When Eyes on Main Vision Center expanded and opened its second location in Findlay, Ohio six years ago, it entered uncharted territory. The practice had operated in a rural town—Ada (population roughly 6,000)—since 1954, but the more suburban Findlay (population roughly 40,000) required a whole new operating and marketing approach.
“We opened the office cold—not a single appointment booked,” notes Duane Wires, OD, the owner of Eyes on Main, who purchased the Ada practice in 1984 immediately after graduating from optometry school. “The Findlay practice alone will do more than $1.25 million this year. The growth has been amazing.”
Dr. Wires gives at least some of the credit for the new location’s success—as well as the continued success of his long-time office—to new marketing/outreach initiatives implemented by the practice two years ago. The cornerstone of these programs has involved working with patient communications platform provider Solutionreach. Solutionreach offers text, email, voice, video, web and social media tools to eyecare practitioners seeking new ways to engage patients in today’s mobile, wireless world. Services include appointment reminders/confirmations, recall, referrals, birthday wishes, online review monitoring, revenue management, surveys, newsletters, targeted care campaigns, and more. All capabilities can be customized based upon a practice and its patients’ individual needs.
“A dentist who is our neighbor has been using Solutionreach for years with great results,” Dr. Wires recalls. “I liked the idea of engaging our patients using mobile technology.”
Social media is a critical element to marketing any business, and your practice is no different.
But how do you create a social media presence that is professional without being impersonal? What are the faux-pas in the Social Media World?
This handy infographic will tell you what you need to know. Take a look!
(click for full-size image)
As Jason Lake, O.D. remembers it, one educated guess resulted in streamlining an outdated recall system, reducing staff time devoted to recall, providing a better response to “no-shows” and greatly enhancing patient communication.
“I bought Solutionreach before it came to Cleinman [as a sponsor],” noted the 6-year Cleinman Performance Network member. “This program looked like it offered what we needed, and I decided in 2010 to give it a chance. The payoff has been tremendous.”
Dr. Lake and his wife, Susan Lake, O.D., own Eyecare Specialties in central Missouri. This four-doctor, two-location practice had what Dr. Lake calls an “intricate” recall system.
“We devoted two full-time people to recall, using snail-mail, email and the telephone to make sure the schedule was kept full. It was very intensive. We are talking a lot of time on the telephone, and a big expenditure on postage,” he said.
Even though the old recall system was burdensome in cost and staff time, Dr. Lake knew that recall was essential to maintaining Eyecare Specialties’ current caseload and supporting future growth. He was already looking for a solution when he became acquainted with Solutionreach and several competing services.
“I looked at DemandForce and some others. Solutionreach was the most integrated system, and it was compatible with OfficeMate, our practice management software,” he said.
Shortly after implementing Solutionreach, Dr. Lake noticed a drop-off by 50% to 70% of staff time spent on recall phone calls. He has estimated a reduction of one-third to one-half full-time equivalent. The savings on postage was welcomed, as well.
Dr. Lake noticed another benefit that is directly apparent to patients:
According to YouTube, tagging is one of the most effective ways to boost the ranking of your video in YouTube search results. After creating a video you want to put on YouTube, tags will help your patients find your practice and your videos online, especially for times when they may need information the most. Many people are familiar with tagging their posts, but understand that you can also tag your videos as well. This will ensure current and potential future patients and search engines locate your channel and videos easily and is by far the best way to give your practice and videos maximum online exposure.
When users type keywords related to your practice that you have incorporated as tags for your video, it will populate within their search results. Even more effective in ensuring that your practice pops up before competitors, is incorporating unique and creative keywords, as after your prospects view one of your videos, any other videos you may have created that include those same unique keywords, will auto-populate immediately as suggested videos to watch.
This will keep your viewers engaged and on your site learning more about your practice, product and services.
For a quick overview of some simple action steps you can take to get started and maximize your YouTube marketing efforts, start with some video basics.
How do I tag my videos in order for them to be found?
Here are a few steps to successfully tagging your videos:
This is the third (and last) article in the Video Marketing for your Practice series by Eden Moss. You can find the previous posts here:
Now you want to go for a more polished aesthetic. You want to edit your videos. You want a focused and directed video campaign. But you don’t know where to start. Allow me to provide some assistance.
It is important to know that crafting high quality videos will be an investment. If you want quality comparable with the television and online video ads you see every day, then you have to be willing to spend some cash. How much you spend will be determined by your approach to getting the videos made.
