Online Reputation Management for Doctors
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Online Reputation Management for Doctors
Curated and Written Articles to help Physicians and Other Healthcare Providers manage reputation online. Tips on Social media, SEO, Online Review Managements and Medical Websites
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Is word-of-mouth marketing best to attract new patients?

Is word-of-mouth marketing best to attract new patients? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

4 reasons why word-of-mouth marketing is not enough to grow your practice

1. Patients still conduct online research even after being referred

A referral might help you attract new patients, but that alone probably won’t seal the deal. Nearly all patients (91 percent) always or sometimes conducts additional research after receiving a referral from a healthcare provider, according to the 2018 Patient Access Journey Report conducted by Kyruus.

 

If your online reputation isn’t great — or is non-existent — people probably aren’t going to take the recommendation. With so much information readily available online for other providers, it’s easy for patients to find a doctor who meets their unique needs.

 

2. There is a limit to how many people word-of-mouth marketing can reach

Online reviews and your practice website can be accessed worldwide on a 24/7 basis. Word-of-mouth marketing has a much smaller reach, as it relies on the discourse between two people.

 

“There’s a limit to how many people you can access through your existing patients, and even if a patient refers me to a friend, that person will look for me online,” said PatientPop customer Dr. Nicole Mermet. “No matter how good your dentistry is, or how strong your staff is, or how well you run your business, you’re invisible if you don’t have a strong online presence.”

3. You’re not in control of the conversation

Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of people make recommendations because of a great experience, according to the Chatter Matters report. This is a good thing, but even when patients rave about your practice, you don’t know what they’re saying.

 

Just because patients praise your practice, it doesn’t mean they’re speaking to an audience who requires your services. Even if they are, their recommendation might not include the information needed to convince the other person to give your practice a try. If they go online to learn more about your practice but don’t find anything, they might opt for your competition.

4. Growth can take a long time

When trying to figure out how to get new patients, growth is something you’d like to see sooner, rather than later. Unfortunately, you don’t know when referrals will be given or when recipients will need to use them.

 

Your practice might be referred by a patient today, but it could be months or even years before the other person actually makes an appointment. If you want to grow your practice now, this method might prove to be of little help.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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How to Increase Patient Engagement

How to Increase Patient Engagement | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

You offer treatment with a motive to cure and satisfy your patient. Your practice is dependent on your patients. A happy patient is a key to the growth of your practice. You need to take various initiatives to increase patient engagement. The clearer your treatments, procedures, and conversations are the stronger will be your doctor-patient relationships. This helps you develop better online reputation for your practice.Below are some mistakes to avoid and creative ways for growing patient engagement and benefitting your practice’s growth.

Mistakes to avoid

For a rock-solid engagement initiative, you need to avoid following mistakes

One-for-all script: You cannot use the same script for all communications. Streamlining your communication efforts help you increase engagement and get you, loyal patients. You need to improvise and customize your script especially when dealing with same patients. Else, you are likely to bore them and face rejections. Since repetitive scripts give insecurity to patients make them feel unimportant and demotivated.

Pushing content: For successful marketing and patient engagement you cannot go with push strategy. You should always broadcast only the required information and don’t overload for engagement. Plan and be clear about your strategies instead of bombarding everything together and confusing patients.

Use newsletters, offers, and surveys to engage your target audience. Remember to check the frequency. Just like too many emails can annoy patients, similarly, very few emails can also make your patients forget about your practice.

Sales on mind: Don’t consider patients as a sales resource. This would make you lose your existing patients assuming you inconsiderate and leaving no scope of re-engagement. You need to increase your patient base but that’s possible only when are successful in retaining your existing patients.

Your patients never wish to be treated as numbers. They want to feel concerned. Any sales focused step can bring in anger and annoyance in search of immediate results. Rewards come with patience.

 

Below are some effective and easy ways to level-up your engagement with your patients.

Feedback: To increase engagement you need to get valuable feedback from your patients. This will help you know what your patients want. If you are not pushy, patients are likely to express their opinion. You can ask for feedback when a patient visits your practice, or you can send a survey email after the patient is done with a treatment. To unsatisfied patients, you can assure improvement and reconnect with them. Feedbacks are a great way to get insights about your patients and build strong relationships.

Customer service: You and your staff should be supportive to your patients. Following an organizational culture develops a friendly environment that helps patients to share their concerns in details. Feeling respected, patients are likely to refer your practice to their friends and family. A nice behavior should be continued from first interaction to the last.

