When medical students are concentrating on preparing for anatomy tests and attempting to remember endless lists of diseases and conditions, I doubt the thought of “How will I get patients in my door?” ever crosses their minds.
I read a blog the other day with a few suggestions on how hospitals should utilize their website to bring patients in to their facility. There are usually not hospitals on every corner whereas, it can seem like you can’t throw something and miss a physician’s office. This increases the competition for patient business exponentially over that of hospitals. So if a “business machine” like a hospital needs help with their “web presence” to entice patients, private practice physicians must be in dire straits in that department.
The suggestions posted for hospitals were: provide a toll-free customer support number, add trust indicators, and include testimonials.
I think with some minor adaptations we can follow their reasoning and come up with some good suggestions to increase the flow of customers to your medical practice.
I do not see any advantage to a toll-free number, but a prominently displayed contact number and address with available directions is very important content for your website.
I also suggest avoiding the “press a number for your party and leave a message” as the only option with your automated telephone answering system. People like to speak to humans, always have this as an option.
Your credentials are another highly valuable addition to your website. At the bare minimum, provide details of your professional degrees as well as internship, fellowship and residency completions. Patients are interested in their physicians’ training and will have increased confidence when able to easily see this information.
You can really impress patients by also including any medical publications you have authored, lectures or teaching participations, etc. It’s perfectly okay to boast a little, be proud of the knowledge and expertise that you can provide for your patients.
When patients love their doctor, they love to tell other people. If you have some particularly enthusiast patients, go ahead, ask for a testimonial. Just be sure to keep to a first name basis for privacy sake, like: Sally says, “I am so happy I found Dr. Smith. I have never felt better.”
Physician referrals and “industry” word of mouth are significant factors patients consider when selecting a provider. Always try to cultivate good professional relationships with local hospitals and other physicians and don’t forget to “return the favor” for those who regard highly as well.
See the Medical Business Systems website for more insight on creating a successful medical practice with Iridium Suite Practice Management Software.