Building a strong referral network is an essential part of ensuring your group private practice is a success. For many, the primary source of new patients is other medical providers, so practices invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in quality associates and depend on the referrals they generate.
The problem is, 68% of referred patients search online for the provider they were referred to, and often what they find does not lead them to the correct provider and/or practice.
Instead, your potential patients may see a range of other providers with a similar specialty (giving them many alternative choices to research) or the previous practice of one of your providers (leading them to book an appointment with a different practice).
This creates a broad opportunity for your competitors to acquire and retain the patients that were meant for your providers and your business.
How does this happen?
Usually, when a patient is referred to your practice and one of your healthcare providers, the patient doesn’t have much prior knowledge about your business, your brand, or your website.
That means that if your practice hasn’t kept up to date with your providers’ online profiles, or structured the source code on your practice website correctly, patients may find search results on Google that don’t highlight (or aren’t related) to your practice.
As a result, your prospective patients can easily be lost to other providers or practices that come up in the patient’s online search.
How to determine if you have this problem
Perform an online search for all of your providers by name, using Google. Look closely at the results displayed. If you see any instances listed below, chances are your practice website and online profiles aren’t structured properly and need some work.
Look out for the following:
- Missing practice information
- Incorrect provider phone numbers
- Incorrect provider address
- Missing practice website (when you look for each provider)
- Links to the wrong website, such as a hospital or a provider’s former employer
In addition, do your referred patients see a number of great reviews when they search for one of your providers? Seventy-two percent of patients report that they look to online reviews first to select a new provider. However, many practices struggle with poor provider reviews, a limited number of provider reviews, or both. You’ll want to make sure you aren’t in this category!
Fortunately, lost patient revenue is avoidable. You can make it much easier for people to find your practice, and get what they need from your provider reviews to feel comfortable becoming a recurring patient.
Ultimately, your practice should dominate the search results when anyone looks for one of your providers, with multiple links to your website, and strong provider reviews left by satisfied patients.
Ensuring your practice has this type of presence starts with a comprehensive audit for all of your providers, across the main factors that contribute to the online referred patient experience.
Click here for a complimentary audit, with actionable insights to diagnose and fix any referral issues now.