Social media presence: Have a good presence on social media platforms to engage with your existing and potential patients. Showcase your thought leader personality and share your knowledge with all. Join other groups of your niche and broaden your marketing’s wavelength and increase engagement. Use different platforms wisely keeping in mind the type and age of the audience.

Some more creative ways to increase patient engagement are:

  • Ask for recommendations
  • Send daily medication reminders
  • Have an engaging patient portal where they can schedule appointment online and check their reports
  • Recommend mHealth app that includes fun and knowledge
  • Get a mobile-friendly website
  • Share your videos on YouTube
  • Use different forms of content such as infographics, videos, images, podcasts, etc.
  • Participate in seminars and local community activities or host an open house to interact with more new patients.
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Patient Care Skills Can Aid Physicians at Negotiations

Patient Care Skills Can Aid Physicians at Negotiations | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The first question we usually ask physician negotiators might sound simple, but it isn't. When you're in a negotiation, whether with a payer, employer, or other entity, whose perspective are you using? Whose needs and problems are you considering throughout the negotiation?


Whose viewpoint are you thinking about?

As physicians, this thinking is natural in the clinical environment. When speaking with a patient, whose perspective do you have in mind at that encounter? Whose needs are you focused on at that time? Naturally, we are focused on the patient's needs and work to find a solution to their problems.


You might not realize it, but you are already practicing two important aspects of negotiations: Keep the proper perspective and have a mission and purpose statement focused on the other individual. As we went through medical school and residency, we were trained to act with the other's best interest in mind as we make decisions in the clinical setting. These same skills can be very useful to us at the negotiation table.


Understanding of Patients and Negotiating Parties


If you had the other side's best interest at heart, how do you think you would approach their problems? What if you honestly desired to find a solution for their needs? What if you aimed to solve their problems?

It seems to us, whenever we begin to talk about negotiations, our human nature creeps in and takes hold. Our own self-interests begin to bubble to the surface. We become focused on ourselves — on our needs. Sometimes, we are so focused on our needs and problems, we fail to see how we can solve the other side's problems. We miss the point of being at the negotiation table.


Who we are focused on is vitally important to a successful negotiation. Many skilled negotiators work to manipulate and leverage our own self-interests for their benefit. They may dangle all sorts of carrots in front of you because they're focused on themselves and want to benefit themselves by manipulating you. You may use sticks instead of carrots. Neither side makes much progress. It can also be difficult for you not to do the same to them. How good do people feel after they perceive they've been manipulated? How successful will the performance of a contract be if either party feels manipulated or had leverage used against them?


So, what's the alternative? To be completely focused on their needs. We do this as physicians each and every day. The same sort of results can occur in any negotiation too.


A recent example of this comes mind. A practice was negotiating a service agreement with a moderate-sized hospital for a particular call service. The hospital desired to pay less for the call services than the practice was willing to offer. The practice felt the scope of the service proposed by the hospital was too large for the payment structure. Rather than focusing on their needs, the practice sought to better understand the needs of the hospital. They asked probing questions so they could understand the real needs of the hospital. They were not certain the hospital's administration truly understood their own needs. Rather than fighting with the hospital for a dollar amount the practice wanted for the proposed scope of call, they approached the situation from the hospital's viewpoint.


In doing so, they were able to uncover the real needs of the hospital. By asking good questions focused on the hospital's needs, the practice discovered that the decision makers in the hospital had two different ideas about the scope of call services needed. However, these decision makers had never discussed this amongst themselves. By focusing on the hospital's needs, the practice was able to help the hospital administrators see what they really needed in call services. If the practice had been focused on their needs only, they would have missed the needs of the hospital and probably fallen short in their service to the hospital. Ultimately, both sides would be unhappy with the agreement. However, in the end, the practice and the hospital agreed to a smaller scope of call services at a payment amount the practice wanted.


A Needs-Attentive Approach


Similar to interactions with patient, we must put the adversary's needs at the top of our list. Ask, "How can I best serve this customer and solve their problems?" As you begin to ask good questions, you give them the opportunity to develop a picture of their problem. Once they have communicated their problems, you can then match your solution to that problem in terms of the features and benefits you offer.


Physicians are actually lucky in that we already think of others first. How many nights, weekends, and holidays are we sacrificed for others? We are taught to place our patients first — their needs rank highest. When we give our therapy recommendations, we do so because we want them to get better, healthier, and happier. We give advice based upon what's in their best interests, not ours. I believe the majority of physicians are altruistic in nature and genuinely want to help others. However, when it comes to the negotiation table, that altruism seems to dissipate. But bear in mind, there's a wide difference between true altruism and absolute self-sacrifice. Never feel you have to save the other side. Never sacrifice yourself for them.


