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How to attract new patients to your practice (and how to keep the ones you have)

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One of the biggest struggles healthcare providers and dentists are facing in 2019 is attracting new patients to their practice. Physicians could be attending to the same patients for years without leaving room for growth.

Everyone needs a doctor, dentist, or other specialist, but how can you be sure your service is reaching the right people? As medical technology continues to advance, there are countless ways to market your practice to prospective patients.

1. Increase online traffic for your practice 

When looking for a PCP or other healthcare provider, the first thing someone will do is conduct a simple Google search. You want your practice to be one of the top results of that search, while also complemented by good reviews from patients. Other ways to increase your practice’s online presence include social media plugs, blogs, and journals.

Share informational content related to your practice. Writing and publishing articles on blogs and other educational websites is a way to let others know you are informed about the industry you work in. Create backlinks for everything you publish that leads to your clinic’s website. Readers can find your practice this way, by stumbling across your work on a blog or journal and then being directed to your clinic.

When publishing content online, the goal is to have your message reach as many people as possible. Keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) allow readers to find your content easily through relevant and commonly used words. Keywords can be filtered by subject (ie. health, business, travel) and can be the deciding factor of whether someone finds your content or scrolls passed it.

2. Strengthen your referral marketing techniques

Patients will see a doctor who they trust will give them the proper care they need. If your patient refers your clinic to others, you are building patient loyalty while also attracting more to your practice (without having to spend money!). Referral marketing can happen through various mediums: word of mouth, online reviews, and surveys. Giving your patients incentives to review your practice can make a difference in whether prospective patients decide to make an appointment.

Remember that top reviews is one of the first items people see when they search for a business. You want to ensure that your reviews are positive and invites others who are looking for care. Convince long term patients to review your clinic online as these patients will most likely have effective and beneficial content to share.

3. Use a referral management system

Referral management systems have become an essential tool for healthcare clinics. They provide a platform for doctors and physicians to connect and provide specialized care for their patients. Many clinics receive new patients through referrals from PCPs,and adding your practice to a referral database will increase referrals from other physicians.

A referral management system with a built-in provider database is very advantageous to any healthcare practice; it eliminates the extra time it takes for doctors to research specialists for their patients. Having a referral program with both dental and other healthcare providers will greatly benefit your patients by providing them with a diverse amount of resources, beneficial for various patient cases.

Adding your practice to an online database also builds your online presence and increases the opportunity for incoming referrals from other clinics. Grow your practice and patient numbers through networking with other providers.

4. Convert to a digital practice

Converting to a digital practice will create an accessible and organized clinic. Waiting lists for appointments today can be weeks long. Allow patients to fill out health and consent forms online, prior to appointments. This will reduce waiting periods and allow you to see more patients per day.

Connect with other physicians through eConsultation platforms to speed up the process of scheduling appointments. Research shows that delayed patient care may result in unfinished cases. Consequently, patients lose a sense of urgency if they are not seen right away which may damage their health. Case collaboration in real time through instant messaging or video calling is more efficient than faxing papers or waiting for emails so you can complete more cases.

Going digital will save you from hours of mundane administrative work that comes with your practice. Using electronic medical records (EMRs) provide a secure organized means of storing patient information. Management tools for healthcare providers are available with EMR integration features so your practice is available to you on any device, wherever you are. Creating an accessible practice will benefit both you and your patients as time sensitive tasks can be completed outside of the office as well.

5. Interact on social media 

The most common way for people to find businesses is through social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are well known platforms and your clinic should actively engage on. Build your followers and post relevant content to your practice: articles, promotions, case studies.

What types of posts goes on each account?

Twitter 

You can interact with your followers through twitter by sending out polls. Gather feedback from patients and other clinics on services, new technology, and other aspects of your practice. By engaging with your followers in this way, your patients sense that your practice’s primary focus is on their healthcare and satisfaction. Connect with other practices as well and build a network (and increase referrals!).

Facebook

Facebook has hundreds of healthcare related groups which you should join; share information about your practice, the services you provide, technology you use, ad build connections with other specialists in your area. Facebook users are more responsive to still images rather than animations; use this platform as an opportunity to share testimonials from patients.

Instagram

Instagram mainly focuses on photos; insta-users are going to skip passed long, wordly posts. Engage your Instagram followers through photos of your medical team, patients, and tell a story through your posts. Since the platform is more light-hearted, common posts include memes and gifs which can be funny and relatable for your followers.

Optimize the resources available to you and revolutionize the way you run your practice. Bring new patients to your clinic through these methods and keep your schedule filled while attending to more people than before.

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