Whether your organization is a group practice, an FQHC, a hospital, or another type of healthcare organization, growth is always the goal, but growing your practice looks different in 2022 than it did in 1992. Patients have turned into consumers, seeking a high level of customer service. Many patients are viewing healthcare as a purchase and are doing more research than ever before – and that research is being conducted online. Attracting new patients and growing your practice now requires a mix of digital and in-person efforts.
How can you grow your practice in the coming year? This month, we’re sharing 5 of our favorite ways to grow your practice!
- Deliver the best experience possible
Before we dive into the digital world, step 1 is ensuring that you are providing the best care and patient experience possible! You want your patients to feel comfortable in your practice and rave about their experience.
Make sure you are prioritizing patient care. This doesn’t just come down to the skill of your providers, but also their workload and bedside habits. Encourage your providers to spend time getting to know their patients, listening to them, providing clear communication, and developing appropriate relationships.
The patient experience goes beyond their interaction with their primary physician. From the very first interaction a patient has with your healthcare organization, you want to create a positive experience. Phone calls should be easy and pleasant, email communication should be courteous, and new patients should be provided with practical information like where to park, how to find your building, and where to check in before they arrive for their appointment.
- Prioritize your website
77% of patients use search engines prior to booking appointments, and the top Google result receives 33% more clicks than other search results. Your website matters!
Since your website will likely be the first impression a potential patient gets of your practice, you want it to contain accurate information. Ensure that all the information, from addresses and phone numbers to physician names and photos are up to date. You also want the site to be aesthetically pleasing. Consider paying a web developer to design your site or use one of the many simple softwares that allow you to build your own website so you can keep your site looking clean and modern. And don’t forget mobile users when creating your design!
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is also important for your website, and will help boost you into that top spot in Google search results. SEO sounds scarier than it is – we promise! SEO will improve organically for your practice website if you keep your information accurate and produce content that relates to the patients who will be searching for your practice.
- Consider outsourcing your billing
If you want to grow your practice, it’s no secret you’ll need money! Increasing your revenue allows you to reinvest in your programs, hire new staff, and purchase new technology, enabling you to comfortably and effectively handle a heavier patient load. But how do you increase your revenue before you increase your patients?
Outsourcing your billing could be the answer! Practice Management has been helping our clients increase their revenue since 1995 – one client experienced a 64% increase in revenue while seeing 25.7% fewer patients overall (check out more testimonials here). Outsourcing your billing means your team will have more time to focus on their everyday tasks and get traction on their projects. You will have the financial freedom to grow your client base at a rate that is sustainable and built around providing the best care possible instead of trying to bring in more patients to make up for revenue shortages.
This type of growth is sustainable, helps avoid staff burnout, and helps you focus on the important work of keeping your community healthy.
- Word of mouth matters! But it looks different in 2022.
71% of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor, and those online reviews are often the first impression a new patient will get of your practice.
As potential new patients begin their search for a new physician, online is their first, and often only, stop. Getting your happy patients to leave positive reviews is one of the most powerful things you can do to create growth for your practice. When your practice shows up online with dozens of glowing reviews, you begin to build trust with your potential patients before they even make their first appointment.
One of the easiest ways to increase the number of positive reviews is simply to ask for them! Make it a part of your standard operating procedures for reception staff to remind patients to leave a review online as they are checking them out, and then implement an automated system with reminders to leave a review. The flow could include:
- In person requests for reviews
- A follow-up request for review via email
- A review request included in appointment reminder emails and texts
- A link to review on your website
- Occasional social media requests for reviews
- Don’t be afraid of social media
Social media is a powerful tool for growing your practice! It may seem intimidating, but keeping it simple and focusing on just one or two platforms, can create a large impact.
Focus on creating content that your potential patients would be interested in. According to Forbes, this generally means content about conditions, treatments, and FAQs. Your objective in managing your social media pages shouldn’t be just to gain followers, but instead to attract new potential patients and establish a good reputation in the online space. Pick topics you’re familiar with and subjects that allow you to quickly and easily create content from your current wealth of knowledge.
With just one or two social platforms under your belt, and a modest advertising budget, you can build a social media brand that establishes your practice as a trusted expert for treatment in your community.
Which one of these tips do you want to try for the new year?