As we approach a negotiation, our mindset tends to veer towards ourselves and our needs. And as long as we come to a negotiation with a mindset of scarcity, we then focus on our own needs rather than the other person's. That is when each and every word or action becomes an affront to us personally. We become emotional. We get so focused on our needs and what we want out of the negotiation, we fail to really discover their problem and help them solve it. We don't take the time to ask the right questions and discover the other side's needs.

The opposite of this, and the solution we present, is to approach a negotiation with a growth mindset. This allows us to focus on the needs of the other party because what we want is to help them. When that is the goal, it's easy to get what you want.


An important tool to assist us stay focused on them is a mission and purpose statement.


The Mission and Purpose Statement


A mission and purpose statement guides our mindset and allows us to focus on the needs of others. Creating a mission and purpose statement is the first step in any negotiation. First, we determine what needs of the adversary we want to discover. Then, we determine how our features and benefits will fulfill those needs. We revisit this statement before each and every event during the negotiation. It can change over time as we progress in a negotiation and that's OK. However, it is this statement that keeps us focused and prevents us from being taken off track or down some inconsequential path.

In our last piece, we talked about making assumptions and asking good questions. When we focus on the other party, we understand that we don't know everything about them — who they are, what their circumstances are, etc. — and therefore must ask those pointed questions. We also use questions that are based upon our mission and purpose statement to guide our discovery process.


When approaching a negotiation, remember to focus on the needs of the other side. Ask, "Do I really know what their real problems are?" Then, ask, "How do my features and benefits meet their needs?" As a clinician, your statement might be, "To provide the patient with the opportunity to improve their health." During the interview with the patient, we discover what the problem is through questions. A physical exam follows and confirms or eliminates diagnoses. Eventually, we offer a solution to their problem. But each decision and question we ask is based upon a mission and purpose statement. We might not actually have it written down, but it is engrained in our minds.


At the negotiation table, it is a little harder. Frequently, human nature will get away. We can be tempted to focus on our needs. Using a mission and purpose statement, we can stay on track and work to help the adversary. We have been placing others' needs first for our entire careers. To be successful in negotiations, physicians much approach negotiations as they would a patient: be focused on the adversary's needs and problems.


Do this, and you'll begin to have more successful outcomes.


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How to Improve Patient Engagement in the Provider Community

How to Improve Patient Engagement in the Provider Community | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patient engagement strategies have been heavily discussed in the media and among the vendor community, but digital participation on both the provider and patient side has been meek at best.

The latest report from Chilmark Research on the patient engagement market shows that the healthcare sector is still participating very minimally in digital communication with patients post-discharge or between visits.

In an interview with EHRIntelligence.com, report author Naveen Rao from Chilmark Research spoke about the potential of patient engagement for bringing broader models of care to the industry. More outreach is especially helpful for patients with chronic conditions or severe illnesses.

“We wanted to find out — what are people actually using today. Not what’s actually being sold but what’s being bought. We wanted to find out from the provider’s perspective, what are the limitations of the tools that are being purchased,” Rao revealed.

“Usually, there’s a feature or two that are dedicated to engagement,” he continued. “So we wanted to look at those features and see whether they are actually working. Are they cutting edge? Are they not?”

Specifically, Rao mentioned the benefits of mobile technology in the healthcare market. While some vendors have mobile-compatible apps, there is very limited device integration in healthcare. The provider side is not much better, as few physicians are utilizing mobile health technology to improve patient engagement. However, mobile health apps could improve administrative aspects of care such as faster scheduling as well as managing post-discharge care.

“If you look at the state of affairs when it comes to mobile tools for the patient in the year 2015, it’s pretty disappointing, particularly on the provider side,” Rao stated. “Providers don’t acknowledge that there’s this really great tool that every one of their patients is leaving the office with. They can and ought to be leveraging [it] a little bit more effectively.”

The most common tool in patient engagement is the patient portal. Some aspects that Rao encourages health IT vendors to include in the patient portal are mobile health tools and the longitudinal patient health record that is connected to their EHR. Additionally, health information exchange (HIE) capabilities that can pull in data from other hospitals across the country would benefit the patient portal greatly.

