How to Specialize in Patient-Centered Marketing
03.27.2012 - Posted By: Tiffany Vogel-Boots - Senior Copywriter
Every patient wants to feel special. Listened to. Respected. It doesn’t matter what the persons’ age. Fortunately, there are doctors out there who really know how to make each patient feel as if he or she the only person that doctor sees. These doctors take the time to explain. To follow-up. To calm nerves. They forge a relationship. And if cultivated, it can last a lifetime.
So, as a marketer, how do you make sure caring bedside manner goes beyond the bedside? Here are some thoughts:
Encourage doctors to know patients. There’s nothing like a doctor or staff member who jots down (or types up) personal notes in your chart and then asks you about your family or career each time they see you. CRM is an effective way to help personalize the patient experience.
Have your doctors pick up the phone. Skype. Send a text. Shoot an email. Doctors who dedicate some time each day or week to follow-up with patients who’ve had a surgery or procedure are proving just how important their patients are to them. Doctors might not make house calls anymore, but they can still make contact with patients at home. It could be as easy as picking up the phone. Telemedicine – where doctors video conference with patients – is gaining in popularity as well.
Also, a friendly text or email reminding a patient of an appointment is usually a welcome gesture. More and more, doctors are also reminding patients via an email blast to use up their insurance benefits before the year’s end.
Keep the lines of communication open even when the office is closed. No patient likes having to wait for the doctor’s office to open on Monday morning to schedule an appointment to address whatever happened over the weekend. For those doctors whose websites don’t have it already, creating a patient portal allows people to schedule appointments online, ask questions, access their electronic medical records, pay bills and refill prescriptions.
Share the knowledge. For the most part, patients want to be informed. Which is why websites like WebMed are so popular. Recommend your doctors invest in a couple of iPads for their lobbies. Have them bookmark relevant sites and download helpful and healthy apps. If they have blogs, Twitter or Facebook accounts, make sure patients can easily see those, too.
Have any other ideas on how to keep the patient front and center? Let us know your thoughts.