Medical practitioners are not simply there to address the health of their patients. Rather, they wear many hats at any given time: from CEO to operations manager to entrepreneur and more. All these roles are equally important and can’t be neglected. But often health care professionals feel burnt out or fatigued by the idea of splitting their energy into so many places, rather than focussing on what they do best - caring for patients. The challenge here is that a medical practice is a business like any other, and you may be concerned that your business isn’t growing the way it should. So here are some low-cost methods to offer successful results that will increase your patient base without heavily impacting the bottom line.
1. Online reviews
The internet has a system, and reviews are part of it. All too often, potential patients will search up a practitioner or scroll online to find good reviews that will help them feel comfortable reaching out to a practitioner. Review sites like RATEMDs, Hello Peter and Google empower patients to leave honest feedback about their experiences, which can’t be edited by the practitioner. While this may feel daunting, you can put measures in place to carefully monitor online reviews and you can also publicly reply to your patients which indicates care and accountability. While this may not be appropriate for all practitioners, for example, psychotherapists, many medical practitioners could really benefit from this front-footed approach. This open reviewing process will also empower the health care professional as they can quickly be alerted to negative trends in their practice, and take the necessary steps to rectify them.
2. Boost presence on social media
Of course, you can’t post sensitive material on social media, but many doctors and medical practitioners are still taking to social media and creating valuable content that will benefit potential patients. Social media offers the opportunity to present your offering to a wider audience through valuable content creation like wellness blogs, treatment opportunities, or general info about how your field operates. This type of sharing gets more eyes on your business and encourages more people to contact you for in-person work.
3. Nurture your existing patient base
Growth often brings to mind the acquisition of existing patients, but nurturing your existing customer base is equally important to maintaining the general health of your practice. Just because someone has booked an appointment previously, does not mean they will book again. So the goal here is to increase retention and reduce a high turnover rate. Email campaigns are an excellent way to foster this relationship with repeat patients. Not only does it build trust but it also keeps your practice top of mind and renders you accessible. Always try and personalise these engagements as much as possible so that your patient feels the communication is relevant and written with them in mind. Also, remember to finish each email off with a call to action and a reminder to book their next appointment.
4. Remain up to date
Staying up to date with the latest in technology and trends is really important from both a growth and customer retention point of view. No patient wants to visit an old-school practitioner, so embracing technology sends the subtle message that you are up to date in both medical research and capabilities, as well as in tune with the world around you. This includes how you bill and communicate with them on an ongoing basis. The secondary gain here is that automation also reduces your overheads and admin, giving you more time to do more of what you love - treat your patients.
5. Shift your services
Make sure your offering always reflects what your demographic needs whether it is more family-friendly options, pain management practices, telehealth as well as long and short-term interventions. Of course, this should be done without compromising your core competency or speciality.
The bottom line
There are many ways to grow your medical practice without spending a cent. With these sensible tips, you will be well on your way to developing a stronger relationship with both existing and potential patients and developing your practice into a thriving business.