If your marketing is working, your phones are ringing and emails are coming in from prospective patients. How are your staff following up with all of these patients? Yellow sticky notes on your patient coordinator’s desk with patient names and phone numbers are a big red flag. Most patient coordinators do not follow up regularly.
As a plastic surgeon, typically your most profitable place to be is in the OR, and that’s where most plastic surgeons prefer to be. The only way this happens is if your patient coordinators are keeping your schedule full.
THE INITIAL CONTACT
First, each call/email needs to be managed correctly. That’s a topic for another blog post.
The prospects’ contact information, procedure(s) of interest, time frame, ability to pay, reason for surgery, how they found you – all need to be captured in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. This information is your future business. If they didn’t schedule on the first call, you need to track this information and consistently follow up. What is the proper amount of follow up?
The first email should be sent immediately following the initial phone call. This email should include information about the procedure of interest, the doctor and your facility. Also include or attach anything else the prospect requested. Now log all of this information into your follow up system so you have a record of all communications.
CONTINUING THE FOLLOWUP UNTIL YOU HEAR “NO”
Next, repeat this process every week for 8 weeks until the patient schedules or lets you know they are no longer interested. Some CRM systems will actually automate this email and or text follow up. The personal touch comes from your coordinator making the phone call.
In addition to the email and or text, the patient should be followed up with on the day after their initial call unless another time was agreed to. Simply, the call is from your patient coordinator confirming the prospect received the email and checking to see if the prospect has any questions. This is repeated every week after the email/text is sent for 8 weeks. The emails and phone calls are short, polite and professional.
TRAINING VIDEO FOR FOLLOW UP
With a good CRM system, your patient coordinator should be able to complete a minimum of 30 patient follow ups per hour by phone and email. CLICK HERE for a training video that demonstrates the basic, replicable process of patient follow up, which, if mastered, can allow your patient coordinator to dramatically increase the number of patients they can reach, and convert more prospects to patients while improving patient care.
Believe me, consistent follow up works and will keep you in the OR.
– Jerry Jacobson, CEO of patientNOW