Boosting Revenue: Gaining the Edge with Marketing, Technology & NursesOct 22, 2021
“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” - Walt Disney
How does marketing boost revenue?
The age-old question in business is “How can I make more money?” The number 1 desire in healthcare practices, whether medical, allied health or dental, is for more patients. And the biggest mistake practice owners make is ignoring existing patients.
However, the good news is there are ways to maximise revenue, ways which go hand in hand with improving patient care.
The goodwill you purchase with your practice is your patient database; that’s where revenue boosting opportunities lie. Once you start communicating effectively, reigniting both your active and inactive patient lists, you’ll be welcoming them back into the practice.
“It’s all about communication and connection,” says Michelle Tayler, Founder & Director of Marketing Practices. “The biggest and cheapest quick win you can have is by marketing to your existing patient database. Nurture them, ensuring they are engaged and up to date with what your practice is doing.
“If you don’t put yourself out there, how will people who need your help know where to find you? These days, marketing is ‘mass personalisation’ in relationship marketing. Social media’s multiplier effect is huge; with internet savvy patients, it is ‘word of mouse’ rather than word of mouth,” she says.
Implement a relationship marketing strategy
What do your best patients look like? Know how to meet their needs, wants and desires. Are they parents needing convenience and a child friendly environment? Improve your waiting room and tell them about it. Got a new parking area? Shout it out loud.
Give your patients useful information with educational content. Videos work well; send these out through all communication channels available to you. Communicate at least 7 times, in one form or another. The basic message through all your communications is “we are here for you”. People will then know, like and trust you , spreading the word.
Useful information includes public health information as it relates to your practice. If your phones have been running hot during COVID-19, you’ve not been communicating proactively. How will your patients know your other services have kept going unless you tell them?
Google reviews also promote a practice by reviewer recommendation; HotDoc can automate requests to leave a review. Ensure any bad reviews are evaluated and discussed with the team, resolving issues offline with the reviewer.
Become familiar with the AHPRA advertising guidelines; they are there to protect the public by providing parameters for healthcare providers to advertise within.
Review and evaluate: can you afford not to?
A recent Practice Success Collective webinar poll found financial strategy and outcomes review is undertaken by voters: monthly 22%, quarterly 36%, yearly 25% and never 18%. Review of the current practice databases revealed they are reviewed by voters: weekly 15%, monthly 25%, quarterly 39%, and never 26%. That’s just over a quarter who are foregoing income!
“One simple solution for increasing revenue is reviewing your financial strategies and outcomes. If something isn’t measured it’s difficult to know how and what to improve,” says Ami Assigal, Director at Practice Partners.
“Some practice owners are tempted to cut costs, which then impacts on patient care. Analyse your data to see where the gaps are,” she says.
Instead of cost cutting:
- Watch bookings increase by marketing both your practices and your individual doctors
- Know what your data means
- Using PenCS, and platforms such as KPeyes, discover your percentage of all staff utilisation, billings and item number usage per doctor per hour, recalls, reminders, time spent with patients, and more
- Participate in the various Practice Incentives Programs (PIP), Workforce Incentive Program (WIP), GPMPs and TCAs and get to know and use your MBS item numbers more effectively
- Implement technology and systems to streamline processes within the practice
How patient engagement platforms boost revenue
From booking online to managing health, patient engagement platform, HotDoc, makes patient interactions streamlined and easy. Its functionality includes online bookings, patient registrations, reminders, check-ins, telehealth, prescription repeats, and marketing tools for health promotion. A complete solution to connect with new and existing patients.
“HotDoc allows practices to target promotion and supports integrative, holistic management of patients. It gives them a better experience. They can make appointments at times that suit them and be contacted by SMS through automated reminders and recalls. Less phone calls through to the practice is a huge bonus for your reception staff, freeing them up for other tasks,” says Sebastian Nearchou, Product Specialist at HotDoc.
Streamlining bookings and automating recalls by sending a reminder SMS, also improves revenue by decreasing the numbers of Did Not Attends (lost revenue) and encouraging attendance for preventive care.
Tips to turbo-boost your income with nurses
Relationship marketing, data analysis and patient engagement platforms are all valuable strategies. But that’s not all. Do you know that nurses are the most valuable practice asset? To supercharge your revenue, use nurses strategically, for chronic disease management, working to their full scope of practice and interest. The Australian Primary Care Nurses Association says scope includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Clinical skills in patient triage
- Cold chain management
- Wound care
- Chronic disease management and allied health coordination
- Aged care assessments
- Preventative health checks
- Patient education
- Women’s and children’s health checks
- Cervical screening
- Systems improvement and audits
- Data management
- Clinical research
If you’re like most doctors you have little time for the highly lucrative activity of care planning. That’s why opting for a dedicated nurses’ room in a medical fit-out, more than pays its way.
- For a new practice with all new patients (or a late waiting appointment) schedule each patient time with the nurse initially, to take observations and glean other information before a seamless transition to their following appointment with the GP
- 80% nurse utilisation is optimal; working smarter rather than harder. Patients will be seen more comprehensively, resulting in improved patient care and improved billing
- The ultimate in efficiencies is 2-3 doctors to 1 nurse
Nurse led clinics
“Nurse-led clinics add value by providing holistic, proactive patient care,” says Ami Assigal.
“Nurses with special interests are ideal to run them, for example, diabetes and wound care clinics. Clinic types depend on patient demographics, nurse special skills, interest, and patient need, identified by your database analysis,” she says.
To conclude, successful practices have integrated, multipronged strategies in place, with the entire team working toward improving patient care and increasing revenue. They invest in a winning combination of cutting-edge technology to streamline processes, workflows, and data analysis to identify opportunities, and marketing with consistent, helpful, and regular communication with their patients.
As a highly trained health professional, your focus is on patient health. You’re not expected to be a seasoned business specialist. That’s where our Practice Success Collective team of experts come in with professional and time-saving advice; contact them and they’ll guide you every step of the way.
Product Specialist, HotDoc
1300 468 362