Baltimore, MD

Critical Tips for Interacting with the Online Patient

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Healthcare is a tactile practice that requires trust, experience, and enough innovation to have patients actually come into your office. Today’s potential patients, however, are largely virtual. Interacting with the online patient is achievable with minimal effort from your practice. In essence, an office will incorporate ways to connect with a patient that increases overall return visits, referrals, and leverages customer satisfaction.

Dot-Com: Make a website. You know as well as your patients that a healthy, interactive, and informative website makes or breaks a first impression. Invest heavily in sites as they are the conduit between social media, your patients, and you, the authority.Patients are much more sophisticated now that they are able to research

interacting with patients

practice ratings, illnesses, medications, and treatments on the Web. This influx in information trading is not a negative against your office, unless you ignore the fact that you can position yourself as a source of information. This is especially helpful if you are a specialist like a chiropractor, dentist, or dermatologist. If there is a new advancement or illness people should look out for, make sure you’re the number one local source. Here are a few methods for interacting with the online patient:

  • Social Media: There is only so much on social media that you can do as a medical practice, but everything you publish puts you ahead of the competition. Is it flu season? Remind your followers to schedule a flu shot. Do you have a new x-ray machine? Physical therapy rehabilitation room? Did your practice participate in a relay race or blood drive? Share everything you can.
  • Publications: Send out press releases, marketing materials, and other ad-based info as often as you can. Make sure they are linked online so you can post URLs, photos, and comments.

Tech-savvy patients enjoy reading information online. Oblige them by creating a notable, well-structured blog that investigates new medical treatments, devices, and other healthcare information. The idea is to increase your Web traffic. Doing this ups the chances prospective patients will find out about your office online and feel inclined to schedule an appointment. You can also increase your exposure by registering your

practice through platforms like Google+ Places, online directories, and map apps.

Multimedia that connects patients with the practice are powerful tools as well. On your website, consider having a page dedicated to video client testimonials. Testimonials may appear untrustworthy when they’re written, but a series of videos starring actual patients is hard to discredit. If you do this, you’re already in the one percent of practices that do.

Local Power

More than 85 percent of smartphone users rely on their phones to query for local dentists and

 medical practices. Your reach is often your zip code, but for a specialist it may extend across various states. Because of how well the Internet connects practices with patients and other practices, you’ll want to maximize your exposure in every vein possible.

Another way to enhance online power is to utilize your website as a way to make visits quicker and more efficient. Put lengthy forms online in PDF formats and allow patients to schedule appointments without calling. Add in all of your insurance information, the procedures you perform, and any other relevant information. Patients love transparency, and you’re only shooting your practice in the foot by holding back.With smartphones and the Internet, interacting with the online patient is as easy as sending a reminder text about an appointment, posting a deal on Facebook, or a good ole-fashioned phone call. To start, collect all of your patients’ cellphone numbers and ask them to follow your practice through Facebook or other social media platforms. The idea is to incentivize the process. Hand every patient a business card during checkout that features Twitter handles and profile accounts for the practice, and let them know how important it is to stay connected online.

Upping the convenience factor is key. Here are a few strategies you can easily incorporate into your practice:

  • E-mail relevant forms to patients or have online filing options.
  • Leave plenty of scheduling room open for some-day appointments and allow patients to check the “business” of a practice online.
  • Call or text patients if there is a scheduling conflict and allow them to reschedule without calling.
  • Utilize a call-back system to stay up on a patient’s wellbeing after appointments.

Interacting with the online patient isn’t only easy, it’s also incredibly beneficial to your practice and the patient’s experience.


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This article was written by Zsolt Bicskey

Zsolt’s professional background includes work with many companies throughout his native country, donning the mantles of CEO, HR and IT professional, and more.Currently his major focus is on: corporate social media marketing, lead generation, local search optimization, video marketing and mobile marketing.