5 Low-Cost Ways to Get More Patients for Your Private Practice
By Nancy Mura, Senior VP Public Relations
Most private practice owners want a steady stream of new patients without budget-busting marketing expenses. For that reason, we’ve collected dozens of ways adult and pediatric PT/OT/ST practice owners can reach new patients without breaking the bank.
Every one of these methods has been tried many times and is proven to work. You can take your pick from this list today and get started on these low-cost ways of bringing new patients through your door.
#1 Call-Back Program: Discharged patients should be called from time to time to see how they are doing. It not only helps you acquire more business for your practice, it makes your former patients feel well cared-for.
For instance, how has a child’s progress been? Do the parents report any signs that their child’s progress has plateaued? They may be interested in returning for more therapy.
For adults, how has a past injury healed? Have there been any new injuries? You might want to check that they are staying mobile and pain-free. If not, point out specific ways you can help them.
This is a great activity for staff when their schedules are not fully booked. There should be an easy way for them to obtain lists of discharged patients they have treated in the past.
On the other hand, is a wait list your problem? For those of you lucky enough to have too many patients, as if there is such a thing, that’s a line of kiddos or adult patients not being helped. No patient wants to wait for services. It will just be a matter of time before referral sources stop referring to you because they know their patients won’t be seen for six months or that patients are going to come back for a referral to another practice. And FYI, it’s not always about hiring more clinicians.
#2 Email Survey: Send a simple five-to-ten question survey to discharged patients. Ask questions that elicit the following:
- Any new condition that requires help from your practice
- Success stories or testimonials you might be able to publish (ask for permission)
- People they know who need the kind of care you offer
- Their opinion of your practice.
You can use their responses in several ways. For example, you’ll gain a greater understanding of what people like best about your practice and can promote that. Or you’ll wind up with names of possible referrals that should be followed up on. Or you may see that your discharged patient needs further care.
There are many online survey websites you can use to send out these surveys. Just do an internet search for “free online survey.”
#3 Practice E-letters: Keep your practice and the benefits of your care fresh in patients’ minds with a regular schedule of emailed newsletters. Include an educational article about your various types of care (remember to keep it simple for a layperson). Fill them in on news about new facilities, new therapists or changes in hours. Include an ad or special offer for specific services.
#4 Care to Share Cards: Have a local printer create inexpensive “Care to Share” cards you can hand out to patients. These cards have a brief message about the therapies and benefits you offer along with your office address, phone number, website and so on. There could be places for your patient to write their name and the name of the person they are referring. Then the referred person brings it in when they arrive for their first appointment.
Put these in your patients’ hands at the end of a great visit and ask them who they’d like to give them to. Leave some cards at the front desk and in your waiting area, too. Make sure your therapists and administrative staff also offer them.
#5 Patient Reviews: When is the perfect time to ask your patients if they have ever provided an online review for your practice? When they walk in telling you how much better they feel or they just have to tell you about the progress their child has been making. Ask them if they would have time to leave a review on one of the more popular review websites, such as:
- Your practice’s Facebook page
There are also review sites for all types of medical professionals where they can leave their comments and ratings:
To comply with the rules of these sites, never offer compensation or specifically request a positive review. Just ask them to review your services.
Hopefully, all these ideas get your creativity running in high gear! If you need help getting more patients coming into your adult or pediatric practice, contact Survival Strategies at 833-221-8002.