How to Get More Patients to Your Medical Practice - Top 30 Tips
With patients having more and more options of doctors to choose from today, it’s important for providers to implement strategies to stand out and attract new patients. While it is imperative to maintain a strong relationship with your existing patients, any successful practice also needs a strong flow of new patients. Your practice must offer prime services, a competitive list of treatments and procedures, and cost-effective pricing. The technologically savvy patient is now employing digital channels to research symptoms and conditions, and will choose physicians they want to see based on reviews and what practitioners have to offer.
In this article, we’ll go over 30 different ways to start getting more patients into your medical practice.
30 ways to get more patients
- Create a strong online presence
Times have changed; the average American consumer researches everything online before investing time and money. Creating a website for your practice enhances your online presence and allows potential patients to easily locate you. With 80% of patients searching the internet for healthcare information and 47% looking up a specific medical procedure or treatment, having an online entity is crucial! To be honest, If you’re not online, you’re losing out on a lot of business.
- Use social media
Most businesses these days have a social media account or profile. For a medical practice, a social media presence is ideal for engaging new patients. Make sure you have well-defined goals and choose appropriate platforms for maximum visibility. Update your social media accounts regularly to rank better in the search results. Use Twitter or LinkedIn to promote your business, and connect with medical industry professionals and publications.
- Build a mobile-responsive website
Create an easily navigable, responsive website for attracting and engaging new patients. Make sure it works equally well on mobile devices since most people these days prefer cellphones for browsing. Your website should be helpful and informative, with a contact form so patients can easily book appointments and provide feedback.
- Leverage online marketing
Don’t just build a visually aesthetic website, publish your practice information on online directories, and create your medical practitioner profile on top healthcare review sites. As mentioned before, create and manage a social media profile for your practice. Investing in online marketing channels could be a game changer for your practice.
- Focus on organic traffic
Bill Gates said “Content is King.” He was right! Implementing Search Engine Optimization strategies can increase your online visibility on the search engines. When potential patients are searching a medical provider near them, you want your website to show up at the top in order to have a competitive edge. A website in the top three slots can definitely attract new patients. While SEO is a long-term strategy, if done right, the reward of free organic traffic can't be beat!
- Get listed in top directories and publications
The average number of total daily health-related search queries on Google amount to 70,000 per minute, or 1.68 million per day! You want your practice to appear authoritative to compete in the search results, something we mentioned earlier. A great way to gain more authority and relevance is to sign up for top medical directories that are visited by several thousand users a day. In addition to directories, your marketing team may also reach out to reporters and obtain editorial links. This will not only help web rankings but will also serve as a legitimacy signal for patients looking up your practice. Although we may be a bit biased, we highly recommend you list your practice on Tripment to take advantage of everything our platform has to offer.
- Invest in pay-per-click advertising
While your Search Engine Optimization efforts are underway, Google and Facebook Ads can give you instant reach and you can target people with interest-based precision. This can significantly increase bookings, enhance patient influx, and improve brand following. As a fast & scalable option, your ads can be optimized to convert patients quickly, providing almost instantaneous results in securing clicks and impressions.
- Leverage analytics
A good digital marketing strategy isn’t something you can ‘set and forget.’ You want to constantly tweak your Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimization campaigns to drive optimal results. A great way to do so is through data! When your campaigns go live, you’ll have tons of user data at your disposal. You can then leverage that data and understand your audience in a more efficient way.
- Host contests
An interactive practice will always be compelling. You become easily noticeable through contests and by hosting health related events or even informational seminars. People will spread the word about your practice after winning prizes and giveaways. It’s a win-win situation for both parties involved, and a great way to get the word out locally.
- Be particular about what you post online
What you say is important, and how you say it, even more so. Pay close attention to your tone with your Social Media Marketing efforts; know your audience, avoid jargon, and keep your posts concise. A good point to consider is that the ideal Facebook post length is 1-80 characters, with 5-18 words for paid posts and 71 to 100 characters for organic tweets on Twitter.
