Increasing patient acquisition isn’t just a strategic goal for your healthcare practice — it’s also a necessity for growth and financial security. But the process of attracting and retaining patients is complex, often requiring both traditional and innovative approaches.
In this article, we’ll uncover the secret to increasing patient acquisition and shed light on some of the most effective strategies to do so smartly.
Understanding Patient Acquisition
Before delving into the secret to increasing patient acquisition, let’s go over what patient acquisition means.
Patient acquisition is the process of both attracting and retaining patients — whether for healthcare, dental care, veterinary services, recovery centers, dermatology or another field. Various marketing and outreach efforts help you connect with people in need of medical care and potentially keep them coming to you.
But hold on: Why is patient acquisition so important? Well, here are some sound reasons.
As you’d expect, having more patients means earning more revenue. And what practice doesn’t want more money?
Increasing your revenue is vital for not only maintaining your current practice but also growing and improving it. That could mean opening more facilities, expanding to other locations or improving your existing equipment and building.
Quality of Care
A steady stream of patients allows you to continue optimizing your services. Practice makes perfect, right?
That’s not to say you haven’t undergone extensive training before opening your own practice. But it’s unsurprising that when you have more interaction in your particular practice and location, you enhance local patients’ experiences.
In a saturated healthcare market, patient acquisition sets you apart from the competition.
The more patients you acquire, the more revenue you obtain — and the more growth and success you see. But most importantly, you’re able to help more people in your community and beyond.
A strong patient acquisition strategy that includes meaningful outreach methods helps you reach underserved community members. Whether you’re working with people from down the street or across the city, you still improve your community’s overall well-being.
Now, let’s explore some of the challenges of patient acquisition before we get into the secret to increasing it.
The Challenges of Patient Acquisition
Overall, patient acquisition is a multifaceted challenge that requires strategic planning, marketing efforts and a deep understanding of patients’ preferences and needs.
In today’s competitive healthcare environment, standing out and connecting with potential patients are more important than ever.
Here are the top challenges to look out for before tackling new patient acquisition tactics.
The healthcare industry is by nature highly competitive, with hundreds of providers vying for patients’ attention. It goes without saying that you need to differentiate your practice from the rest.
You can do this with a compelling value proposition — what do patients receive and experience with you that they don’t with other providers? But be careful not to bash other institutions — mudslinging doesn’t make you look good.
Changing Patient Behavior
Patients are taking an increasingly active role in their healthcare decisions. They’re researching providers, reading reviews, seeking recommendations and using social media to check out offices and staff.
This means you need to have a strong online presence. There’s no way around it. So you might need to brush up on your digital skills, including on social media!
The healthcare industry is subject to numerous regulations and compliance requirements, which make marketing and patient acquisition efforts more complex.
You need to be careful about what and who you post online. Plus, you must handle all patient (and staff) communication professionally while adhering to those guidelines.
Note. A virtual assistant like Wendi helps you tackle responsible, friendly patient communication in real time while following strict compliance regulations.
The Secret: Personalized, Patient-Centered Care
Now that we know the ins and outs of patient acquisition, as well as its challenges, let’s explore the secret to increasing patient acquisition.
For starters, you need to take a patient-centered approach.
The healthcare landscape isn’t simply people looking to find healthcare for the sake of it. They’re active participants in their medical journeys. Patients seek both the treatment they need and a personalized, exceptional experience that pushes them to be more involved with their health.
In short, people want to feel truly cared about! That’s why focusing on patient-centered care can be a game-changer for you as a healthcare provider.
But where do you start? Here are six ways to increase patient acquisition through patient-centric care.
Effective patient acquisition starts with clear and empathetic communication.
To ensure your patients feel heard and valued, you must understand their needs, preferences and concerns. You can gain that knowledge through personal communication via phone calls, emails and/or in-person consultations.
Patients often have questions and concerns about their health — as they should! Questions help you both stay engaged in the patient journey.
Answering questions and addressing concerns build trust and confidence in your healthcare facility. Furthermore, taking these measures cements comprehensive education throughout your patient-centered approach.
Empowerment and Involvement
Encouraging patients to actively participate in their healthcare decisions and treatment plans empowers them.
When patients truly have control over their health and well-being, they often feel inspired to make better decisions. Proactive patients lead to higher satisfaction rates and long-term loyalty — a win-win!
Listening actively to patients’ feedback, both positive and negative, is critical. Feedback tells you what you’re doing great, where you’ve taken a wrong turn and everything in between.
You can then use patient feedback to refine your services and show that you genuinely care about patients’ experiences. Why? It works because you’re putting active effort into personalizing the care you give every one of them.
Continuity of Care
Ensuring continuity in a patient’s care journey — even across multiple specialties or departments — enhances the overall patient experience. And as we’ve noted, patients are understandably more likely to return to you for treatment when they have better experiences.
Care continuity also simplifies the time and energy it takes to manage a patient. Because you’re already familiar with them and their history, current state and future health goals, care flows smoothly.
Technology and Convenience
The secret to new patient acquisition isn’t dependent on human interaction alone!
Embracing technology, like a virtual healthcare front office, helps you handle administrative tasks quickly:
- Scheduling appointments online
- Providing telehealth services
- Requesting/accessing electronic medical records
- Answering phone calls
- Writing prescriptions
- Verifying insurance
- Using HIPAA-compliant texting
With innovative tech, you can make healthcare more convenient and accessible.
Digital advertising is great, but don’t neglect print advertising!
Of course, digital channels are the primary way people get news, information and marketing messages. But that doesn’t mean your patient acquisition strategy should stop there.
Don’t forget to include print media, such as signs, magazines and newspapers, as part of your strategy. Omnichannel marketing efforts reach more potential patients (and may very well lead to new patient acquisition).
Sending relevant physical outreach may also help you cut through the noise with powerfully persuasive messaging, even for digital-first demographics.
Implementing the Secret to Increasing Patient Acquisition
To leverage the secret of increasing patient acquisition through personalized, patient-centered care, you should consider using the following strategies:
- Training and education. Ensure your healthcare staff is well-trained in patient-centered care principles. These include active listening, empathy and communication skills.
- Technology integration. Invest in healthcare technology that enhances patient experiences and simplifies processes. These can encompass patient portals for online scheduling and telehealth platforms for virtual consultations.
- Patient feedback mechanisms. Establish systems for collecting and acting on patient feedback. This not only improves your services but also demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement.
- Collaborative care teams. Promote collaboration among healthcare professionals to encourage a seamless and patient-centered care experience.
- Marketing and outreach. Communicate your commitment to patient-centered care through marketing. For example, showcase patient testimonials and success stories to build trust and attract more patients.
Contact Wendi To Increase Your Patient Acquisition
So, are you looking to increase your new patient acquisition? Wendi is here to help.
With a virtual healthcare front office like Wendi, you can substantially boost your acquisition levels because we take office administrative tasks off your hands. As a result, you can put more focus and energy where it matters most — toward your patients.
And the happier and healthier your patients are, the more likely they are to continue coming to you for care.
Featured image via Pixabay