5 Ways to Get More New Adult PT/OT/ST Patients
By Nancy Mura, Senior VP Public Relations
If you’re like most adult PT/OT/ST private practice owners, you’d love to have a steady stream of new patients. Patients complete their plans of care and move on so new ones are always needed. Plus, to grow your practice, you need to add new patients in addition to replacing the ones you discharge.
Let’s look at five effective ways you can attract more adult patients to your practice. The more channels you can be operating on at any one time, the better.
If you’re just getting started on your marketing, pick the method that seems the most doable given your skills and budget and start with that. Then, when that’s up and running, come back to this list and choose another method and get it started. After a fashion, you should have all five channels bringing in new patients.
Ask patients for referrals. The best time to ask patients for referrals is when they are happy with their improvements. Find out who they know who needs improvements like the ones they’ve just achieved. Incentivize referrals by implementing a reward that kicks in when their referrals become new patients. For example, you could offer a one-time special discount on services or products. (Check with your legal advisor for laws governing such offers in your state.)
Offer free consultations. Offer free consultations to those who have never been to your practice before. Also promote this service to your current patients telling them this is a no-risk way their friends, family or coworkers can learn what PT can do for them. (To avoid Medicare or legal complications, make sure you’re not offering a service you charge for.)
Online advertising. Run online ads targeting people who live in your practice’s geographical area. If you’re placing Google ads, they would be directed toward people who do internet searches for “physical therapist near me” and also live within a certain radius of your practice. With Facebook ads, you’d designate the geographic area the ads are distributed to. Online ads enable you to control your budget because you can set a limit for your spending each day. With Google ads, for example, you are only charged when a person clicks on your ad and arrives at your website. When you hit your dollar limit for the day, the ads will automatically stop running.
Online reviews from patients. When your patients are feeling great again, ask them if they will provide online reviews. You can do this face-to-face and by posting desktop signs in the office. It helps to have a small card you can hand out with some of the main sites printed on it as a reminder. Here are the most important sites on which they can place their reviews:
- Your practice’s Facebook page
A really enthusiastic patient could also add reviews to Wellness.com, Caredash.com or Healthgrades.com.
However, be sure you don’t ask for a positive review as that would violate the policies of these sites. And never offer an incentive for a positive review. Aside from any legal or moral issues, the patient may be put off by your request and include it in the review.
Maintain a great website. Start by evaluating your site. Is it actually bringing in new patients or is it just a static online brochure for your services? (Note: To determine if your site is generating business for your practice, whoever books appointments for new patients must ask each one how they found your practice and keep track of their responses.) If you don’t have new people coming from your site, get it redone by a professional website development company that has a good track record of building sites which convert visitors to new patients.
When interviewing these companies, ask to speak with a couple of their happy customers, particularly any private practice owners. Also, try to find a website company with experience in the PT industry.
If you’re not sure where to start, contact us at 833-221-8002. We can help simplify this process for you and create that steady flow of new patients into your practice.