason: Yeah. We’re not gonna talk about the election here.
Jason: Well, let’s just give it one more minute here, Jess, and if there are no other questions, we’ll end.
Jessica: All right.
Jason: Well, thank you for everyone who participated today and, Jess, appreciate you joining me again. And I hope it was useful for all who listened. Thanks and have a wonderful afternoon, and good luck in your practice.