In 5 seconds or less, list the three activities essential to the sustainability of every medical practice in the world. READY, SET, GO!
How did you make out? Did you write them down? Was it easy? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your practice in the areas you identified? Let me try to provide some clarity to your thinking.
Since the first medical practitioner set up shop thousands of years ago the following has remained true.
To practice medicine/wellness you need patients. Let’s call that FIND. Either you need to find them, or they need to find you. Obviously, the demand for new patients changes with the needs of the practice. But essentially, no patients equals no practice.
To meet the demands of the patients, insurance companies, government regulators and to fulfill your oath to medicine, you have to do the best you can to provide premium care for your patients, which includes keeping them looking and feeling the best they can. Let’s call that SERVE.
Once a patient becomes a member of the practice, sustainability and growth are functions of retention. Let’s call that KEEP.
To some, this may appear to be oversimplification. But it would be pretty tough to refute that every practice in the world must operate in a perpetual loop of: find, serve and keep more patients profitably.
FIND. SERVE. KEEP.
Every business can be broken down into these basic categories. So the question becomes how can a modern medical practice optimize their results in each of these essential areas? Given my expertise in the field of digital marketing, I will limit my focus there with the following caveat.
I think it goes without saying that none of these functions would be possible without great doctors providing great care, administration team
The rest is simple.
Depending on the practice, you must increase the quantity and quality of patients you attract to the practice. In the digital marketing realm, there are specific activities that must be done related to find. (I’m not just talking about new patients. Think, incremental density from existing patients.)
- Search engine optimization to get more traffic to your most valuable tool- your website. This can be measured in terms of unique visitors, page views, bounce rate and conversion of visitors to inquiries. Google Analytics is a simple free tool you can use to track these important metrics.
- Email marketing for Doctors to promote patient wellness and additional treatments and procedures. Success with email marketing can be measured in open rates, forwards, click through rates and conversion to consultation requests either by email or phone. There are many affordable email marketing tools that you can use to create and track your email marketing campaigns.
- Social media and directory registrations to keep the practice in front of new and existing patients. Your social media efforts should be measured in terms of shares, likes and conversion from a social media outlet to a unique visit to your website. And obviously, patient inquiries. The best part is almost all social media outlets are free. Results can be enhanced with the use of paid advertising on FaceBook.
Clinics, special events/screenings and community involvement are also great ways to FIND new patients particularly when done in conjunction with a coordinated digital effort.
Next week in Part 2 we will cover the Serve & Keep parts of having a successful digital marketing strategy for your practice or wellness business.