What does it take to attract and connect with patients? The answer to that question has changed drastically over the past decade. A private healthcare practice looking for a steady flow of new patients cannot succeed today with just local print ads and word-of-mouth. Similarly, practices that use the phone as a primary mode of patient communication cannot effectively drive retention. Patients have become more selective in their preferences, and the desire for technology is clear.
For years, healthcare providers have recognized that patient interaction lives online and thrives digitally. Yet, many don’t take advantage of it. That was the inspiration for the start of PatientPop in 2014.
While talking with the company founders about business issues, physicians shared one of their biggest worries: knowing that patients look for care options online but not knowing how to meet them there.
That’s usually where the need for medical marketing starts. Practices (businesses in general) will often consider a website as the obvious first tool. It secures their online presence, and includes the information they feel is most important for prospective patients.
To either launch or improve their website, a practice could hire a website development agency, and hope that people in the community find their site when it’s complete.
But where do your promotional and communication needs go from there? And how can you add more?
How “step-by-step” becomes a slippery slope
Hoping that patients find your website just isn’t enough. A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy has to be applied, maintained, and updated, to best position the practice website within search results.
If that website agency included SEO tactics as part of their services, great. That doesn’t necessarily address your business profiles on websites like Google, Yelp, and WebMD, but it’s a start.
If they didn’t include SEO services, or SEO is not their strong suit, you may be looking for an SEO company or agency next. They’ll audit your site and overall web presence, establish the right keywords and content for your potential patients, and enact more changes to your website.
But the SEO agency may need the website development agency to give them access to the backend of your website. Or, the two vendors may need to sync up and collaborate on adjustments and enhancements.
All the while, you’re likely managing both. And paying for both.
As you continue to maintain relationships and payments with two vendors, your practice recognizes the need for a third digital tool, an online reputation management service, to build up your online review presence.
If neither of the first two vendors offers that (and they likely don’t), you’ll need to find yet another service — with another service contract and another monthly payment.
Months later, or perhaps with the next annual budget, the practice may want to add a text messaging service to improve patient communications… or a digital fax service to save time… an analytics tool to track practice performance metrics…
Of course, this is a hypothetical example, but it’s not unrealistic. It’s a simple way to show how a piecemeal approach to practice management — adding one technology tool at a time — can leave a private practice vulnerable to needing more, caught in a complicated and costly situation.
The benefits of an all-in-one platform for healthcare practices
Private practices have to deal with ongoing issues that have more to do with running a business than caring for patients. Landlords, equipment suppliers, staff, EMR and IT support — they all need to be managed or sought out for assistance.
The last thing a practice manager or solo practitioner needs is more contacts, more software, more tools, and more costs. Rather than address their technology needs on an ad hoc basis, practices have greater opportunities and far fewer hassles when one service puts everything in one place.
An all-in-one platform (as PatientPop offers) integrates a selection of tools into a single, unified solution that makes it easier to accomplish more — and highlights the shortsightedness of piecemeal purchases.
What are the benefits of an all-in-one practice platform?
- Can address multiple touchpoints across the patient experience
- Works seamlessly between tools and services
- Practice managers and staff access everything from one place
- Can be continually enhanced to benefit the entire solution
- One point of contact, one cost, one software platform
- A single source of transparent reporting; tracking practice performance
Preparing for the near-future of practice growth
In the PatientPop 2020 practice growth survey report, healthcare providers listed an easier workflow and less administrative work as two top goals for their practice (more revenue was third).
With mounting challenges to practices and expanded choice for patients, the near-future of practice success depends on efficiencies that are integrated with powerful tactics for patient acquisition and satisfaction.
An all-in-one platform helps practices achieve those workflow goals, meet today’s patient demand and lead their market — from SEO mastery and online reputation management, to automated patient communication and email marketing.