Since the recent economic downturn, significantly fewer patients are seeking elective medical care. With doctors seeing fewer patients in general, it can be extremely challenging to reach new patients and develop your private medical practice successfully.
Stay informed about the needs of those that live in your community. By meeting a market at the ideal point, you can gain patients, boost your bottom line and increase your projected returns on investment. If you are looking to expand, try taking the following five small, low-cost steps. With any luck, they will help you develop your patient base without employing much effort.
1. Establish or Enhance Your Social Media Presence
Some physicians are leery when it comes to utilizing social media tools like Facebook in their practices. They worry about communicating confidential information, but there are many safe techniques to market your practice. For instance, ask current patients to become your fans on Facebook. Once their friends see it, it can direct user traffic to your site and, eventually, your practice. Also, consider writing a blog to promote local health events, provide wellness tips and discuss positive information about your practice. Keep it friendly, natural and entertaining. Then just promote your blog on Twitter and manage it to interact with businesses in the local area.
2. Expand Your Services
Increasing staff to enhance the volume of services you offer is a smart decision to grow your practice. By carefully considering the shifting demographics of your patient community and population, you can make changes that align with larger variations. That will permit you to raise better awareness of your new promotions through targeted, objective and strategic advertising. You might consider adding a pediatrician to your practice if a significant number of your patients are pregnant women or adults with young children. Another good option is to offer fair and affordable direct pay pricing alternatives for the uninsured. Hiring a physician assistant to prescribe medicine and perform standard exams and is an excellent plan to improve patient satisfaction levels.
3. Embrace Technological Change
Young patients, in particular, want to experience technologically connected healthcare. This is a simplified process to create through low-cost but high-tech updates. One method of achieving this is with patient portals, giving patients immediate access to lab results. Likewise, being able to email your practice to schedule an appointment or ask questions saves everyone time. Patients who are satisfied with the convenient and comfortable experience that their practitioner provides are more inclined to introduce your practice to their family and friends. Updating technology is an effortless way to get new and existing patients in the door.
4. Earn Positive Reviews
New methods emerge continuously for patients to post online reviews of physicians. Furthermore, tech-savvy consumers are likely to read those reviews before committing to becoming your patients. It is a wise idea to devote some time to read what your patients are posting about you online. If you notice an excess of negative reviews, pay attention to the criticisms. If a pattern emerges, try to improve performance in that particular area. You can also talk with a few long-term patients and ask for their honest opinions. If they are happy, invite them to share their positive feelings on your site. As your reviews improve, you will undoubtedly receive more interest from potential new patients.
5. Practice Community Engagement
Participating in a fundraising event or local service project is an ideal method of community engagement. In addition, it projects a positive and charitable image of your practice. Sponsor a fundraiser outside of your traditional healthcare environment, such as a silent auction to benefit an area school or community recreation center. You might also consider accepting a speaking engagement invitation or a networking conference that you might otherwise decline. Contributing support to different neighborhoods by highlighting special promotions and events will get you noticed by those you do not know and who could subsequently become your patients.