It may seem redundant to talk about a patient centric approach to healthcare; after all, without patients, there would be no healthcare industry.
Unfortunately, even the best providers can sometimes get so embroiled in paperwork, regulations, insurance submissions, and professional certifications that actual patient care takes a backseat.
Are you ready to bring the focus back where it belongs — on the patient? Get started with these tips for patient centric marketing.
Five Ways to Take a Patient Centric Approach to Marketing
Embrace the Digital Age
The marketing landscape has been altered forever with the rise of digital marketing and social media. Patients are more empowered than ever before to make choices about their care, based on reviews, social engagement, and the very websites of the practitioners. While word of mouth and traditional advertising avenues are still valuable, you have to present yourself well online, too.
Listening is Key to Patient Centric Marketing
Perhaps the most crucial element of all of this is simply listening to what patients have to say. You can do this by asking current patients to fill out online surveys, by inviting them to leave feedback and reviews, and by engaging with them on social media sites.
Be prepared to respond to feedback professionally and helpfully. Patients need to know that they are being heard; if they feel that their opinions are falling on deaf ears, they will likely turn elsewhere for their care.
See Negative Reviews As an Opportunity
Online reviews can be a great way to drive business to your clinic or practice, but they can also be damaging — if they aren’t handled well. In other words, your response to a negative review can be just as influential as receiving a positive review.
Consumers understand that misunderstandings and bad experiences happen. In fact, they’ll be skeptical and suspicious if all the reviews on Google, Yelp or Facebook are glowing ones. But they’ll be looking to your response to gauge your professionalism and commitment to a patient centric practice.
Invite Discussion on Social Media Sites
One reason that social media has exploded in the past decade or so is that it allows anyone a platform on which to express themselves. Your social media strategy can take advantage of that. When you post content — whether it’s an informative blog post or a YouTube video — don’t be shy about asking followers to comment with their experience or opinion.
As with reviews, you’ll want to respond whenever possible and appropriate. Not only does this establish your credibility, but it can also help showcase your personality. Understanding patient concerns goes a long way toward building a relationship of trust.
Make Communication Easy
In addition to leveraging social media, online reviews, and other digital marketing approaches, make sure your website is approachable. Every page should include the vitals — address, phone number, hours of operation, and a contact form. List the insurance providers you accept and the services you provide.
For established patients, a healthcare portal allows for convenient communication. Here, they can see medical records, request prescription refills, see lab results, request appointments, or send messages. Allowing people to select their preferred method of communication is critical to your patient centric strategy.
Have you begun to implement a patient centric marketing plan? What have you learned so far? Let us know in the comments!