Patient Relationship Management

Yesterday, we announced the launch of StriveHub, a Patient Relationship Management Platform built specifically for health & wellness companies.  Today, we will be outlining what Patient Relationship Management is, and provide some insight into how StriveHub can affect the process.  In the next week, we will continue to peel back layers of the onion, providing a more in-depth look into the different aspects of the StriveHub Platform, and how each can be leveraged to grow your business.

prm_strivehub_no_bgWhat is Patient Relationship Management?

In physical therapy, as well as  other industries in health and wellness, there are two primary ways to grow your business: 1. Get more customers (for a standard physical therapy clinic this means increasing the number of new evaluations), or 2. Do a better job at keeping the customers you already have (improve patient retention during the course of care and keep patient’s in your system after discharge). Because a clinics revenue is a factor of the total number of patients treated multiplied by the average visits per patient, increasing new evals and managing patient retention are the two most basic variables for growing your clinic’s revenue. Patient Relationship Management (PRM) is a system that examines a patient’s entire journey through care, and helps shepherd them from new referral to raving fan, every time.

The end result of PRM is a patient evangelist; a loyal customer that loves your clinic and sings its praises to anyone that will listen. Every business has evangelists that progress through this process organically.  It should be your goal to put systems in place to make sure these steps happen with every single one of your customers.


Creating Great Experiences

The customer’s journey starts right around their first visit (people like our friend Jerry Durham will argue that it starts long before then, but I digress).  These new referrals enter your business with a certain set of expectations, and it’s your job to meet or exceed those expectations.  The problem is however, the data suggests that these needs are not always met: in physical therapy, 30% of new referrals drop out of care within their first 3 visits, which translates to $150k in lost revenue for the average clinic every year.

At this juncture, it is critical to get buy-in from your new referrals.   While many of you are providing a great experience, we are in an age where customers are expecting more.  In this stage, you can leverage all three aspects of the StriveHub platform to sell the plan of care and facilitate early engagement.

Improving the Experience with StriveHub

We built StriveHub with the patient’s experience in mind at all times.  Often the patient’s experience starts with their exercise prescription. Provide new referrals a custom-designed care plan using TheraVid HEP.  This video based home exercise prescription tool makes it simple for therapists to create custom home exercise programs for their patients in two minutes or less.  Once they do, patients gain access to StriveHub Portal. The Portal breaks down barriers to communication, providing patients with continued access to their clinician between visits.

Building a bridge between the clinic and the home is critical, as the majority of a patient’s time is spent outside the Clinic.  But we know that most clinicians lack the time to reach out to patients over their first few visits to ensure things are running smoothly. That’s why we built StriveHub Reach.  Automate the sending of welcome messages, check-ins, satisfaction surveys, and content relevant to a patient’s diagnosis automatically by leveraging StriveHub’s automated workflow features. Once you’ve identified your own secret formula for providing patients with an incredible initial experience, StriveHub enables you to set up simple, repeatable work flows to ensure every patient flows through this same pathway.


Retain Patients by Understanding Engagement

If you succeed in selling the plan of care to the customer, they will come back for their next couple of visits. At this time, and for the rest of care, it is your job to deliver upon your value proposition. If you don’t deliver the goods, and if you aren’t diligently keeping tabs on your customers, chances are many of your **current customers **will fall through the cracks.

The goal is get your patient to complete their entire course-of-care (i.e. a retained patient). While this may seem simple, retained patients are much more rare than we’d care to admit– our own analysis of 30,000 patients in outpatient physical therapy suggests that only 27% of patients fully complete their course of care. The 73% that fall out of care too soon are known as ‘Patient Churn’. Patient Churn is the opposite side of the Patient Retention equation, and practices should look to prevent it anywhere possible, for not only will high patient churn decrease clinic revenue, but often it will lead to poor patient outcomes.

Patients churn out of care for many reasons, but one common characteristic almost all churned patients possess, they fail to engage in the care process.  In short, engaged patients are retained patients. It’s as simple as that. Therefore one successful method of increasing patient retention is practicing what we call – Proactive Engagement Monitoring. Proactive Engagement Monitoring means actively analyzing who is engaged with care, and who isn’t, before they stop coming back, and intervening where needed.

Optimizing Engagement with StriveHub

StriveHub provides clinicians and administrators with the tools they need to sustain patient engagement as well as the back-end analytics to understand who is failing to engage with care. From there, a clinic can run a swift intervention on those individuals at high risk of dropout to boost retention.

Using TheraVid HEP, therapists can quickly see who is viewing their exercise routines, tracking their workouts, and completing pain reports. Therapists can quickly send messages back to their patients if issues arise, and patients can send their feedback using the secure messaging found within StriveHub Portal. For administrators, StriveHub Reach offers analytics on all automated workflows, to understand what emails, blog posts, and surveys are being opened, clicked, and shared.

But perhaps most importantly, StriveHub gives you detailed analytics on the patient experience via an immersive Net Promoter Dashboard. This dashboard gives clinic administrators the ability to break down the patient experience along multiple axes (including by diagnosis, by primary physical therapist, and by location). Check out a quick video of how the NPS Dashboard works to learn more.

prm_step_3_no_bg Leveraging Patient Evangelists

Within your retained patients lies a sub-segment of patients who, on top of coming back to your clinic the next time they need PT, are willing and able to direct their friends and family to your services. We call these raving fans your patient evangelists, and they are the key to driving patient-generated referrals and setting up a sustainable cycle or business growth.

At this stage, you’ve done most of the work; you’ve created evangelists by providing an engaging experience on top of objective results. Now, you need to identify who those evangelists are, and then make it easy for them to tell their social circle about how awesome you are.

Driving Referrals using StriveHub

Using StriveHub Reach, you can send simple satisfaction surveys to all patients, and utilize the results of the surveys to identify your evangelists. From there, it’s all about keeping evangelists in your system and building word-of-mouth networks that make it easy for them to share information about your clinic. At discharge, evangelists are automatically informed of your alternative service lines, encouraged to share their experience on review sites such as Google+ and Yelp, and can be enrolled in your Refer-a-Friend campaign.

Control the Process

The end goal is having as much control over the PRM process as possible. Once you have a process that reliably turns your new referrals into patient evangelists, the next step becomes replicating that process with every single one of your patients. If successful, you can create a repeatable process that breeds a sustainable cycle of satisfied patients, new customers, and business growth.

If you want to talk more about how the StriveHub Platform can help you retain your customers and grow referrals, click here and request a demo!

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Ryan Klepps

Physical Therapist, COO & Co-Founder of Strive Labs, Inc.

Somerville, MA