Patient-generated information and biometric data like blood pressure and diabetes management analytics could also be incorporated into patient portals and EHRs. However, vendors will need to move more quickly to incorporate some of these tools into the patient portal.

“We have the technology to send information and collect it from point A to point B,” Rao mentioned. “It’s not happening. There’s no way to put it [biometric data] into your record. Five or ten years from now, things are going to become more digital. The vendors out there aren’t really with the program.”

The Chilmark Research report focused on how the average providers are lacking effective patient engagement strategies. For providers who haven’t begun incorporating patient portals, Rao said the first step to take is to improve patient-doctor communication. Physicians should speak with their patients to find out their preferred method of contact.

After an appointment, doctors should follow-up with their patients via secure messaging/email, text, or phone call in order to enhance communication. After “mastering these basics,” providers should implement patient portals to improve patient satisfaction.

“There is a lot of capability possible through just a basic patient portal. That’s not exactly the most advanced tool that we have today, but it’s a great starting point,” Rao said. “Providers have the ability with their patient portals to send secure emails. But are they actually doing it?”

“Are you actually sending messages to patients between visits? If someone comes in with lower back pain, you send them home with a pill and you never follow up… when it comes to advanced models of care, we can use email to do a lot. If the doctor isn’t doing simple things like sending a follow-up, then what’s the point of having this technology in the first place?”

Providers will need to put greater emphasis on patient-doctor communication and follow-up contact in order to improve the quality of healthcare services. Naveen Rao also spoke about the type of health IT tools providers can utilize when gathering population health statistics. These include data management, data analytics, and stratification tools as well as information exchange and registry capabilities. Digital and mobile health applications can also play a lesser role in population health management.

Rao mentioned that telehealth and mobile technology will have a “big impact” on the healthcare industry in the coming years. He sees it become adopted more broadly in the next three to five years. The most important aspect, though, is to ensure multiple physicians can access the same patient records in real time. Telehealth services will have a strong, transformative influence on rural healthcare as well as patients with weather and geographic limitations.

As a greater shift toward population health management and patient engagement takes place, the healthcare industry will see providers rely more on multiple IT vendors. This is likely because a single vendor rarely is able to offer every single aspect of medical technology. This offers physician practices positive opportunities such as reducing the issues associated with limited EHR systems. However, with all benefits, come some disadvantages like more staff training, higher workload, the costs associated with new systems, and the overall responsibility of working with multiple vendors.

Physicians who are looking to increase patient engagement should consider the following strategic steps. First, find out a patient’s preferred method of contact. Next, partake in the patient activation measure, which essentially means work toward improving patient interest in their medical care and treatment protocols.

Doctors can also improve patient satisfaction by checking in and following up after an appointment. The last step to incorporate is patient-reported outcomes by recording data after receiving secure messages. Physicians looking to improve communication with their patients should consider implementing this patient engagement strategy.


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Health Online Reputation Management Trends 2018

Health Online Reputation Management Trends 2018 | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

We are in the last month of 2017 and its time to think about the year 2018 and what it has in store for us. The evolving healthcare industry and digital marketing are also expected to carry this year’s trend and focus on many new things. The major booster for a successful practice will be online reputation. To stay ahead of your competition, you need to learn how to manage your practice’s online reputation. It is not just limited to reviews but management of your overall online presence. Check put below-stated strategies for easy success in the coming year 2018.

Practice website in 2018

Your website is the first and most trusted communication platform between you and your patients. As digital marketing is growing exponentially, it is imperative to have a stunning website for your practice in 2018. Your practice website needs to be

  • Responsive: Engagement is a real-time necessity. A non-responsive can hit your online presence and traffic website due to Google’s algorithm shifts. Your website should not just throw information on searchers rather promote conversation content with a patient portal, FAQ/comment section.
  • Mobile: In early 2018, Google is expected to launch mobile algorithm. So, your website should function flawlessly on mobile devices.
  • Faster loading: Whether on web or mobile, your website needs to load the pages faster. Slow loading is a disappointment for visitors, especially the millennials, thereby hurting your online reputation.
  • Mobile app: According to a study more than 61% people have downloaded mHealth apps. You can imagine the rise in number in the coming year. So, get a mobile health app for your practice.

