This patient/client journey consists of multiple stages, each calling for different types of communication strategies. By incorporating automated transactional and marketing communications, we can make this journey more seamless, personalised, and efficient.
Here's some ideas for you to implement every step of the way.
The patient journey begins with awareness. The potential patient realises they have a health concern and begins seeking out potential solutions or service providers.
Lead Collection (marketing)
If you run advertising such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads - Peptalkr can be used to generate a 'Lead collection' list. This can be embedded onto your landing page and collect email addresses/names.
After awareness comes the consideration stage. The potential patient is now comparing their options to decide on the most appropriate healthcare provider.
Lead warming (marketing)
Once a lead has signed up to your list, you can then trigger an automated journey that gradually introduced the patient to your business, service offering and practitioners with an end goal of getting the lead to book their first appointment.
3. New patient/client
Once a patient has booked their first appointment, now is the time to welcome them and guide them through the process.
New Patient/Client Confirmation (Non-Marketing)
Send a personalised welcome email that doubles as a confirmation to your new patient/client. Congratulate them for taking their first step and provide them any relevant/important information they need at this time.
Digital Intake Form (Non-Marketing)
Prompt the patient to provide their information using a digital intake form. Some of ouyr users have found higher success rates by sending this individually to the welcome/confirmation. This enables you to set a compelling subject line or SMS text that makes clear the importance of filling in the form at their soonest convenience. You may choose to include this in your confirmation and reminder instead, but send a supplementary SMS. For example:
Hi [patientfirstname], please fill in our new client intake form at your soonest convenience ahead of your appointment on [appointmentstart]: [intakeform].
New Patient/Client Reminder (Non-Marketing)
Reminder your patients about their upcoming appointment the day before. Continue to be specific for new patients by including necessary appointment preparation information and 'what to expect' details.
New Patient/Client Follow Up (Marketing or Non-Marketing dependant on content)
Once they have attended their first appointment, it's a good idea to send a friendly follow up email - whether the same day or the next day. Thank them for their visit, ask them for feedback (if desired at this stage), and tell them what to expect. You might include rest instructions or other pertinent information to help the client feel comfortable following their first visit.
Second Appointment Prompt
If the patient has not yet booked a second appointment, let's remind them! Perhaps 7 days later (you can select any timeframe that suits your treatment process), if the patient has not got an upcoming appointment - send a friendly prompt to book in for their follow up.
4. Care and Treatment
Now, the patient is fully engaged with your allied health services and is undergoing care or treatment. Here's some ways to keep your patient/client engaged and cared for.
In-appointment communications (non-marketing)
Do you communicate similar information to client types regularly? Perhaps you have a great video you like to share, an information sheet relating to a treatment type or some helpful resources you like to share with clients. You can connect emails/SMS containing this information to medical alerts in Cliniko. That way, practitioners can add medical alerts to a patient file during or after the appointment that can instantly send these resources to the client at need - without you having to write it down on paper, or write a manual email. This helps patients to feel cared for in that they don't have to remember helpful information you've shared with them - they have a reference point they can go back to any time with all the details.
Pre and Post Treatment (non-marketing)
Do you offer specific treatment types/services in clinic that require preparation or aftercare/follow up? For example - a patient comes in for a surgery or procedure - you can automate both preparation information before the appointment, and aftercare instructions for after the appointment - for each procedure you offer. Or perhaps a patient has just had a specialty appointment and require some pertinent information before or after this appointment type or service. You can connect emails to specific appointment types, as well as billable items in Cliniko so the information is always highly targeted. This can also be done with medical alerts.
Cancelled Appointment Recalls
Life happens, and sometimes patients need to cancel. They may reschedule right away, but what if they don't? We can stop busy patients from falling through the cracks by prompting them to reschedule 3 or 7 days after their cancellation if they have not yet booked another appointment. Perhaps you send an SMS after 3 days, then an email after 7 days. It's all about making it convenient for the patient to rebook with friendly and helpful language.
After an initial treatment journey is over, the focus shifts to patient retention. You want to ensure that, if future needs arise, the patient chooses your practice again.
Reactivation Recalls (Marketing or Non-Marketing)
Think about how regularly you might like to attempt reactivation. Perhaps at set intervals - 30 days, 90 days and 180 days. Or perhaps you need to recall a specific appointment type every 12 months (such as an annual check/review). You can be specific about which appointment types, categories or even billable items in Cliniko require what recall and when.
Happy Birthday! (Marketing)
A friendly and non-intrusive way to stay in touch with patients is to wish them a happy birthday! Automate an email that offers them a birthday discount if they uptake within 30 days from the date of their birthday, or send a friendly and personalised message from their primary practitioner.
If your reactivations have not gotten a patient back in clinic for 12 months - maybe it;s time to ask them why? Schedule an automated email from their treating practitioner that isn't as focused on getting a booking - but rather asks the question - was there something we could have done better? This opens a channel of communication that may help you to diagnose reasons why patients stop coming in.
The final stage of the journey is advocacy. Your patients are now loyal to your practice and are likely to recommend your services to others.
While you may collect feedback early on in the patient journey, what about your most loyal patients? You can schedule feedback or Google review requests to patients with 10 appointments in their history. Make this email not look generic - perhaps it uses very personalised language, and is sent from their primary treating practitioner - and asks them directly if they'd be able to leave a Google review.
Encourage your biggest advocates to spread the good word by incentivising referrals. Automate referral offers to patients with a certain number of appointments.
All of the above is possible with Peptalkr. Use our How To articles or speak with customer support for advice or guidance with setting up any of the above.