Healthcare is becoming a much more competitive industry than ever before. The new focus on value-based healthcare puts healthcare organizations in the position of convincing patients that the quality of their services provides more value to their patients than the numerous other practices in their community providing the same services. A continual influx of patients and maintaining loyalty from current patients is crucial to any healthcare organization. Marketing provides the opportunity to show how your healthcare organization is a better option.
Many health plans are limiting their offerings to smaller groups of providers, creating a much more competitive industry. Many integrated networks are partnering with preferred providers, and several are creating accountable care organizations. Patient acquisition will be essential with these new models. Since with most health plans the primary care provider is who the patients are attributed to, the PCPs must find a way to acquire and maintain the type of patients they want and keep them. A patient acquisition strategy is crucial for every medical practice.
While many doctors entered the medical practice with a passion for helping patients, that doesn’t change the fact that a medical practice is still a business and must perform like a business to remain sustainable. Sales and customers are what keeps a medical practice breathing and functioning. It takes marketing to obtain enough customers to remain profitable.
A medical marketing strategy needs to be efficient and provide significant return on investment. Tracking that ROI will also need to be part of the marketing plan. A medical practice doesn’t want to invest time and money into a marketing plan that doesn’t contribute to profitability and ensure sustainability.
The two main sources for marketing for a general practice are business to business marketing and business to consumer marketing. If your practice has not embraced telemedicine yet, then your patients will be local. Businesses you can market to include other physician practices, businesses around your practice, senior living centers, home healthcare agencies, and more. Marketing directly to patients can include digital marketing, print and advertising, community outreach, joint campaigns with other providers, health awareness seminars, etc.
To begin your marketing plan, you must establish your marketing goals. SMART goals are: Be specific, set measurable goals, make sure they are attainable, your goal becomes realistic, set time parameters. For example, if you were going to focus on online marketing your goals must be measurable, such as add 10% more new patients per month from Google, or add 25 new patient reviews on Facebook each month. Once you have your goals, develop your plans and the specific steps you must take to achieve each goal. If you want more patients from Google you need to optimize your position in Google searches. If you want patient reviews you need to reach out to patients and ask them to write a review. The easiest way to do that is email or text them with the direct link to the site where you want the review. Then you need to make sure that from these online locations any potential new patients can quickly book appointments by calling, messaging, or booking immediately from the site, the more immediately they can achieve a booking, the more likely you are to capture them as a new patient.
Regardless of where and how you want to reach out for new patients, the whole process begins with a marketing plan. Get started today and make sure your plan is clearly defined. Good luck in helping your practice to grow and thrive in this ever-changing healthcare industry!
Genesis Medical Management is committed to providing you with the knowledge and strategies needed to ensure your organization is positioned for sustainable growth.
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