A solid reputation is a key part of any sound marketing strategy. Favorable impressions and positive word of mouth can go a long way in attracting new patients and driving referrals—particularly for specialty practices. One method for boosting a practice’s reputation is to cultivate happy patients. Engaging in your patients’ care, along with positive clinical and financial experiences, they are more likely to return and even share opinions with friends and family.
While building a reputation takes effort, there are some quick and easy actions providers can pursue that will yield results that don’t require a lot of staff time, making them an efficient way to leave a lasting impression.
Send convenient reminders.
Although the idea of nudging patients about upcoming appointments or the need to schedule a follow-up visit is not new, practices have sometimes struggled with how to consistently perform this task without swallowing staff time. By using a text message reminder solution such as NexReminder, practices can set up automated reminders that go directly to a patient’s phone, allowing the individual to text back a confirmation. Not only is this convenient for the patient, but confirmations are displayed in the practice’s scheduling program, showing the patient has committed to the appointment.
Communicate outside the patient visit.
When practices communicate with patients outside their regular appointments, it can help patients feel valued and cared for. Direct messaging through a patient portal program is a safe and secure option in which providers can share timely information in a HIPAA-compliant format. For example, physicians can send test results and educational information, and patients can ask questions and express concerns.
Prioritize face time.
In addition to communicating between visits, it is critical that physicians are fully focused on the patient during the onsite appointment. However, if the provider is busy typing at the computer instead of interacting with the patient, it can give patients a negative perception of their visit. By using cloud-based or mobile solutions that streamline care documentation and allow for greater flexibility, providers can spend more time engaging with patients. Providers also have the ability to view x-rays and other images directly in the patient’s record; they no longer have to search for these items, further freeing them to foster the patient relationship.
Ensure a smooth payment experience.
From the moment a patient walks into your practice to the moment they leave, you are making an impression. Giving clear information about what a patient owes, having compassionate conversations about payment and offering easy payment methods can facilitate a good financial experience. Practices can use revenue cycle management technology to provide upfront estimates for patients having procedures. They can also suggest payment plans, take credit cards, provide web-based payment options and so on.
By leveraging technology to engage patients, practices can easily nurture relationships, increase satisfaction and drive more referrals. These user-friendly solutions can help market a practice without overtaxing staff.