Can Patient Discharge ‘Recharge’ Your Practice?

Recently, I was on vacation aboard the beautiful Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.

It’s a magnificent ship. Built in the early 1900s, the ship is a relic of World War II. There’s a lot of memorabilia hanging on its walls that makes the ship unique and attracts visitors from all over the world. The price to stay in this ship starts at 300-350$ a night during the peak season.

Just like the Queen Mary, ask yourself - what can you do to make your practice stand out with its own unique flavor, its own unique personality, one that competitors can’t match? This ship, the Queen Mary, is so undeniably unique that it presents an incredible experience for every passenger aboard the ship. I’ve already made up my mind that I want to go back.

What can you do to give your patients an experience that makes them want to come back? I’ve referred to this in some of my other videos as the VIP patient experience. But the bottom line is, give your patients a unique experience they would always remember long after they’ve been discharged.

The truth is - we ‘drop the ball’ after discharge. In most cases, patients forget about physical therapy and they forget about the physical therapist. For a strategic private practice owner, it is his / her responsibility to make sure that does not happen.

Every time a patient is discharged, the opportunity to build a relationship with the patient actually increases.

Why?

The patient does NOT expect you to stay in touch.

When you do, it’s:

  • A welcome surprise
  • A chance to build a relationship
  • A way to help the patient stay on track
The entire Queen Mary experience was eclectic. The experience of the bay, staying on a ship right next to a Russian submarine, in inside tiny rooms with designations for ‘tap water’, ‘salt water’ and ‘sea water’ faucets was something unique and memorable.

So give your patients something to remember and make sure they think about you. Set yourself apart and correct lasting memories.

The BIGGEST mistake that most private practice owners make is not staying in touch with patients after they have been discharged.

I hope you don’t make that same mistake.

Oh, and one more thing.

The Queen Mary has all my contact information. They have already stayed in touch with me and sent several offers, promotions by email and by regular mail. If you are collecting a complete patient record, you should be doing the same.

Each patient can be a valuable referral source for your practice. Don’t ever forget that. Give patients an experience that makes them remember, that makes them come back. Use your own unique personality in your practice. Give patients a ‘Queen Mary’ type of experience and they’ll keep coming back, and refer their friends and family to you.

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Leave A Reply (3 comments So Far)


  1. Tina
    2 years ago

    Those absurd, out-of-this-world commercials we usually see in between TV shows, stay with us longer that the BLAH commercials. Remember that pint-sized Darth Vader Volkswagen commercial during the 2011 Super Bowl? It left an indelible impression on me that every time I see a Volkswagen, that would come back to me.

    That would have been easy in that context but in the pragmatic, practical world of private practice, absurdity might seem out of place. How can we truly give that unforgettable unique experience?

    Please let me know your thoughts.


  2. Shay
    2 years ago

    I can see the parallelism of your experience on board the Queen Mary to that of making sure that patients would always remember us. It’s like when you call customer service for a particular product or service and the representative would go out of his/her way to give you the best. You take away that experience and you tell others about it.

    It is fact that people will share their best and worst experiences. The in-betweens just stay quiet and keep their thoughts and ideas to themselves. The extremes – the extremely satisfied and the extremely dissatisfied – cannot wait to announce to all and sundry their unforgettable experience.

    Although there are mitigating circumstances that result to bad experiences of the patients, let us always endeavor to do something extra for our patients so it would be difficult for them to forget us.


  3. Francine
    2 years ago

    When I started out in private practice, I have this idea that there is little chance for a discharged patient to come back so I do not make the effort to stay in touch. I thought if an old patient needs the services of a physical therapist, he/she knows where I am. Several coaching and seminars later with seasoned private practitioners like yourself, I realized that mistake.

    They themselves might not come back but they have relatives and friends who might need the services of my clinic. That encouraged me to keep in touch with them and with my subscription to your Therapy Newsletter services, it was easier. I give them information through the newsletters and I even get to greet them on special occasions.

    Happy and contented patients is the lifeblood of private practice.

 
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