With any type of marketing, it’s important to keep existing customers happy. In the world of healthcare marketing, many providers focus most of their attention on attracting new patients. However, keeping current patients engaged can be a smart way to establish positive relationships that involve more than scheduling annual physicals. Effective engagement might even lead to new patients selecting your practice because of recommendations from satisfied patients who appreciate your extra efforts.
Provide Visit Summaries Electronically
It’s common practice to provide printouts of visit summaries after visits. Unfortunately, many of these printouts either end up lost, forgotten, or discarded. Instead, consider making such information available electronically. Patient privacy guidelines can still be followed if this information is emailed or available on your website via a patient’s password-protected account.
Send Email Newsletters
If your practice commonly sees patients with conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or sports-related injuries, patients are likely to appreciate getting some extra info they may be able to use to stay healthy between visits. This can be accomplished with email newsletters segmented based on patient-specific concern or care needs. Assure patients you’ll be responsible with what you send so they’ll be more likely to share email addresses.
Seek Feedback Following Visits
Find out what matters most to your patients by asking them directly. Provide convenient ways for feedback to be given after each visit. You can do this by emailing short patient satisfaction surveys, or by including your practice’s website info on the visit summaries you give patients. Just make sure you have an easily accessible comments or feedback section on your site. Comments posted online about your practice can also be used to attract new patients.
Post and Share Useful Content
One out of every 20 Google searches is health-related. Become a reliable source of patient information by posting relevant content in your blog and social media posts and directly on your website. Explore your demographics to use any information you get from feedback to get a better idea of what type of content to share online. When used wisely, text messaging can be a great way to spur engagement by doing things like sending alerts when there’s a new strain of flu in your practice area or offering quick nutrition and exercise tips to patients with weight loss and fitness goals.
Engagement can also be encouraged with more community involvement. This could involve sponsoring local events or taking part in fundraising efforts for charities that benefit communities where your patients live and work. Some practices even hold special events for patients and their families. Finally, keep in mind that patients who are actively engaged are also more likely to pay attention to things that may affect their health, which could mean lower healthcare costs, which is something else your patients will likely appreciate.