65% of physical therapy patients do not adhere to their plan of care. For a typical physical therapy practice, this amounts to an opportunity loss of $250,000 per year.
Read that again!
Patients not adhering to their programs = an opportunity LOSS OF $250,000 PER YEAR!
So why does this happen? Why do 2/3 of patients not follow through with their treatment?
From feeling confused to a lack of engagement, there are many reasons patients don’t adhere to their plan of care.
By following these 5 simple steps and utilizing my tried and true Assessment Plan Script, you can optimize the experience for your patients and YOU! Not only will you not have people fall off their program, but you can turn these would-be lost patients into engaged advocates for your business.
Step 1: Provide a Clear Plan of Care (POC)
It’s important to let the patient know exactly what to expect over the course of their treatment. When providing your POC, make sure it is specific and timely. For example: “The plan of care will be 2 times per week for 6 weeks and each session will be approx. 45-60 minutes.”
Step 2: Communicate the “Why”
Knowing the rationale behind their plan of care will make the patient more likely to trust you and adhere to it. For example: “In my experience, based on your history and what I discovered, I’m confident this is the best treatment option to get you back to [insert activity].”
Step 3: Communicate the “What”
Patients are most comfortable with their POC when they know what to expect. Be sure to communicate WHAT they will be doing during their sessions. For example: “The first couple of sessions will address your symptoms, followed by an increase in motion then strength. After that, we will focus on stability.”
Step 4: Get their Commitment
Once a patient has agreed to a plan of care, it is important to have them fully commit by addressing potential scheduling conflicts that may interrupt the treatment plan. Ask: “Is there anything coming up between now and [end of POC] that will prevent you from committing to this plan of care? I call this the “Million Dollar Question” because it has helped owners generate millions of dollars in reduced patient cancellations, no-shows, and dropouts.
Step 5: Schedule All Visits at the Time of Their Evaluation
The fastest way to fill the schedule with patient visits is to have them schedule ALL of their appointments (per plan of care) at their time of evaluation. This not only helps to maintain continuity of care with the therapist of choice, which increases communication and engagement. But it also helps patients to manage their schedules and reduce the number of cancellations.
That’s it! Pretty simple, right?
Now that you know the key to retaining current patients, make sure you refer back to our blog post from last week on how to get new patients!
If you have any questions regarding any of my strategies or have other challenges in your practice affecting your ability to grow, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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