Three Ways Practices can Maximize their Biggest Assets: Patients

May 1, 2014

Attracting more patients to your medical practice and retaining them is easier than you might think. Here are three tips.

Quick … what is the biggest asset in your practice?  Your MRI machine? Your physicians or staff? Your EHR system? Nope! It's your patients. So why aren’t most practices maximizing their biggest assets?

Most of the time it is because practices don't realize the importance of maximizing their patients, and once they do realize how important it is they don’t know how to do it. 

Here are three big ways to maximize your current patients:

1. Keeping accurate records of how patients found your office. This past week while working with a client, we went to pull marketing metrics and we found that the front-desk staff wasn’t asking patients how they heard about the clinic. Even when the patient did provide this information staff wasn't inputting it into the EHR.

That meant the practice didn't know what patient marketing strategies were working.

By simply asking and recording how patients found your practice, you can run reports to determine where your patients hang out (online, newspapers, radio, direct mail, etc.). Taking that a step further, if you have narrowed down your ideal patient by an insurance carrier, you can identify where those patients are finding you and develop your marketing in that area.

2. Capturing every patient's e-mail address and permission. Another client had a similar problem with e-mail addresses. The front-office staff had documentation that patients WANTED to be contacted via e-mail, but the staff failed to ask for the e-mail address when the patient overlooked that information on the intake forms.

Staying in touch with your current patients via regular, informative e-mails keeps you top-of-mind when things arise. Collecting e-mail addresses gives you the least expensive and most measurable way to reach out in mass.

Just this past week, one client’s stay-in-touch marketing campaign went out to its patients, and the practice found 19 patients willing to help with a new test they had added. They didn’t have staff calling and bugging patients, the patients self-selected to be contacted about the new offering.

How would 19 return office visits plus in-house testing affect your bottom line?

3. Excelling in patient service. Service is key to success. You can drive all of the new patients through marketing that you want, but if they get to the office and have a bad experience with your receptionist, nurse, or provider, it was all a wasted effort.

Ensure that your office staff is thoroughly trained in all aspects of customer service, and try to find a customer service program that addresses the specific challenges that face office staff in the medical field.

All of this is simple food for thought to help you realize the importance of maximizing your greatest asset: your patients.