The average viewer is expected to watch 36 minutes of online video per day on a mobile device, as opposed to 19 minutes on a computer. Source: Recode

Healthcare content marketing in 2018

Patients are becoming keen researchers where content plays the most important role in educating them about you and your practice. To flood with patients, invest in content

  • Diverse: Nobody like monotony especially when there is some informative and serious stuff to learn. Also, 2018 has a lot in store for content marketing, so your website should showcase different forms of content for higher engagement. Make use of blogs with pictures, infographics, or podcasts.
  • Video: Today, video is becoming the most liked form of content. Instead of reading a 2000 word blog, patients prefer watching an explanatory video of 2 minutes. Create videos on treatment, causes, and treatment of diseases, or testimonial videos.
  • Transparency: Your target audience, especially millennials are progressive ones who quench with authentic and transparent data. To win the competition in healthcare marketing, your patient should never consider you dishonest else your practice is to suffer a downfall.
  • Wide scope: Content is not limited to your practice blogs. You need to write effective and engaging content for your social media posts, emails, and paid advertisement, etc.

Content is the influences a patients journey from searching you online to planning a visit to your practice. It builds a relationship that leads to the creation of strong online reputation.

Healthcare SEO in 2018

For any of your web activity to reach masses or to get yourself ranked high in Google search you need to have amazing SEO. 2018 you will witness more patients searching healthcare services online, that requires you to optimize your website, blogs and other activities online.

  • SERP: In 2018, you cannot rely only on organic ranking. SERP features are expected to steal clicks from organic listings and searchers’ attention. So, track your ranking and check for SERP analysis.
  • Voice search: This technology is growing rapidly. 20% of searches are voice searches. This gives rise to the need for long-tail keywords and a natural language to communicate better with patients.
  • Backlink: Quality backlinks is what that will offer valuable consumer experience thereby declaring your practice trustworthy. In 2018 as well, inbound links will remain one of the most powerful ranking factors. This also means you need to stay extra conscious when doing guest posting as Google will have an eye on all your links.
  • User experience: According to Google, in 2018, the user experience will be rated higher than ever. This will increase engagement of patients over a page, helping search engine identify the most useful page for searchers.

Social media presence in 2018

The enormous popularity and necessity of social media in our lives does not need any explanation. More than 30% healthcare professionals have already joined social media platforms. So,

  • Grow presence: For better online reputation you need to have a strong online presence. So, you need to be present on popular social media sites, especially the ones created for doctors and medical practitioners.
  • Post pattern: An account left in idle state will not attract your target audience. It is not necessary to post something every day but in a regular pattern. It is mandatory to collect insights on peak engagement times on various social media platforms for your posts to get maximum views. You should create a calendar for posts and plan your weekly or monthly activities for every account.

Patient review management in 2018

Online reputation is directly dependent on the reviews you receive on various platforms. The reviews you receive are influenced by the above-mentioned pointers in addition to the services offered at your practice.

  • Current online reputation: First and foremost thing is to evaluate your present online reputation by Googling yourself. You should be aware of what’s being said about you and your practice on the Internet. You need to proactively monitor your online reputation on a daily basis.
  • Every patient is a reviewer: You need to understand that in the world of the Internet, people don’t hesitate to share their happiness or anger over a service or product. So, treat your existing or potential patients with utmost respect and care to make their visit to your practice memorable. Subsequently, you are likely to get bestowed with some positive reviews.
  • Request feedback: Positive online reviews are must for strengthening your online reputation. If you are unable to receive the desired number of positive feedback, request your happy patients to write for your practice. Ask them to leave a review about their experience to your practice and treatment.
  • No fake reviews: Say no to fake reviews. Just to improve your online reputation, writing fake reviews on a website can instead ruin your practice reputation. When scanning reviews, a site can remove or report review spam if the post seems unauthentic to the website.
  • Reply to reviews: Never ignore a review. Whether positive or negative, reply the review. Thank the reviewer for taking out time and writing for your practice online. Replying to negative review doesn’t mean arguing with a patient on the Internet. You should never sound unprofessional. Be courteous and take care of patient confidentiality laws. Try to take the discussion offline or promise betterment. Also, promote the positive reviews on your website.
  • Know about your competitors: Reputation management is not restricted to managing your profile, instead of researching the competition to know the trends and things that impact other patients. You need to know the reasons behind success and failure of your competition to improve your practice reputation.

Remember online reputation is a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot win this race in a day but following the above-mentioned will act as a nitro booster for your vehicle driving to establish strong health online reputation. Here are some quick tips to remember in this online journey or establishing positive online presence:

  • Invest more in paid advertisement
  • Transparency related to content on your website, services offered at practice and reviews.
  • Train your staff for better consumer experience.
  • Showcase your thought leader personality to grow trust of patients in your practice.
  • Don’t mix your private and professional life
  • Register your name as domain name for better SEO results
  • Remember to claim your Google Business Listing
  • Take help of professionals. Feel free to contact myPracticeReputation anytime for reputation management of your practice.
Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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How Much Is a New Patient Worth to Your Medical Practice?

