If you are the owner or manager of a direct-paid medical practice, you know the challenges you face in marketing the practice. One of the biggest questions we get is how to increase patients in medical practice.
There are a number of things to consider when you take on the challenge of increasing your patient flow. Most doctors want to know how to increase patients at the practice. What they really need to understand is the road map to growing patients at the practice.
Step 1: Be honest about your situation
Think of your practice as one of your patients. If a patient came into your practice and complained of pains, colds, intestinal issues, you would send me a specific medical course of action. If a patient came into your practice, was short of breath, hurting his arm, chest pains and pale, you would take me down a much faster and tougher course of treatment.
Your business (the medical practice) is exactly the same. When a patient comes into the exercise or emergency room, you want to know the vitamins. Blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, medications they are taking, symptoms. Then you start to develop a way to get the patient healthy.
In your business, you need to know the vitamin equivalent of patients before you start making changes in your marketing. These vitamins are things like:
- The cost to acquire a patient
- The lifetime value of the patient
- Which advertising media generates the most face-to-face calls, appointments, consultations and procedures. (Hint: there is a big difference between all these numbers in many practices.)
- Average revenue per appointment
Only then can you understand how to increase patients in medical practice.
Step 2: Who’s Who
You have to be very clear who your best patient is and who your best hope is. There is a huge difference between the two.
For many practices, they live in a patient echo chamber. They have a bias towards their patient base. Let me explain.
Our company has a client who sells a 65% inclined stem cell procedure to men nationally. However, in practice, over 80% of procedures have been performed on women. Noticing an opportunity, we changed the marketing to target more men. The result; increased telephone calls, appointments and adjustments to procedure. If we had focused the marketing on women, the results would not have been as good.
Step 3: Selecting the Media to Increase Patients in Medical Practice
In consultation after consultation, our company has been stunned by the lack of planning and implementation of clear marketing strategies in medical practice. Hey, that’s not your fault. You are trained to be a doctor. If you’re a practice manager, you’re probably focused on staffing, schedules, protocols and compliance. Marketing becomes an afterthought.
The biggest mistake we see is a random group of independent contractors marketing your practice. You have one person doing Facebook ads (if they no longer work for medical at all), another doing some SEO (most likely the wrong way), a kind of front desk type of social media making and killing several advertising representatives pushing a radio, television or newspaper. This is what we call Frankenstein’s marketing monster.
You want to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that includes tracking the overall results of the marketing. Many want to discuss what they think works. Some say Facebook, Twitter, Social, TV, Radio, Lunch n Learn, etc.
What really matters in terms of how to increase patients in medical practice is tracking. You must track the number of phone calls you receive by source if they convert to appointments if they buy and on how much. The list goes on and on.
Step 4: Get a Professional to Help You Build a Plan
Many of the companies are just one trick ponies that say they can help you bring in more patients. They don’t really build a plan and brand for your practice. They offer some ways that could bring in patients.
We are building a customized plan for you, based on experience owning 3 clinics for 4 years and more and working with today’s medical practices. If you want to talk to us that’s great. If you find someone else, that’s great too. Just have a plan, implement and secure metrics in place to track the results.
The medical practice and the direct pay practice are set to face increasing competition in the coming months and years. You need to be prepared.