First, determine your goals. Some questions to help you determine your situation with video marketing and marketing in general are:
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll want to explore free and cheap video editing software. These are all over the place. They can help you cut your teeth in basic video editing skills and, if your goal is to have very professional-looking videos, this sort of software will be a stepping stone to more advanced editing software later. In the meantime, you’ll be able to keep your production costs at a minimum. Visit LearningVideo and Vimeo to learn about video production and see this article for a review of video software.
Some other things for a DIY to consider: recording equipment, actors, and a team to develop the content for the videos.
(Continue to the full article.)
Monitoring the schedules for each of your patients’ preventative maintenance and follow-up needs is time-consuming and tedious when done manually. More importantly, it takes away from your ability to focus on patients already in your office.
Our Recall feature is the most-loved and popular tool included within the Solutionreach platform. It immediately takes control of the outreach needed to ensure that your patients aren’t missing their continuing care dates, relieving your office of the burden of your Recall plan.
The Recall feature is a customized set of automated messages sent to patients due or overdue for an appointment.
If you are already utilizing this feature to its fullest, you understand how valuable it is to your practice as it:
If you aren’t already taking advantage of all this feature has to offer, here is a quick overview of some of its key capabilities:
Last week, we talked about how videos can be an asset to your online reputation and overall marketing strategy. If you missed it, you can catch up here.
Now to the details. How can Solutionreach help?
We have a clean and simple video feature that will allow you to record 60 seconds of video at a time—perfect for starting out and getting used to video production.
Remember these basic types of videos to start with:
The beauty is, 60 seconds is a perfectly adequate amount of time to get your point across in any of the above videos.
What You’ll Need
(Keep reading for #2)
Too many healthcare marketers have decided to exclude seniors as a target audience for their digital marketing efforts, however as time goes on, this will prove to be a huge oversight.
It is always surprising how common it is that an office has not implemented patient engagement technology because the majority of their patients are in the elderly category. Although this theoretically sounds like it makes sense–after all, they did grow up in the age of traditional advertising–the elderly are actually incredibly receptive to digital communication.
It’s not surprising that the generation that has been raised on technology is so intuitive to the advances made every day, particularly with regard to changes made to the way they communicate with the people in their lives. Younger generations are extremely quick to embrace, learn, and incorporate new innovations. They are savvy with engaging their social and familial circles in the ways that are popular and prominent.
Although later generations may not have been raised digitally, statistics show that a large majority of this demographic understands the need to join the digital revolution. Now more than ever, the elderly are engaging in this way more often than healthcare providers seem to recognize.
Research suggests that the majority of the senior community are engaging digitally, but–for those who aren’t– why not? Most likely, this is due to ignorance or inexperience. As their healthcare provider (probably the most important person in their life), it would be wise, as well as appreciated, if you were to take their hand, and pull them into the 21st century by educating them on how to engage in a digital world. Then, they too can experience the benefits of this type of communication and engagement. Perhaps, this demographic is most in need and deserving of the efficiencies and conveniences technology offers with regard to communication in healthcare.
What do the statistics show?
Fun fact: YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
Why is this important, you might ask?
Right now, YouTube is one of the best platforms for a healthcare practice to gain additional exposure and increase search engine optimization–two things that matter a lot if you’re trying to grow (or even maintain) the success of your practice.
Just to keep everyone up to speed, search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the rank of your online material in search results, with the goal being to get on the first page of the results. This is done by trying to direct more traffic to that material; the amount of time a website or piece of material has existed can be a factor as well. The longer a site has been around combined with the amount of traffic that site receives increases its ranking, making it easier to find.
Want to know the best news? (Keep Reading to find out)
“We like the personal touch of phone calls.”
Here is the real-life problem with this statement: Just how personal is leaving a message on someone’s voicemail?
If you want to connect with, engage, and retain your patients (while successfully competing in your market so you have a practice to run in the future,) it’s time to come into the 21st century and embrace technology.
Today, more healthcare providers are realizing how critical it is to the long-term survival of their practice that they begin to automate patient outreach like appointment reminders and recare notifications. The benefits of this type of technology are obvious: Intuitive automation saves serious amounts of time every day, and society’s shift to digital communication makes it a more practical method of effectively getting in touch with them.
But, despite the obvious advantages, many practices still object to using automation technology to communicate with their patients for one main reason: They don’t want to lose the ‘personal touch.’ What they don’t understand is that this technology can be used to make their communication more personal. Additionally, freeing up staff time gives them the ability to focus on patients while they are in your office, too.
If you still aren’t using high-tech tools to communicate with your patients, there are two big game-changers that you need to know about: