10 Quick Tips To Market Your Practice

10 Quick Tips To Market Your Practice

Here are 10 quick tips to market your practice ethically and keep it thriving: Print a professional practice brochure with your contact details, office hours, list of services, documentation needed for consultation, website link (for more info), after hours number, etc.   Get a professional website – everyone’s searching on the internet.  Not only can you include all the above information, you can also include more details about the medical conditions you treat, medical procedures, pre- and post op care, etc.  Also get website marketing services.  What good is a website if it can’t be found on the internet?   Customer satisfaction survey.  Ask your patients to complete a simple survey.  On the survey need only be:  WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT THE SERVICE, WHAT DID YOU DISLIKE and a 1 to 5 rating for dissatisfied to very satisfied.   List your practice in all available online directories:  Yellow Pages, MedPages, Every Doctor, South Africa/Doctors, etc.  Make sure to highlight your specialty and services.   Build good relationships with your staff.  Your staff is your first line of public service, patients talk to them first before they get to you.  A thank you is often more appreciated than an award.  Consider a team building event.  Happy staff will treat patients well.   Increase word of mouth through customer satisfaction.  Patients will promote services where they got good service.  Analyse your customer service from the moment of entrance to exit.  Is there room for improvement?  What about patient waiting time?  And a lollipop for every patient still works.   Ethical weekly email newsletter.  Ask your patients if they want to...
10 Tips To Improve Practice Profitability

10 Tips To Improve Practice Profitability

Unfortunately not only do physicians have to cope with reduced reimbursement from Medical Aids in a period of accelerating expenses, but the economy is having a significant impact on some practices. Many patients are losing jobs and not quickly finding replacement employment. This causes them to curtail elective expenditures, and health care is often viewed as elective, especially when medical aid benefits expire. Even so, there are practices that are not only holding their own but actually thriving and achieving new records of productivity and profitability. Listed here are a few of the techniques they employ that might help you too: 1. Increase Efficiency Inefficient practices on the part of both the physician and staff waste time and money. Seeing just one more new patient per week can increase net profits by R300,000 or more per physician per year. Review your systems and behaviors and eliminate or streamline inefficiencies. 2. Minimize Waste Audit your practice for wasteful procedures. Review your inventory control system for currency and put one person in charge. Over ordering wastes cash and storage space and under ordering wastes labor. Negotiate for better supply prices. 3. Eliminate Staff Overtime If regular overtime occurs you are probably understaffed and should hire extra part time staff at reduced rates. If overtime at “time and a half pay” does occur limit it to over 40 hours per week, not over 8 hours day to day. If you always run late, maybe you can keep just one person late, not the whole staff. 4. Train Staff Rarely do I find staff that doesn’t appreciate training to increase their abilities, and...
Training Your Patients To Comply With Office Rules

Training Your Patients To Comply With Office Rules

Do you have patients who are not compliant with your office protocols? Do they skip appointments, forget their paperwork, call the office for routine prescription refills, or pay their bills late? If you have these kinds of patients, it’s time to train them about your office protocols. In most cases you can greatly increase patient compliance by providing them a brochure about your practice. Make it as easy as possible for patients to know the rules and how your system works. In today’s medical environment, your practice brochure needs to be distributed in multiple media:  printed handouts, on your website and on your social sites.  This way you can ensure that the patient knows your practice rules. It starts as early as a patient’s first inquiry to your practice. Your receptionist should be well-trained on screening and welcoming new patients. Patients can hear through the phone whether your receptionist is smiling and nice, or frowning and stressed. “Welcome to our office please hold” is too frequently their first impression of you. Consider an automated “hold” message instead, with an option to hear a new patient welcome message or website referral for more information and an option to hold for an operator. If callers must be on hold, they might as well become educated during the process, so use message-on-hold instead of music. Give patients a “what’s in it for me” statement that explains what they can do to receive the best care and service. New patients should be directed to your website to complete patient forms prior to their first visit. This can avoid a considerable delay at reception. Don’t...
Planning Your Website: Things To Consider

Planning Your Website: Things To Consider

The following details can also help you think of other ideas that you can include on your website. Write it all down and include it in your website order.  Leave out, what you don’t want.   Target Audience (age, gender, location, symptoms, diagnosis) Featured Service/Specialty Website Title Keywords Domain name(s) owned or desired (www.MyWebsite.co.za) Logos and images available Images desired Patient stories CV or Biography Photo(s), doctor, staff, clinical Books authored Articles authored Seminars/lectures (upcoming and done) News/Notices Professorships Practice description Philosophy/mission Board certifications & memberships Awards Inventions/patents/royalties Contact details Address Office Hours Patient forms/brochures (in MS Word or Pdf) Fees and medical aid information Documents needed for consultation After hours contact details Other Alternatively, you can have us design a website for you (we need only your business card and some basic information) and afterwards you can tell us what you want to change, add or delete – HASSLE FREE! Call us today, to order your website on the...
To Be Or Not? A Website Or Not?

To Be Or Not? A Website Or Not?

Having a Yellow Pages, MedPages or other directory listing is just a listing with your contact details and your type of specialty. It’s fine if the only purpose is for you to give the address to patients in lieu of a brochure, but would it be adequate to attract patients to your practice? With a professional website you can include the following: download patient forms, health test, theatre consent forms, medical brochures, etc. your office hours map to your practice rooms detailed information about your services, procedures, treatment, etc. after hours contact details medical information regarding your specialty biography of you present your staff update it regularly with notices like taking leave, new developments, etc. stories about your practice and about your experience Etc. etc. What good is a website, if it can’t be find on Google?  If you have a website and it is not attracting enough patients, or even a Google search for your name doesn’t turn up your website, we can help. The difference between having a website and being found on the internet is like the difference between having a scalpel and knowing how to use it! Most webmasters know HTML, XML, CSS etc coding -and maybe even Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”), but they don’t know the culture of the medical community, or how patients -or potential patients- find physicians and their practices. We do. We can help you create a beautiful professional website and we can make sure that it’s on the first page of Google for the best keywords to attract more patients. Call us today, to put YOUR dot prominently on the internet...
Advertising Guidelines For Medical Professionals

Advertising Guidelines For Medical Professionals

Queries are regularly received on the type of information that may be included on HPCSA registerant’s websites. The following ethical rules exist and any advertisement (websites as well) should be measured against these rules for possible unprofessional conduct: “(1) A practitioner shall be allowed to advertise his or her services or permit, sanction or acquiesce to such advertisement: Provided that the advertisement is not unprofessional, untruthful, deceptive or misleading or causes consumers unwarranted anxiety that they may be suffering from any health condition. (2) A practitioner shall not canvass or tout or allow canvassing or touting to be done for patients on his or her behalf”. A few pointers in this regard: Do not draw attention to personal qualities, superior knowledge, quality of service, professional guarantees or best practice as this could be construed as canvassing patients. Do not draw attention to one’s offers, guarantees or material benefits, not falling within the categories of professional services or items. Graphics and anatomical structures or a photograph of a medical practitioner on websites are permissible provided that it is not indecent, deceptive, misleading or bring the profession into disrepute. Avoid using phrases like “conditions apply” – such conditions must be specifically indicated. Do not advertise the practice’s tariffs to the public at large. You may put up a notice in the practice to inform your own patients of the tariffs. The following information may appear on adverts, letterheads, account forms and electronic stationery (websites included): practitioner’s name; profession; registered category; speciality or subspeciality or field of professional practice (if any); registered qualifications or other academic qualifications or honorary degrees in abbreviated...