Look around you. In case you haven’t noticed this isn’t the 1900s anymore, yet so many healthcare Practices behave as if it is still the Industrial Age and cling to antiquated systems and behaviours. We are well into the 21st Century, and there are many trends and advances in Practice Management that you need to take advantage of now.
You can bring your Practice Management strategies into the new age with these savvy trends and tools:
SMS alerts and automated appointment setting/reminders
SMS is a low-cost and effective way of reducing the waste and lost money caused by clients forgetting an appointment. SMS is read more often and you can almost always be sure that it is delivered to the right person. You can also use SMS to send weekly special offers or healthcare tips to your database.
Practice Management Software
There are integrated solutions that can make appointment and database management easy for even the most computer-phobic Practitioner. As it becomes more and more important to stand out from your competition, effective and automated database management is a practical and easy solution to save your staff time and resources. See if you can get a 30-day free version, or hire a consultant to set it up for you and show you to use the software.
Electronic Document Management
Electronic record keeping can streamline your Practice’s record keeping, reduce the amount of space you need for record keeping will save you money on rent and wages. A robust solution will allow automatic Cloud syncing (no more worrying about manually backing up your file systems) and integrate with your accounting software for easier bookkeeping.
Get your Practice profitable by paying attention to income and expenses. Online bookkeeping options such as Xero, MYOB, Intuit or Zoho make administrating your Practice easy. You will benefit from streamlined BAS reporting, Superannuation payments, end of year accounting needs, and you will save time and money too.
Merchant Banking Tools
In today’s cashless society, you need to offer an Eftpos, credit card and ApplePay/NFC facility or miss out on business. Shop around for the best merchant facility for your Practice. If you provide off-site appointments, you can find many clever facilities that turn your phone or tablet into a credit card machine with a version of tap-and-go, so you can take payments painlessly and immediately.
A well-maintained website is an important modern tool for your Practice. Think about how you want to use this tool. You can:
- Include an enquiry or ‘get a quote’ form, or offer a free Ebook download to build your email marketing database
- Offer appointment scheduling and confirmations on your website
- Have a live chat feature where users can ask simple icebreaking questions
- Provide a resources area for posting useful healthcare articles and information to clients and prospects
- Consider a client portal with secure logins where you can provide a forum or treatment history
- Link add-value videos from your YouTube Channel
- Sell products on an online store
A good website developer will do a thorough scope and advise you on the best features to include in your website to meet your needs. Also, invest in a professional website content writer from the beginning of your website project to assist with the scope and provide creative insights.
When most people hear ‘digital marketing’ they think website. However, a well-rounded digital marketing plan will include areas such as email marketing, social media and search advertising like AdWords.
Email marketing is still the most effective way to keep a relationship with your clients and prospects
Email tools such as MailChimp are budget-friendly and easy to set up and use. You can offer monthly specials, repurpose the articles you post on your website into email newsletters, do product or book reviews, profile staff, explain specific or new services in more detail, include glowing testimonials, make birthday greetings – get the picture?
Social media is an effective tool for expressing your brand, attracting new clients and maintaining a relationship with your existing network
Besides Facebook, you can be using Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube or Medium (to name a few). Start by picking one social network that makes sense for your business and explore the internet for free tutorials until you become an expert. Social media advertising is less expensive than AdWords and when done right, can bring in even better results.
AdWords can be intimidating but is an extremely useful tool if used right
At the beginning, it can certainly be expensive and competitive, and take a few months to gain traction. If you do have the marketing budget and patience available to allocate to AdWords, you will see results. There are many AdWord charlatans so ensure you use a reputable Australian based consultant who doesn’t insist on a locked in contract. AdWords also offer multiple guides and comprehensive training resources to guide you in setting up an account. Take advantage of their free tips and training services, so you get familiar with the jargon and how it works. Then when you decide to choose a consultant, you will make a confident, informed decision.
There are many ways to take advantage of trends in Practice Management. In 2018 we expect to see a rise in the use of Cloud-based and automated systems and software as well as shift towards embracing digital marketing efforts as part of effective Practice Management. Study a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) online and get started on breathing new life into your Practice today.