Category Archives: Marketing

Are You Managing Your phones or Are They Managing You?

CallCenter79999Patients expectations for service are always increasing and call center training is a crucial part of the puzzle. Improving performance management and training best practices in the call center is key to keeping your patients happy. Here are six steps for improving you call center:

1) Revamp the hiring and training process:

One of the best methods to uplift your call center quality is by improving the service levels. Effective training and coaching practices can make your agents highly proficient and at the same time will help them in aligning their individual goals. However, this is only possible if you hire reps with the right set of skills and thereafter train them to excel in their role.

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Advice For A New Physician

Advice for a New Physician
If you’re a new physician looking for employment it can be a daunting task. All of a sudden you are thrust into the job market and knowing where to invest your time can be tricky. You don’t want to be forced to take a job you don’t particularly like, or be stuck with no viable options. The best way to conduct a job search in the current market is to do your research and think outside the box.

1. Cast a Wider Net
Some physicians are overwhelmed by the variety of choices and unaccustomed to negotiating for a job, new doctors often wind up in positions that are a bad fit for them, and they move on after just a few years.

A common mistake is only focusing your job search in one location. That narrow approach could force you into a job you don’t really like. Think about it: you’re so focused on just the location of a prospective job that you forget to zero-in on more important things like the salary and benefits. Does this job have a lot of on-call time? Is there room for growth? Concentrating on one aspect of a job leaves you open to disappointment in the long run. Your dream job may not be in the location you think it should be.

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Scaling up a Surgical Practice

Adding more doctors to your practice might be a smart move for smaller practices. Yes, the added cost can be expensive but for most doctors it is well worth it. Smaller practices have struggled more and more recently. It is harder to keep doctors in smaller practices when the payoffs are not as big but the responsibilities are greater. You might be stuck deciding what path to take to grow your practice; here are four ways to scale up:
1) Satellite Offices
Scaling up the practices can occur a few different ways. One way would be opening satellite offices as a means to create more revenue and patient. Making the practice more accessible to patients will help you engage new patients you wouldn’t have seen otherwise as well as utilizing more doctors. Life at a larger practiced is more varied. In a big practice, physicians might spend time pursuing special interests or research. Options for part-time work are more available at a larger practice where responsibilities aren’t piled on between one or two physicians. The larger practice setting can also provide economic benefits for the physician.
2) Updating Technology
Utilizing EMR systems and updating software regularly will help with patient flow and wait times. The more organized the practice is, especially a larger office, the more patients can be seen. Implementing new technology can be stressful but if you are dedicated to growing the practice you and your staff must be able to adapt. Practices that are most successful are the most adaptable to change.
3) Adding Ancillary Services
Are you commonly outsourcing an ancillary service that fits with your current and potential patient population? Integrating services needed by your inbound and outbound referrals provides you with a patient-centered continuum of care with the goal of improving continuity of care, compliance and outcomes.
4) Broaden the Types of Specialists in the Practice
Thinking outside the box will help the practice achieve success. Giving patients the option of alternative treatment plans is becoming more popular as patients have greater access to knowledge about treatment options from online resources.
Whatever route you choose to scale up your practice, remember it is important to know that these changes take time. Whether you plan to add more physician, satellite offices or ancillary services each step to grow the practice will ultimately make your practice stronger and more profitable for the future.

Healthcare Marketing: Why it is Important for Your Practice

Medical practice marketing is now a fairly common concept for many physicians. Every practice should have a healthcare marketing strategy in place so you can market your practice better to current and future patients. How important is the marketing strategy in healthcare? It is important today than ever before; not only do patients use websites and other forms of social media to find physicians to treat them, but healthcare workers looking for jobs use them as well.

A practice website is invaluable to your marketing strategy. Posting blogs regularly on your website allows your practice to have a greater visibility online and helps you connect with your patients. Use what you know about patient demographics and what topics would be most educational. You may even want to focus on frequently asked questions most of your patients and give them answers. Keeping information you provide current and relevant is important for establishing credibility both online and in-person.

Healthcare evolves continuously so you must consider the changes and adapt while keeping patients informed. The way you market your practice is a reflection of how well you know your practice. Also, understand that marketing strategies will be subject to change as well. The tactics that worked five or ten years ago do not apply today. Knowing who you are marketing to including patients and potential employees is important. Strategies for marketing are different depending on who you are marketing to. You might attend annual conferences and bring brochures that highlight what your practice has to offer as well as the work environment. Meanwhile, your waiting room may have brochures that answer common questions and give information about chronic diseases or preventative care. Your website should have similar information in case people are looking up the practice online. You also want to have information about the doctors at the practice and their backgrounds. Whether you are marketing to patients or physicians you should have a strategy in place that is structured but also flexible.

