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THE PRACTICE SOLUTIONS BLOG
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February 8, 2016

Making the Most of Text Message Marketing

Customized text messaging is one of the fast growing segments in modern marketing practices, and with new automated systems, they are easy to develop and schedule whenever you need. In order to be most effective, however, it’s a good idea to have a purpose and a goal in mind when scheduling messages. Here are five awesome examples of messages which can boost business and generate interest in your practice.

#1 “Members Only”: If your patients have opted in to receiving marketing texts, make them feel important by sending “VIP” information regarding current health news or brief reports, or advanced notice of important events such as open houses or patient thank-you events. Everyone wants to feel they are part of something special or unique, so give them the VIP treatment!

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#2 “Patient Referrals”: Offer a special code for patients to share with their friends and family that will also earn them a discount. Text the code to patients and let them know that each person they refer will receive a discount on services, and they will earn a credit on their own account as well for each new patient they refer. This helps build business through two channels: keeping loyal patients engaged while developing new patients as well.

#3 “Patient Follow-Up”: Before or after an appointment, you can send text reminder instructions to patients, thank them for coming in, and even ask them to complete a patient survey about their experience. This kind of simple, direct follow-up keeps patients engaged with your practice and demonstrates a genuine concern for them even after their

Tagged Topics: Tips & Best Practices | Marketing Monday | Patient Engagement | New Patient Acquisition

February 2, 2016

Reducing Distractions for Improved Productivity

As office (and life) experience has proven, some days are just sometimes simply worse than others. The busyness and chaos that sets in, even on a typical day, is largely inevitable and unavoidable. On the flip side, some days are also more manageable than others. Sometimes it depends on the types of procedures to be performed that day, or even just our state of mind on that particular day. Overall, the issues and emergencies that can come up day to day are unpredictable and out of our control.

That being said, there are certainly actions we can take to keep chaos and interruptions to a minimum to ensure the daily schedule and processes flow as smoothly as possible. Ensuring your patients are receiving the top-notch care they deserve and expect from your staff, and you and your staff maintain the highest level of professionalism and sanity is always at the top of the priority list!

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Unexpected interruptions throughout the day affect one’s ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand as well as keep you from focusing on your strategized game plan to keep your office running efficiently and ensuring the most positive patient experience, where each patient feels they are receiving the time and attention they came for.

Although you may not have considered this idea before, concentration is actually a time management tool that can be mastered and is vital to experiencing maximum productivity and efficiency each and every day. Not to mention, mastering this skill will allow you to be more successful at home and in many other areas of your life.

Tagged Topics: Tips & Best Practices | Tip Tuesday | Patient Engagement

February 1, 2016

3 MARKETING ROADBLOCKS (AND THEIR FIXES)

Healthcare marketing in today’s world comes with a variety of challenges and obstacles. The modern healthcare office has a higher demand now for marketing than at any other time, and less time to actually spend on doing it effectively. By looking at common roadblocks to healthcare marking, it’s easier to identify effective solutions and bring your marketing efforts to the forefront of your practice.

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#1 - It’s a Brave, New World

Issue: Retail businesses and others have already mastered online marketing automation, but the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt technology in its marketing plans. Most healthcare practices have relied on word of mouth testimonials or traditional phone book listings as their primary source of advertising. But while offices have not moved online very quickly, their patients surely have, so it has become critical for healthcare providers to gain an online presence in order to grow their business.

Solution: Automated marketing solutions can typically be tested with free satisfaction periods. These easy-to-use platforms offer everything from automated appointment reminders to newsletters and more. A broad range of materials can be offered to healthcare providers through the companies offering automated marketing, such as video tutorials, white papers, articles, and customer support staff to answer questions. Studies show that the return on investment for these services is impressive and they can save provides thousands of dollars in man hours personnel resources.

Tagged Topics: Tips & Best Practices | Marketing Monday | Patient Engagement | Social Media | New Patient Acquisition

January 26, 2016

Solutionreach 411: Reducing No-Shows With Your Action List

No-shows will always be one of the most pressing concerns within any practice. In fact, statistics show that one in every five patients will either cancel with short notice or fail to show completely, with no communication. And the number one reason that consistently comes up when patients are asked why they were absent for their scheduled appointment: “I just forgot.”

