It’s the digital age, where business, relationships, and everything in between can be found and coordinated online. This has had positive and negative effects on the healthcare industry. For instance, it is much easier now for patients to go online and find a new doctor. By the same token, data hacks didn’t used to be a concern, but they certainly are now. (Read more on keeping private medical practices and patients safe from HIPAA breaches and online attacks). Patients and practices are also benefitted through online portals, Electronic Health Records (EHR), and the ability for multiple doctors or organizations to communicate effectively regarding the same patient. These are just a few ways in which connectivity has changed the healthcare landscape.
But let’s talk about where the rubber meets the road: how does a private medical practice get found by new patients? Typically, there are two paths to your clinic: referrals, or your business is found online.
- Referrals. Whether word-of-mouth referrals are coming from other physicians, public listings, or current patients, it’s imperative to keep the flow coming. Be sure to thank those that refer new patients to your practice, and act in turn. (Click here to learn about keeping the patients you already have happy.)
- Online. Most people now turn to search engines to find whatever it is they are looking for: a new restaurant, a movie theater, where to get your car serviced, and even to find a new doctor. Physicians need to continually improve their online presence in order to get found by new patients. Let’s discuss how...
Online Steps for Private Medical Practices to Take
There are a few tasks that will help any medical practice to get more exposure, and to get more new patients. This is especially relevant for newer practices, or for those with a lot of turnover. Where does your practice stand on these points?
- An updated website. A website can be your best salesperson. Even if it’s simple, a professional, updated look can go a long way towards bringing future patients your way. It’s almost inexcusable to have a website that is not mobile-friendly, hard to navigate, and hasn’t been updated since the early 2000s. There is a lot to consider besides aesthetics, though. An effective website will be optimized for search engines, helping your practice to show up higher in search results. After all, who goes to the ninth page of Google results before they click a link?
- A proactive approach to online reviews. Online reviews can make or break a business, so it’s imperative you know what’s out there about yourself and your practice. Many doctor-rating sites make it possible to create a profile without your knowledge, so this requires a little research on your end. Just one or two disgruntled patients can make a big difference (and by the same token, so can a handful of pleased ones). Read here to learn about handling negative online reviews.
- Building an online presence. There are many ways to increase your online footprint, and doing so will generally result in more visibility and patients. Besides helping search engines find your site more easily, keeping an active online presence also gives your visitor a better idea of whether they’d like to join your practice. Blogging, social media posts, and live video are all ways of improving your site and building a greater online profile.
By combining the three tactics above, your private medical practice can boost your chances of gaining new patients. Creating and maintaining a presence online is simple, but it does take time. To learn more about how to improve medical billing, practice management, and more, please contact Keystone Health Partners today!