As with most other businesses, marketing plays an important role in the success of practices and healthcare organizations. Effective patient marketing for your practice can build your brand awareness in your community, cultivate patient relationships, educate patients and help drive referrals.
However, marketing in healthcare has been an ongoing topic of debate for many years. Should patients be naturally driven to healthcare practices or referred by other healthcare providers? That may have been the norm at a point in time, but in today’s ever-changing world of healthcare, some type of patient marketing is a must-have. This is due to accessibility. Patients no longer choose the closest healthcare provider to them or solely depend on being referred. Now with a few clicks, they can find everything they need in order to make informed decisions about their health and aesthetic care – provider/practice ratings, care information, service descriptions, etc. Online search dominates when it comes to finding healthcare needs. For the most part, prospective patients will simply move on if they can’t find your practice online.
If you have invested time and money into your practice and team, you deserve to be seen within the community you serve and prospective patients should be aware of the high standard of care you provide. By following a few important guidelines in your marketing efforts, you can ensure your messages are ethical and won’t misrepresent your practice or standard of care.
Stick to Board or Compliance Guidelines
Make sure to follow any marketing or advertising guidelines set by your medical boards. In addition, be sure that any messages you communicate are HIPAA compliant and are covered legally if using anything related to patient information.
Watch Your Wording
The messages you communicate about your care should always be truthful, accurate and proven rather than misleading. For example, it’s best to avoid superlatives like “best,” “leader,” “top,” “greatest,” or “elite,” as these terms cannot be proven. Avoid overpromising results or saying anything that can’t be consistently delivered. If you are designated as a “Top Doctor” in your area as voted by magazine readers, other doctors, or specific groups, that may be used in marketing material because the term is a factual statement of the results of a survey.
Don’t Promote Your Practice at the Expense of Others
Avoid putting down or disparaging other providers or claiming that other fields of medicine or other area doctors are inferior. Prove that you have a high quality of care and service through your own experience and skills. Also, claiming that you provide a unique service or treatment that other area providers do not can be deceptive if you haven’t verified this info. Carefully verify that no other doctor or provider in the area offers the specific treatment if claiming this in your marketing.
Need some additional support with developing an ideal marketing plan? We’re always a phone call or click away to support your needs. Schedule a consultation with one of our practice management experts today!