Whether you’ve just opened your medical clinic or you’ve been in business for years, trying to persuade individuals to entrust you with their health and wellbeing isn’t as easy as it sounds. Asserting yourself as an authority in your field of medicine while also displaying your practice as an efficient, high-quality, and reputable healthcare facility that cares about their patients takes time, money, resources, and planning. While there are a number of avenues you could consider to bring in new patients, here are a few options that have worked successfully.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Target Patients
If you’re going to effectively market your medical practice to obtain new patients, you have to have a clear understanding of the people within the community you serve. What is the average age, race, and gender in the area? What medical conditions most frequently plague the community you’re in? Doing your research to get the answers to these questions can help you create an efficient marketing plan that actually speaks to your target audience.
Customize Your Services to Meet Patient Needs
Now that you have an understanding of the types of patients that live and/or work near your medical practice, you can use this information to customize your services to accommodate their needs. For example, if your practice is in a predominantly Hispanic area, you might consider hiring someone who has a medical interpreter certification to help translate communications between doctors and patients. If a majority of the population struggles with long-term conditions like diabetes, you might consider hiring an endocrinologist and a nutritionist to provide specialized treatment to those in need.
Other ways to customize your services might include offering early morning, late night, or weekend hours, allowing walk-ins, and perhaps telemedicine options for patients that have busy schedules.
Offer Free Services
While your practice wouldn’t survive long if you never charged a cent to your patients, offering free services to new patients can get them in the door to see what else you have to offer. You could advertise free physicals and eye exams in August or September for kids going back to school. You might periodically offer free diabetes testing or blood pressure checks for seniors. As people flock to your practice for free services, you now have an opportunity to talk with them and further build a connection that convinces them to enroll as a new patient.
Find Ways to Make Services Affordable
The cost of healthcare is overwhelming for millions of Americans. If you’re going to attract patients to your practice, you have to find a way to put a dent in these costs. This includes accepting an array of health insurance types, pricing your services competitively, and having reasonable solutions for patients like financing or payment arrangements.
Host or Attend a Health Fair
Health fairs have become a very popular method for reaching out to the community. Businesses, schools, and local government offices often try to put such events together to give back to the community. Healthcare professionals ranging from doctors and dentists to optometrists and nutritionists come together to offer free medical services while also advertising their services to visitors. Why not host one of your own or attend an already established fair to get your name out there? You could hand out business cards, medical pamphlets, or have interested parties complete new patient intake forms right on the spot.
Work With Other Medical Professionals
Not every medical professional is your competition. If you’re going to try and acquire new patients, it’s highly recommended that you build a network and work together. For instance, if you’re in a complex with a dentist and an optometrist, you can ask them to refer you to patients or leave business cards and other promotional products in the waiting area as long as you promise to do the same on your end.
Follow-Through With Quality Care
Last, but certainly not least, if you’re going to acquire new patients, you have to follow through by providing them with quality care. If you’ve been successful in marketing your brand but then patients show up and aren’t satisfied, it kind of defeats the purpose. So make sure that you have a clean and safe environment for your patients to visit, well-trained staff with a good bedside manner, and efficient processes for getting patients seen sooner rather than later.
You also want to make sure that your medical practice is equipped with the necessary tools and software to provide accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment options to improve the quality of patient lives.
There’s no way around it, without new patients coming in regularly, your medical practice will not survive very long. Therefore, it is essential that doctors continue to look for innovative ways like those discussed above to assert themselves as a healthcare leader, market their practices, and cultivate relationships with members of the community they serve.