While using Solutioneach to automatically message patients is far more effective at reaching them and at getting confirmations, thus reducing no-shows, there will always be patients who don’t follow-up, don’t read, or don’t respond to your messages. Fortunately, the Action List presents a quick list of which patients have confirmed and which patients have not. You can just show-up in the morning, see which patients require a quick call, and make sure your schedule will be completely full for the day.

1. Once you are logged into your Solutionreach account locate the Action List near the top of the left-hand navigation menu.

Tagged Topics: Tips & Best Practices | Tip Tuesday | Solutionreach 411 | Patient Engagement | Highlighted Solutions

January 25, 2016

3 Excellent, Creative, Low-Cost Marketing Ideas

When considering ways to boost your marketing without destroying your budget, why not consider a few “out of the box” ideas? Every small business (or any business, really) knows that old adage “Time is Money.”  With a little bit of time, small-budget ideas can still yield big-money results. Here are three, easy-to-do, low-cost or no-cost ideas that may work wonders for bringing in new patients to your practice.

#1 - FREE/LOW-COST SCREENINGS OR CLASSES

Throughout the year there are a number of opportunities to provide free or discounted screenings or classes to those in your community who may benefit. Back to school in the fall is a great time to provide sports screens, check-ups, and other annual services for patients of all ages. Summer and winter are great times to provide classes on seasonal activities and foods, and provide educational information on healthy options, and proactive treatment or care. Offer samples or instruction during an open house where new patients can visit your location for themselves. Provide flyers to area businesses, and invite current clients to attend and bring guests. And be sure to promote these events on your website as well! With a minimal investment in materials and flyers, you can welcome dozens of new patients to your doorstep and provide an exceptional service to your community.

Tagged Topics: Tips & Best Practices | Marketing Monday | Patient Engagement | New Patient Acquisition

January 21, 2016

Unimaginable Potential

Scholarship Essay Winner, Spring 2016

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It’s that time of year again–when we give away a $2000 scholarship to a student who has been accepted to an accredited college and has demonstrated a knowledge and understanding of the advantages implementing a patient relationship management strategy has on the patient-provider relationship, patient-centered care, and health outcomes. Solutionreach awards this scholarship in the spring and fall of each year to support students in their dedication to and passion for learning.

We would like to recognize and congratulate James Miller as the winner of the 2016 Solutionreach Spring Scholarship! Here is his winning essay, in which he shares a very thorough overview of this approach:


Technological advances within the last 20 years have opened the door to innovative and competitive pathways for human communication.  As a student preparing for medical school, I understand the need for health professionals to set and maintain a high standard of communication with their patients, not only when they see them for appointments, but also the rest of the time that they are not with them.  Most health professionals understand the need for regular communication with their patients in order to promote significant health improvements and to foster a supportive provider/patient relationship. 

According to KevinMD.com, however, physicians need to see between 24 and 25 patients a day in order to maintain an average income of $175,000, and the prospect of communicating often with that many individuals is a substantial burden for these providers.  Patient engagement technology eases the burden that many health professionals experience as they strive to cultivate supportive and productive interpersonal relationships with their patients.  Patient engagement technology is making great strides in giving patients a “voice” through multi-faceted satisfaction surveys, in providing multiple venues through which providers may further educate their patients, and in helping patients and providers connect through common social networks.

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In order for patients to feel in control of the health care that they receive, it is important for healthcare professionals to provide a way for their patients to express their opinions and offer feedback about the care that they receive.  Providers may try to obtain this kind of information in a variety of ways, however, patient engagement technology supports the use of customized patient surveys that give patients the opportunity to express their opinions, needs and concerns.  This opportunity is crucial as the patient’s questions and concerns may go unnoticed and unaddressed during the bustle of a medical appointment.  When patients know that their thoughts are important to their provider, they feel more comfortable seeking care from them and patient loyalty flourishes.  Patient surveys also present opportunities for providers to receive feedback about what aspects of health care are most important to their patients.  Feedback of this kind is invaluably useful for improving a professional practice and in expanding a provider’s clientele.

Tagged Topics: Patient Engagement | Newsletters & Patient Education | Recare & Patient Reactivation | Social Media | New Patient Acquisition | Solutionreach Scholarship

January 19, 2016

The Practical Side of Patient Engagement

#TipTuesday

Achieving a high degree of patient engagement is the goal of most patient-centered practices and clinics. To that end, healthcare companies and practices have focused on improving technology to foster communication and increase patient engagement with their healthcare providers.

