Internal Marketing for Your Healthcare Practice– January 09, 2017

After patients come in the door of your medical practice, internal marketing becomes a powerful tool. Your marketing efforts becomes less about media and more about processes and the behaviors of physicians and staff.

Internal Strategies

To improve patient retention and encourage new patients from within your practice, focus on patient relationships. For example, among other things, it’s important to:

  • Be likable and work on your communication skills — this can be a key factor in getting patients to return;

  • Stay in contact (both professionally and socially) with other physicians who will, as a result, refer patients to your practice;

  • Make timely follow-up phone calls to patients;

  • Return reports to referring physicians in a timely fashion;

  • Create brochures and business cards for the office that highlight the practice’s areas of expertise and provide health care information; and

  • Ask satisfied patients to refer friends and relatives to you.

4 Tracking Methods

Develop ways to track your marketing efforts. This will help you evaluate return on investment (ROI). Here are four basic tracking methods:

  1. Ask new patients how they heard about the practice. But don’t just ask — track it! Document it, preferably somewhere in the practice management software.

  2. Monitor how much income a referring patient brings into the practice. If you review this quarterly, trends often appear. Maybe Mary Smith has referred six new patients, adding up to $17,500 worth of work. In that case, you might want to reward her. Check with your health care attorney or other professional before deciding on a reward.

  3. Code your marketing materials. Whether it’s a flyer, a newspaper ad or a website, place a code on it — even just a number. If a new patient calls for an appointment, ask how they heard about the practice and ask for the code. This will help you measure the effectiveness of various marketing efforts.

  4. Develop incentives. This can give a marketing technique some urgency. An incentive can be as simple as offering the patient a $5 or $10 gift card if he or she mentions a particular flyer/coupon or brings it into the office by a certain date.

Take Aim

Remember, marketing a medical practice without pinpointing exactly what you’re trying to accomplish is like shooting arrows without a target. Don’t waste your energy or marketing dollars. Decide on a goal, execute appropriate marketing efforts and track your results!
 
Read our related blog on getting patients in the door. Contact Kathy Walsh at kwalsh@cohencpa.com for more information.
 
Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts and circumstances.