Physician Reputation Management

Physicians have the responsibility to keep track of their online reputation. More so now than ever patients are using websites to get a better feel for a practice prior to making an appointment. Most physicians may not take the time to see what types of reviews patients are giving them and this could be detrimental, especially if the negative remarks outweigh the positive ones. Technology makes it easy for patients to go online and write a review about their experience, they can even write reviews within minutes of leaving the office, which makes the remarks difficult to control. Online reputation management should be a key component in your practice�s business plan.

Physicians should be proactive about their online presence and assign a person in the office who will keep track of social media. Even if some physicians are not online their names, complaints or compliments about them probably are. Create a website for your practice that is user friendly; give patients access to what your practice offers as well as bios on the physicians, PA�S and NP�S you employ. Keep the bios current and make changes if and when a person leaves the practice. Patients will appreciate your updates and it shows that you take an interest in your practice and more importantly you take an interest in how your patients view your practice.

Consistency is imperative when talking about online reputation management. Your reputation lives in two places: online and in-person; pay attention to both. Keep a sign in the waiting room saying you value patient feedback and give them an email address or phone number where they can give comments about the visit. If a patient has a visit that they feel was rushed or just satisfactory then supply him/her with a response and explains how their visits going forward will be improved. Patients might think that the wait time is too long or they may feel like physicians are rushing and you may not be aware of this because you think that everything is going smoothly when it is not. If patients feel comfortable enough telling you or another member of your staff how the appointment went, then they may not feel the need to write about it on other websites.

Physicians know that their reputation is a significant factor in determining patient volume and satisfaction and therefore they need to manage their online reputation. By keeping track of what is being written about the practice you will be able to increase patient satisfaction and decrease the likelihood of negative comments impacting your practice.

6 Ways to Improve Patient Retention

For many medical practices retaining patients is an unspoken challenge. Of course there are always going to be patients and physicians to treat them but during a time of change in healthcare it is increasingly difficult to retain patients. There are six simple ways to help keep your practice on track:

Marketing
Marketing your practice the correct way will help increase patient retention. A lot of practices still don�t utilize the technology that is available and this can negatively impact their practice. Contacting patients through Email, making them aware of the services your practice offers, is one way to stay in touch with patients. Your online presence plays a huge role in how accessible you are to patients. Creating a website and keeping it updated regularly will also be in your best interest.

Proper Scheduling /Wait-time
When the office gets busy, sometimes appointments can get backed up. Many patients have busy schedules as well and you don�t want to keep them waiting around. Be realistic about how long it will take the physician to see the patient and schedule accordingly. Patient wait-time can negatively impact your practice and cause you to lose patients. The more organized the office is at the start of the appointment (check-in) the less confusion and idle time there will be.

Follow-up

Schedule a time in the day for the physician to follow-up with patients. Regularly notify patients of upcoming appointments either by email or telephone. Not only will patients feel like a priority but the practice will operate more smoothly if you can plan ahead for canceled appointments or changes.

Physician interaction
The amount of time the physician is spending with patients matters. A physician can be outside of the room looking at the patient�s chart for 15-20 minutes and then go into the room and speak to them for 5 minutes. A patient is not seeing the amount of time the physician spent on his/her case and that can be discouraging to the patient. The physician should spend more time with the patient; going over the chart and plan for care with the patient in the room will be beneficial to you and the patient.

Telephone
Patients value how telephone communications are handled by the practice. Have a protocol for answering and transferring phone calls; the last thing you need is a patient complaining about rude front desk receptionists. You don�t want there to be communication gaps; make sure the staff notifies the physician of important calls as they come in.

Answering Questions
Sometimes patients may have questions or concerns that come up after their appointment and this is expected, but planning ahead is essential. Be prepared. Make sure the office has pamphlets and other material that will be useful to patients and answers common questions about care and treatment. Try to answer as many questions before the patient leaves the office so the receptionists won�t be fielding questions to the physician all day, which takes up a lot of time.

Retaining patients should be a top priority and ensuring you are able to create good relationships with patients depends on how well the practice functions on a daily basis. Making small changes that enhance patient experience and organization will have long-lasting effects.

Reviewing an Orthopedic Practice’s Ancillaries

An Orthopedic Practice should like about reviewing ancillary services by looking at which procedures and tests your practice is referring out. Building practice profitability require sufficient time and effort. Having a marketing plan in place and considering the amount of time, staffing and space needed will help create a new form of revenue for the practice.