Some of the most effective methods of improving patient communication and creating long-term rewards are simple things which providers and their staff can offer in the everyday operation of their practices.

By focusing on three specific concepts, suggested and outlined by Dr. Daniel O’Connell, a clinical psychologist, healthcare providers can significantly improve communication and engagement with their patients on a day-to-day basis. Here they are:

  1. “Invest in the beginning.” Taking a few moments with staff at the start of the day to review the schedule, become familiar with the patients for that day, and to prepare a brief statement about what each patient is being seen for that day helps to create a level of comfort and familiarity with patient and reassures patients that providers are interested in them as people. A quick review of each patient’s file can remind providers of the name that patient prefers to go by, building on the familiarity and instantly increasing ease of communication.

    Even prior to the day of the appointment, the opportunity exists to build communication and foster positive engagement. When patients schedule an appointment, providers can offer educational information that will help the patient be better prepared for the time of the appointment. Information can be sent to the home, via email, or even through a patient portal if one has been established. Patients should be encouraged to review the materials and to come to the appointment prepared with questions.
    Tagged Topics: Tips & Best Practices | Tip Tuesday | Patient Engagement | Newsletters & Patient Education

January 18, 2016

5 Tips for Marketing Your Practice Outside the Social Media Realm

It’s no secret that establishing and maintaining a solid online presence and developing an effective social media marketing strategy are critical to the continued success of your practice. However, practice marketing experts suggest that “old-fashioned” marketing strategies can still be an effective and complementary approach to attracting new patients to your practice.

Yes, we live in a digital world, but your patients will still appreciate and be receptive to some other subtle ways of marketing your practice. In fact, it might actually be refreshing to them. Certainly, one of the benefits of digital marketing is how cost effective it is, however, here are some simple and inexpensive ideas for getting the word out about your practice and services:

  1. Patient Appreciation Day- Ideas for something like this could include free health screenings, a demonstration or information about a new medical procedure, a mini-class or presentation given by a practitioner or health educator. Encourage your existing patients to bring a friend and get a free gift or discounted service, or maybe even just make it a “Get-to-Know-Our-Staff” day and allow current and potential patients to ask basic questions regarding their health or services they may be considering.
  2. Tagged Topics: Tips & Best Practices | Marketing Monday | New Patient Acquisition

January 11, 2016

3 WAYS TO INCLUDE YOUR EMPLOYEES IN YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY

When it comes to developing a content marketing plan, there are a number of important components to consider: the message you wish to send, the actual content, the methods of delivery, and your employees or staff. Yes - your employees!

Employee engagement can be a critical component to the success of a content marketing strategy because employees are the ones who talk to and interact with your patients every day and continuously discuss the products and services available that are needed to meet their needs. Employees give us the opportunity to enhance our content with material that has the feel of exclusive, insider information. So how do you include your employees in your content marketing strategy?

Tagged Topics: Tips & Best Practices | Marketing Monday | Patient Engagement | Newsletters & Patient Education

January 5, 2016

Creating Criteria-Based Groups

Educating and Marketing to Patients using Targeted Audiences

When messaging your patients, either for marketing purposes or for healthcare education, it’s incredibly important to ensure your messages are delivered to the appropriate audience. Patients receiving promotions which apply to them are more likely to schedule an appointment or call to inquire about details, and receiving applicable educational information strengthens their relationship with the healthcare provider. Getting emails or text messages which don’t apply directly to them, however, has the adverse effect of causing patients to unsubscribe, leaving them missing future messages which would apply and potentially even interfering with appointment reminders and recall messages in the future.

Fortunately, Solutionreach makes this an easy problem to address. The Groups feature of the platform allows you to quickly snap-together an audience of your patients such that only those who would value a particular communication will be sent that message. All you’ll need to do before putting that group together is lay-out the common criteria which would apply to the target audience for the text or email you’ll be sending.

Once you understand your criteria, creating these groups only takes a minute or two. Just follow these quick steps:

  1. Go to the Groups section of the Solutionreach platform by clicking the Groups link, found under the Message Center heading on the left-hand navigation menu.

  2. Click the Manage Groups link at the top of the page to be taken to the tab where you can see the groups you’ve made previously and start the process of creating a new group.


  3. Tagged Topics: Tips & Best Practices | Tip Tuesday | Solutionreach 411 | Patient Engagement

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