You can increase patient volume by simply anticipating the behavior of your target audience: patients follow a predictable two-step process, which is vital to understand as a healthcare marketer:
- The Internet is the first place patients go (no surprise here). It’s their source to investigate health questions, gather research and understand how to engage medical consultation.
- Patients seek doctors as their secondary step. And today’s patient is prepared for discussion because of online research and poised to TRUST their doctors in contrast with the Internet.
So, are you meeting your patients there? Let me ask you this — is your hospital system providing the answers your patients are looking for on the Internet?
Take a quick look at your website: is it a resource that will satisfy seeking patients? It should be. More importantly, is it easy for seekers to take the next step?
Knowing the second step allows you to transition research-seekers to patients. It’s your job to make it as simple as possible – ONLINE! Let your digital resources offer easy next steps to schedule a consultation.
Business Week highlights this simple equation. Your doctors are irreplaceable, and that’s where your strength lies.
While recent controversy has challenged that the Internet has replaced physicians, the Internet has only challenged the ‘first consultation’, and you can participate on a digital level (with the knowledge that patients ultimately need an in-person interaction).
If you really want to increase your patient volume, walk the two-steps with patients. Anticipate their health questions online first, and then ensure that your web presence and social media platforms offer tools for conversion.