Targeting Top-quality Patients
In today’s ever-changing healthcare arena, its difficult to be a medical provider. What’s more, finding top-quality, educated, insured and motivated patients can be an enormous challenge. Gone are the days of a passive marketing presence for the independent provider – wait too long and competitors will gobble up your market share! Act strategically and you might just be able to attract new patients and secure your future as an independent provider.
But how do you attract top patients? We’re talking about the kind of person who is well-educated, motivated about their care and the care of their family and insured. Here are three of our favorite ways to bring these new patients into your practice.
Online Profiles and “Find a Doctor” Websites
Everyone knows the extent at which patients are using the internet to find doctors and other healthcare providers. But do you know the magnitude with which these top patients use sites like findadoc.com and HealthGrades.com are used?
HealthGrades indicates that over 9 million unique visitors use the site to search for physicians each month. And they track and post some impressive qualities for their users – they are college-educated (84%), commercially insured (84%), and motivated (82% of visitors are planning a doctor’s visit in the next 30 days.) Sound like the type of patient you want to see?
But how do these sites work? Third-party data is used to populate generic physician, dentist and nursing home profiles. Consumers view these profiles and, in turn, select the provider who best fits their needs. But, the generic data says little about you as a provider. And, the better your profile, the more likely you are to connect with a patient. Many sites allow providers to log-in and customize their profiles for free, even upload photos and video, to better tell consumers about your practice philosophies. Invest some time in improving your online brand and you’ll connect with these top patients!
Extreme-targeted Direct Mail
Still using a geographic and income bracket to target your direct mail? That’s a good start, but did you know you can purchase mail lists based on disease propensity? Thanks to today’s technologies, direct mail companies are specializing even further in the area of targeted marketing. Specializing in lipidology? Purchase mail lists for hypertension. Orthopaedic surgeon? Target arthritics!
Take super-targeted mail one step further and use variable printing to really make a statement. Variable printing allows you to take your mail list and create a visual “mail merge” of sorts, printing different graphics to match your demographic, addressing the consumer by name in the artwork itself or even place entirely new copy for a given “criteria.” Targeting motivated people at their time of need and customizing your message helps you get noticed and get results!
To a medical provider, a self-motivated patient with a desire to learn and manage their condition is a dream come true. But how do you attract these types of people. Information. Give it to them, at their fingertips. This group of people can’t learn enough about their condition, an upcoming surgery or the recovery process. With so many sources for patient education today, make sure you become the resource. Don’t let patients slip away to WebMD.com, hospital websites or worse yet, the education they’ll get from an online forum.
Produce your own arsenal of patient education materials and distribute it wherever possible. Distribute printed materials to referring providers, in your office and at community events. Translate these materials to the web whenever possible. If at all possible, consider audio or video segments for both online use and for paid media like TV and radio. Become the knowledge source for these info-hungry patients, brand the materials with your practice image and feel good that you’ve done your service to provide a great education source to the community in the meantime.
For more information about targeting top patients, growing your practice or better establishing your brand in the community, contact us today!