Have you been wondering how to add more patients to your healthcare practice? It really doesn’t require a magic formula. It simply requires patience, together with a good plan that you work at consistently. Let’s look at 6 questions you should ask yourself when developing a marketing plan for your healthcare practice
#1 – Are you taking a look at every one of your patient departures?
Those patients who request their medical records and then you don’t hear from them again. Does your office staff track your losses? Does your office staff ask patients why they are leaving or ask them to complete a simple questionnaire? Do they send a follow-up survey? Even though your office admins are busy, they should be keeping track of patients that leave. It’s impossible to increase your patient base if you lose one patient, or more, for every one you take in. A questionnaire or survey will not only help you track the patients who are leaving your practice, but it also will clue you into improvements you may wish to put into place. An example would be to use a free software called surveymonkey.com or a host of other survey applications
#2 – Are you getting as many referrals as you should be?
Check out our blog post The Doctor CARE System for some simple and effective ways to change your referral-base from stagnant to dynamic.
#3 – Are you as visible within the community as you should be?
You can increase your visibility — and thereby increase the chances of someone contacting your office for an appointment — by attending non-medical meetings. A good place to start is your local Chamber of Commerce. Check out the benefits of becoming a Chamber member; for a small, annual fee you gain access to many of the business people within your community as well as a listing in the chamber directory. Check out civic organizations such as the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs, just to name a few.
#4 – Are you using social media to your advantage?
You’ve heard of it, but are you using it? We’re talking about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. If you’re not up on these newer technologies, there are many sites on-line that can give you the basic information you need to begin using these valuable tools. You probably have staff who’d be glad to teach you some basics, too. And if you haven’t read them, take a look at Using Facebook to Market Your Medical/Dental Practice and Be a Rock Star on LinkedIn.
#5 – Have you thought about a TV commercial?
Despite the millennials “cutting the cord” broadcast TV can be a powerful medium for getting your message out and reaching a wide range of customers in the network’s viewing area. It’s as simple as contacting your local network affiliate to find out the kinds of production and advertising packages they have available to you. If TV advertising is one of the choices you make, be sure to have your ad professionally produced.
#6 – Are you Utilizing the Latest Patient Access Tools?
One key to retaining your patients is scheduling their follow-up appointment. It is surprising how often the office assistant does not ask when they want to see you back. This is really important when thinking about patient retention. Remembering to schedule a follow-up appointment shows the patient how much the healthcare practice cares about them and their health. ReferralMD’s solution offers Customized Alerts that notify staff in the application and via email when referrals and appointments are not processed in a timely manner. For example, if the referral is not scheduled within five days then an alert will be triggered and the alert will stay active until the referral is scheduled. As you probably know, it takes a lot of time to gain a patient and a little time to lose them. Treating each patient like a family member will ensure that they keep coming back time and time again.
Let us know what you are doing to grow your practice. What ideas do you have to increase patients to your healthcare organization?
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