- Monitor patient reviews diligently
You can’t please everyone. Disgruntled patients will often post unsavory reviews on visible platforms. Statistically, 39.2% of patients have posted a negative review of care received, especially if they felt their concerns went unheard or ignored. 51.8% of dissatisfied patients were never contacted by their health care providers. Pay attention to complaints because satisfied patients give the best referrals.
Monitor reviews about your practice and strategically respond to damaging remarks and accusations. You cannot stop unsatisfied patients speaking negatively, so take corrective measures by responding calmly, professionally, and politely. Don’t just focus on fending off slanderous reviews, ask your satisfied patients to share their positive experiences online to provide a clearer image of your practice.
- Billing transparency helps
U.S. healthcare lacks pricing transparency; often patients only have a vague idea of their final out-of-pocket expenses. This is a common occurrence, which results in 44% of patients choosing to forego treatment.
75% of patients consider healthcare expenses before pursuing treatment, and for 49% of them, the total expense is the main deciding factor for choosing a provider. Embrace the Price Transparency Rule, inform patients of expected co-payments before visits, and advise them of all incurred service charges after consultations. This enhances patient experience and also helps draw new patients to your practice.
- Create a brand following
It’s a good idea to keep your professional branding uniform across all advertising platforms. Using different marketing approaches garbles your brand voice. A consistent tone helps develop trust and credibility amongst patients and the medical community, and helps with new patient referrals. You may also engage medical marketing professionals to create effective strategies that increase patient referrals.
- Distribute brochures and business cards
Keep brochures and business cards ready to be given to potential and existing patients to create awareness about your practice. Both give patients easy access to your contact information for future reference.
- Hire an expert physician liaison
Your physician liaison is your brand ambassador. Even though you know the importance of communication and relationships with local providers, providing care takes time and energy. Hire a physician liaison to represent your practice and manage marketing including:
- Social media marketing
- Event planning
- Physician outreach
- Media advertising
- Train your staff
A person with the right skills strategically promotes your practice instinctively. All front-office and other staff members interacting with patients must be properly trained to speak expertly about your specific medical specialty, practice, pricing, and procedures. All whilst remaining professional, polite, and respectful of the patients they deal with. Many practices lose patients because of unhelpful, rude staff. Don’t let yours be one.
- Embrace technological advances
Most millennials prefer digital options for their medical needs: 71% prefer scheduling through an app, and two-thirds prefer follow-ups via text or email. 78.8% of patients have accessed patient portals to view their information. 83.3% use portals to download lab results. When patients find you convenient and easy to work with, referrals come naturally.
- Effective forecasting
It’s great to want new patients, but can your facility handle them? You want to have an effective forecasting system in place. If you’re getting referrals and have an influx of new patients then you also need to have your facility up-to-date with respect to staffing and other requirements. A good forecast will help in delivering a good experience for your patients, which will result in more referrals.
- Deliver a quality service
There is no way your patients will refer your practice to others if they aren’t satisfied with your professionalism and services. You must show real interest in your patients. Your manners, and the look and feel of your clinic are extremely important. Communicate well with your patients, make your presence positive and uplifting, and they will come back while referring you to friends and family.
- Offer telehealth and virtual visits
With COVID-19, healthcare providers offering telemedicine and virtual services saw an increase in patient influx. With proper execution, you can book more appointments, compete with regular practices, and provide convenient scheduling options. Virtual patient visits are more flexible than onsite visits because patients can access them from anywhere. It works best for doctors and healthcare providers too, who can add in virtual visits to replace last-minute cancellations, or to fill extra 10-minute time slots in their day. If Telehealth is something that interests you, consider listing your practice on Tripment and start seeing your patients online!
- Lower your wait times
An organized appointment set-up is an effective way to draw in new patients. For the largest U.S. markets, the average time to get a physician appointment is 24.1 days, with an additional 20 minutes spent in the waiting room. A practice with short wait times is going to appeal to the masses! If you’re able to optimize your workflow, your patients wouldn’t mind paying a premium for your services.