How Much Is a New Patient Worth to Your Medical Practice? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Determining the lifetime value of a new patient can help your medical practice run a more informed and cost-effective business.

 

In an increasingly competitive healthcare environment, there’s no way around the fact that in order to get a seat in the table, you have to ante up. That means investing in a variety of digital marketing tactics, such as search engine and social media advertising, content marketing, and website optimization. But how do you determine how much budget you can spend on patient acquisition while still remaining profitable?

 

By determining the actual lifetime value of a new patient for your medical practice, you’ll be better prepared to set realistic goals, build an impactful strategy, and justify your decisions to administrators. Most importantly, by assigning a hard value to each new patient gained, you’ll gain a practical understanding of what kind of marketing budget is appropriate in order to maximize your practice’s profitability.

How to Determine a Patient’s Value

The real question is, how do you actually go about calculating the lifetime value of your patients? It’s best to begin with the basics. Of course, you want the number to be as accurate as possible — but a bit of estimation is expected and perfectly acceptable. Here are a few of the considerations you should take into account:

  • Average cost of each in-office visit
  • How many times the average patient receives treatment
  • Average number of peer referrals per existing patient
  • Average recurring revenue generated by each patient
  • Revenue from procedures

For example, if you typically charge $120 for an in-office consultation, and the average patient visits the practice about five times per year, each patient is worth a minimum of $600 per year. However, if each of those patients, on average, makes two referrals that result in new appointments, their value effectively doubles. And that’s not even factoring in recurring revenue from follow-up visits, as well as revenue from procedures.

Then you have to consider that value over the course of a lifetime — the longer the patient stays with your practice, the longer you’ll continue earning the same amount of revenue (and sometimes even more) year after year.

Once you’ve identified the average baseline value of each new patient, you can determine all sorts of things, like how much you can afford to spend on various digital tactics while still remaining profitable.

Maximizing the Lifetime Value of Each Patient

Now that you’ve determined the potential lifetime value of each patient, it’s time to focus your efforts on improving that value. The good news is this is a relatively simple thing to do.

 

You should strive to make your practice as patient-focused as possible, both online and off. By improving the overall patient experience, you bolster loyalty, retention, and referrals. In an increasingly competitive healthcare environment, the value of a solid reputation is immeasurable. Also, remember that it’s much more expensive to find new patients than it is to hold onto existing ones.

 

At the end of the day, the deeper your understanding of who your patients are and the lifetime value they represent, the better you’re able to build the business side of your operation. By reducing revenue-related stress and uncertainty, you can focus more of your attention on quality of care, treatment, and patient satisfaction — in other words, the building blocks of a successful and sustainable medical practice.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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How to Engage and Acquire Patients via Social Media

How to Engage and Acquire Patients via Social Media | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Building up your medical practice's social media network, and even acquiring new patients through that network, may be easier than you think.

At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Chicago, presenter Melody Smith Jones, manager of connected health at Perficient, Inc ., an IT consulting firm, told attendees that health systems hoping to find success through social media should find out where their prospective audience is online, whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, or another platform, and become part of the conversation taking place there. You have to meet th em where they are, she said.


Since patients are already on social media, and already searching the Internet for health information, social media provides a great opportunity for health systems to step in and provide it, said Jones.

Jones, whose session was entitled "Converting Unknown Consumers into Patients," said a good place to start is by identifying the "centers of excellence" for the major health initiatives that you are trying to tackle at your organization. Pick three to five of those things, she said, and then start engaging with a social media community that is already discussing those things online.


For instance, if one of your key initiatives is to improve care for diabetic patients, find a diabetic patient community online, and then start sharing relevant information, such as small steps patients can take to improve their health, a blog post related to an item members of the community are discussing, and other relevant information that the community might like to learn more about.

Jones said one of her clients had great success by sharing a short quiz to on the risk for heart disease to a social media community interested in that topic. When members of the community took the assessment, they received personalized recommendations related to their results. 

Ultimately, if practices build up an engaged community and establish credibility and bond with that community, it could lead to patient conversions for the practice. Some conversion tools health systems might consider using include inviting members of the social media community to schedule a health-related class at the health system, or sharing information with members that helps them learn more about a provider.


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