If there is one thing both physicians and vendors readily agree on, it is the ever-
changing healthcare landscape—driven by legislation, government programs, and technology. This changing environment poses a challenge for medical practices and businesses alike to retain and attract new patients/clients in order to prosper and thrive.
How can a medical practice operate like a successful business? It all starts with creating a marketing plan that includes clear goals, an identified target market, powerful tactics to reach your target market, and metrics to measure your success. The marketing plan acts as a roadmap by clearly stating goals, laying out a tactical plan of action to achieve them, and identifying the right measurements to ensure a successful outcome. Clearly defined goals might include a targeted number of new patient visits/follow-up visits/procedures per month. Not only is the goal clearly defined, it is timely, and measurable.
The tactical portion of your marketing plan will identify the ways in which you plan to reach your target audience. Today, patients search for information online. This makes your website the focal point of your practice’s online presence. It should be up to date, accurate, and user-friendly. Both your website and social media can help position your practice as an educational resource by providing videos concerning disease-state awareness, detailing procedures, and exposing patients to educational information about practice resources and expertise.
Having the right technology can also help you reach your goals. For example, you can leverage your EHR to run reports identifying a subset of patients (target audience) inclusive of demographics, frequency of visits, diagnoses, and procedures. These reports can be used to assist in communicating with these patients to drive follow-up visits.
In addition, push notifications such as e-mails can be sent through the patient portal to request appointments or to communicate with patients. The use of a portal cuts down on phone calls and paper, representing a significant financial savings and creating an efficient flow of patients through the waiting room. Print materials placed strategically at check-in and check-out points can also help educate patients, and drive portal usage.
Developing and implementing a marketing plan for your practice will place you ahead of the competition, in front of patients and referral sources, and increase your revenue base.