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
members treating patients with the kindness and respect they deserve and the folks on the business end must “take care of business.” Let’s assume that is happening exactly the way it should.
The rest is simple.
Find. 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.
Email marketing for Doctors to promote patient wellness and additional treatments and procedures.
Social media and directory registrations to keep the practice in front of new and existing patients.
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.
SERVE. We are all wired to help people – medical practitioners are no exception. They want to serve their patient populations. In the digital realm improved service is just a click away.
CRM technology to automate communication between the practice and new, existing and past patients will go a long way to improve connectivity and increase patient satisfaction levels.
Reliable and relevant content on and off the website. This includes treatment and procedure information written in a way that is easy to understand. Also, event calendars, personnel features and media updates – anything to humanize the practice and build trust. Blogging for doctors and medical practices allows them to relate their medical services to their clients’ individual needs.
Social media updates are also a great way to increase connectivity. Visit our Social Media for Doctors page to see how utilizing Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets can help you connect to new and continuing patients.
EVERYONE loves high quality video. Your patients are no different.
KEEP. “Build it, and they will come.” Maybe true for Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams but what happens when they come and GO?
No one wants to see a patient leave the practice. It takes so much hard work to find and serve them, losing them stinks. Sustainability and growth plans must address the issue of retention.
In digital terms, this means using automated surveys to keep the direction of the practice consistent with the needs of the patient. This should be a top priority. In the worst case you could build the wrong thing, and they won’t come at all. See above.
Professional email marketing to patients throughout the year is a great way to keep the practice in front of the patients.
And again, social media can play a role in your desire to stay connected and KEEP patients profitably.
Right now I’m guessing that you are saying to yourself, so in addition to being a great practitioner, a counselor, a healer, a manager, NOW I HAVE TO BE A DIGITAL MARKETER? !?!(*%#
And the answer is……NO. For less than the cost of a minimum wage employee, Crystal Clear Digital Marketing can help you accomplish your need to FIND, SERVE and KEEP more patients profitably.
The next time someone asks you to identify the top three activities essential to the sustainability of your practice remember: FIND, SERVE, KEEP.
Obviously, you are not the only one who uses the internet FOR EVERYTHING! We do too. Let us help. Contact Crystal Clear Digital Marketing , today!