- Generate media exposure
Good media exposure attracts people, period! Along with digital ad spend, look into other channels such as print and TV ads for local exposure. Getting patients through media exposure is a solid strategy, though it takes time, effort, and most of all, a strong budget. You can use mass media to disseminate medical news, empower patients, and expand health literacy: all of which could attract new patients.
- Project your staff
Don’t use free pictures off the internet, post pictures of your actual team and facility to personalize your practice website. Patients feel comfortable in familiar surroundings, doing so makes your practice and staff relatable and can draw in more potential patients.
- Contact previous patients
Monitor patient appointments, send reminders for missed appointments, and contact disgruntled previous patients. These small gestures tell your patients you care. 70% of unhappy patients will come back if you resolve their concerns.
- Set up a referral management system
Referral Management Software helps healthcare organizations track patient referrals. Focused on cohesive communication among care providers involved in a patient's treatment, it ensures patients visit the correct clinics and providers. Efficient RMSs help provide specialized care for patients and increase revenue.
- Offer a free service
Offering something free to your patients can give you more visibility simply because people like free stuff! Provide free informational brochures, instructional videos and tutorials, or another useful free service. Your offer must be competitive to stand out; a discounted first visit offer is a creative way to invite new patients! Patients utilizing promotional services will generate great referrals, if they’re happy with the service provided of course.
- Know your patients
Knowing your target patient base is one of the most critical aspects! This is possible through market research and past patient intake data analysis. If you’re able to develop patient profiles focused on metrics such as age, healthcare issues and other factors, then it would be easy for your marketing team to target the right audience.
- Promote diversity
Tier 1 countries such as the United States are extremely diverse. Patients differ not only in their physical ailments, but also in their culture and ethnicity. Coach your staff to be open-minded towards different cultures and languages of your patients. Something that may be normal in one country may be offensive in another. While it’s impossible to cater to every different aspect, having a diverse and open-minded staff will go a long way. The resulting customer satisfaction will help draw more patients in.
- Engage in CSR activities
Corporate Social Responsibility is a very sensitive topic. Most organizations use it as a marketing tool with the sole purpose of self-promotion. Participate in CSR activities in a way that brings good press for your organization. It is important to engage in ways that do not make your organization look selfish. With the right strategy, you can not only promote your practice, but also help make the world a better place!
- Provide superior patient satisfaction
Since patient satisfaction drives success, ensure your patients are receiving optimum care at all stages of service: Scheduling, prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment. Keep a friendly, calming, and positive atmosphere between the staff (doctors, nurses, or front-desk staff) and patients, during conversations about the treatment and procedures. Be concerned, hopeful and attentive, as well as open and accessible. Ensure your patients are happy by identifying their needs and addressing them.
A satisfied patient will return and influence others to do the same. When you offer your best, new patients will be drawn to you effortlessly time after time. There is no magic formula, it’s diligence, effort, and focus. Always.
- *BONUS TIP - List Your Practice on Tripment!
We truly believe that our platform can offer a great deal of value to your growing practice by helping with a number of the tips listed above. Tripment allows you to attract new patients to your practice by putting you in front of potential patients looking for your services. You can establish and grow your reputation easily by showcasing your reviews, experience, and education. Tripment also allows you to set up Virtual Visits with your patients directly through our platform, as well as setting up and managing appointment bookings in real time. List your practice today!
- Tripment Health TeamA Complete Guide to Starting a Telemedicine PracticeThe COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of telemedicine. Definitive Healthcare Analysts reported a 6,000% increase in telehealth claims between the summer of 2019 and the summer of 2020, with over 42% of Americans using telehealth during the pandemic.
- Amy Isler, RNHow Often Should You Get Routine Checkups at the Doctor?Prevention and maintenance are important for many things in life, but especially so when it comes to our physical health. The goal of preventative care is to identify risk factors and underlying signs and symptoms before an illness or disease becomes chronic or life-threatening.