Contributed by Mark Callanen, PT, DPT, OCS
Healthcare is no different than most other businesses when it comes to customer satisfaction. If you want to retain and attract more patients, you need to focus on improving customer experience. Helping patients feel better quickly is a key component to customer satisfaction that leads to more successful practices with high patient retention and steady growth.
It may seem obvious that better treatment outcomes would increase practice traffic, but by pin pointing the exact marketing mechanism responsible, that is, the power of word of mouth marketing, you can maximize your patient growth potential. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a tool designed to quantify this phenomena: “NPS is an index that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It gauges the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand” (Wikipedia).
So, if your goal is to increase customer loyalty by improving your staff’s ability to reduce pain complaints quickly, you should consider investing in a deep tissue therapy laser. While most clinics promote a variety of manual techniques and modalities to help with pain, few offer deep tissue laser therapy (which promotes lasting pain relief for both deep and superficial musculoskeletal complaints).
LightForce Therapy Lasers can help a practice stand out to patient populations that are currently not having their pain needs met. How big is this market? Pain related diagnoses including low back pain, osteoarthritis, and general joint related disorders account for over 57% of primary physician care visits annually2. Laser therapy (also known as photobiomodulation therapy) can help with many of these diagnoses. This is significant as many of these patients are looking for treatment options that don’t include meds or surgery.
While it requires time to educate patients on the benefits of a newer technology like photobiomodulation, it is highly beneficial to both the patient and the provider to do so. A patient’s decision to consult a health professional is based on a complex mix of social and psychological factors1. Fear and anxiety about their condition play a significant part in this equation. Reducing pain quickly with a modality that focuses on reducing musculoskeletal pain will help reduce patient anxiety that the problem is something more sinister. In this way, laser technology can serve as a powerful tool to get immediate patient buy-in to a plan of care and reduce their overall levels of fear. This should benefit their overall outcome on multiple levels.
By changing a patient’s pain status with this kind of “wow factor” and giving them a clear understanding on how you plan to attack their painful musculoskeletal condition, the impact this message will have should be quantifiable via the facility’s NPS. More importantly, this type of therapeutic alliance will turn your patients into the facility’s best marketers as they will want to tell friends and family about their positive experience.1. Campbell SM and Roland MO. Why do people consult the doctor? Family Practice 1996; 13: 75-83. 2. Why Patients Visit Their Doctors: Assessing the Most Prevalent Conditions in a Defined American Population St. Sauver, Jennifer L. et al. Mayo Clinic Proceedings , Volume 88 , Issue 1 , 56 – 67