The goal of most enterprises is to expand. It is a token of success and allows a business to reach more people. The process, however, isn’t always easy. If you are looking to expand your medical practice, consider these suggestions.
Be Accessible Online
We live in a digital world. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we continue to shift in that direction. If you want to expand your medical practice, it must be able to keep up with online methods. Patients have come to expect this online accessibility, with up to 78% reported to want contactless healthcare care options instead of traditional in-person, paper-based processes.
Navigating this digital landscape will include a variety of readily available services. These may include online self-scheduling for appointments, digital intake forms, and access to personal insurance and medical information, all of which improve the convenience of accessing a medical practice, for both patient and practice.
Patients also appreciate ready access to their medical billing information. Using Aspen Ridge Medical’s billing process allows patients to get real-time figures regarding their medical finances, and it provides practices with updated billing and payment information, allowing the practice to focus on providing excellent care.
The Power of the People
Word-of-mouth is still an excellent and one of the most powerful ways to expand your medical practice. In this day and age, those word-of-mouth recommendations are exchanged online. This includes patients sharing their recommendations online with both people they know, through social media, and people they do not through online reviews.
Especially if patients are new to an area, Google is often the first place they look to research medical practices in the area. This entails scouring through online reviews before choosing a physician. Data indicates that the vast majority of patients consider a positive online reputation very important when selecting their preferred medical practice.
If your patients are analyzing your online reviews, you had better do the same if you want to expand your medical practice or even maintain current patient volumes. Look at online reviews to see what kind of impression your practice creates before people even see the building, and while it may not initially feel like it, you have a lot of control over the response to your reviews.
Take patient’s concerns seriously. In your practice’s negative online reviews, look for trends. If certain complaints come up regularly (long wait times, confusing billing practices, terrible waiting room music), take steps to correct these issues. On review sites that make it possible to comment on patient’s reviews, respond to both recommendations and complaints with courtesy and proactivity. This will increase patients’ and prospective patients’ confidence that you are mindful of their concerns and good at listening in general.
Increasing the number of good reviews floating around the internet can certainly help expand your medical practice. You can encourage reviews from your regular patients by posting signage with links to your review page or QR codes to surveys. You can also send this access in reminder texts and emails for appointments or prescription refills.
Reviews are not the only aspect of an online presence that should reflect well on your practice. Functionality of your website, availability of social media accounts, and the design of both play a big role in the first impression your practice makes. Monitoring these can be a full-time job, which is why we recommend delegating the process to a professional digital marketing team if you want to expand your medical practice. In this way, healthcare practices can focus on providing quality healthcare to patients and let professionals in the marketing realm manage the practice’s online presence.
A professional digital marketing team can also track the metrics of your practice’s online presence: how many people search for it, access the site, share the site’s content, etc. This will give you a clear picture of what is working in your online approach so you can keep doing what works and stop doing what doesn’t.
Until Next Time
Be on-the-ball about scheduling return appointments at the end of each appointment. While this may feel like an obvious suggestion, it is a task that is easily missed. However, scheduling the next appointment before a patient leaves shows that patient that he or she is valued by your practice. People appreciate clear instructions moving forward, so having a next appointment set gives clarity and indicates a level of commitment and dedication that will only strengthen your practice’s overall patient loyalty.
If you are ready to expand your medical practice in a more dramatic way, consider increasing the size of your team. Employing more staff can minimize patient wait times and free up physicians to provide more focused care. If you have the means (personnel-wise) and the demand for it, consider expanding the type of care you offer. In addition to the general or specialized care you already provide, you may choose to include services that cater to metal or behavioral health as well.