For some physicians, the decision to add ancillary services is a matter of survival rather than a choice. Before this becomes the case, carefully assess where the market potential is. Does you practice contract out to physical therapists and ambulatory surgery centers? Design a marketing plan for adding ancillary services and market to your patients accordingly. Marketing to the public might take more time but convenience and patient health will help add revenue. Understand the location of your practice and what medical procedures might be underserved in that area in order to better serve patients.

Hiring a Medical Marketer for Your Practice

Physicians may not see the benefits in hiring a medical marketer but good marketing can help double or triple your current business. Of Course you’d want to hire an experienced marketer with a resume to back it up; a marketer’s salary can be high depending on what state your practice is located in. You don’t want to be paying a marketer to do a job they are not equipped to do that’s why a candidate needs ample experience listed on his/her resume.

Medical practices are using more technology than ever before and patients can search for a practice on the internet before making an appointment. A marketer can help advertise for your practice on social media and manage your practice’s website. Also, a medical marketer should be utilized to handle public relations; this means they may be working odd hours and not the typical 9 to 5 work day. Remember that a medical marketer does not need a healthcare degree, but he/she should have a good understanding of your practice and your practice’s specialty. A degree in business/marketing may be more suitable, but someone who has worked with a hospital or medical practice before is a necessity. You do not want a marketer who has zero experience working with some type of medical practice. If you feel like your practice can’t afford a new hire you may want to ask your office manager if they can fulfill some of the marketing tasks, but make sure your office manager is on board with these new responsibilities. You want to see results and if your office manager can’t commit to that then you should talk to a financial consultant and see if you can budget to afford a medical marketer even if it’s just part time.

Take the proper steps to hire a medical marketer and be involved in the hiring process. Medical marketers can really help a practice on so many levels; it’s better to hire someone else to do the marketing than trying to treat patients and keep track of public relations and social media.

10 Great Ways to Jumpstart Your Spine Practice Marketing Program

What is marketing, and how does it apply to your spine practice? By definition marketing is the process of creating, distributing, promoting, and pricing goods, services, and ideas to facilitate satisfying exchange relationships with customers in a dynamic environment. The basic goal is to market your product/service in order to bring in new customers and therefore increase your sales. So what does this really mean in regards to your spine practice? Marketing for a new spine practice aims to provide information to promote your practice in order to attract new patients to your practice for care.

It is important to work with a clearly defined marketing plan and budget. Remember that marketing does not always have to be extremely costly. There are some really great ways to market your practice that are also very cost effective. Also, be creative in regards to your marketing efforts, the goal is to make your practice stand out from the competition. Read on to learn 10 tips on marketing your spine practice.

1. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Implement a data tracking system. When a new patient comes to you for care find out how they heard about your practice. Perhaps this is great question to add to your initial “new patient” paperwork. If you begin to gather marketing data, you can analyze the data in the future to learn what marketing tools really work to bring in new business. Analyzing your marketing referrals will allow you to allocate additional marketing dollars where it really counts.

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In-Demand Healthcare Occupations

Healthcare occupations are projected to grow exponentially over the next ten years. The healthcare field is expected to produce 3.2 million jobs from 2010-2020. That’s faster than the average growth for any other occupation. We wanted to give you a look at the top healthcare jobs that are projected to grow rapidly.  Here are some of jobs that are most in-demand:

Registered Nurse

Nurses are the most in demand when it comes to healthcare jobs. There will be a 48% growth by the year 2020 for nursing jobs, and over 580,000 new jobs created by 2020. Nurses take on more responsibility in the treatment of patients which is a cost saving measure; thus creating a demand. The median salary for a nurse is $64,690 with the opportunity for growth.

Medical Assistant

Medical Assistants are projected to grow 34% by 2020. Job opportunities should be abundant for MA’s with formal training.  Medical Assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians and other healthcare professionals. The median salary is $28,860.

Home Health Aide

Home Health Aide jobs are projected to grow 50% by 2020. A Home Health Aide is responsible to provide basic care for people with disabilities, chronic illness, and cognitive impairments. They help elderly, disabled and ill persons living in their own homes. The average salary for a Home Health Aide is about $24,000.

Physical Therapists

Physical Therapist jobs are projected to grow 30% by 2020. PT’s provide services to help restore function improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities. A Master’s degree and state license is required to become a Physical Therapist.  The median salary ranges from $65,000-$85,000.

Physician’s Assistant

Physician’s Assistants are projected to grow 39% through 2018. Physician’s Assistants work directly under a doctor’s supervision and experience working with a team while having autonomy. The starting salary ranges from $70,000-$90,000.