Keep New Patients Flowing
Attracting patients and retaining them is a challenge every physical therapist faces at some point in their career. And as patients’ needs evolve, so must the marketing efforts, referral relationships, and branding of every practice.
So what are some proven strategies to increase patients in your physical therapy clinic?
In this article, we’ll discuss surefire ways to market, engage, and compete in today’s landscape for any physical therapy office looking to get ahead.
1. Figure Out What’s Working – Where Are Your Patients Coming from Now?
The most obvious strategy to increase patients in your physical therapy clinic is to pinpoint what you’re already doing well and see if you can push the boundaries of those methods.
For example, if you already have an email marketing newsletter or pay-per-click advertising campaign, it might be time to increase the scope to drive more results. By placing established ads that have improved patient volume in the past, you can be sure that the phone will start ringing off the hook in your practice.
Furthermore, if most of your patients are coming from word of mouth advertising, it’s easy to offer something promotional that your existing patients can take home with them. If they’re already talking about your clinic and have a way to extend the value of physical therapy to others, they’ll be sure to book an appointment.
2. Build Strong Relationships with Local Physicians and Other Referrers
Building a network of physicians who highly recommend your service is one of the top ways you can increase patient volume in your practice. And while it might sound easy, it can be quite the undertaking trying to “butter up” local physicians to receive their referrals.
The secret is to put the gift baskets aside and put your best professional foot forward. Results are the best way to secure your spot at the top of the referral hierarchy. By results, I mean top-of-the-line patient satisfaction driven by real data. Outcomes tracking is the collection and analysis of patient outcomes due to your clinic’s treatment plan. If you think about it, other physicians don’t want to recommend the PT, who handed them that delicious strawberry spread and banana bread. They want to put their reputation on the line for the physical therapy clinic who crushes expectations for every patient who receives a knee replacement.
By using proper outcomes tracking software, you can showcase results and remain HIPAA compliant and organized.
3. Consider Direct Access Marketing
Direct access marketing is a great strategy to increase patients in your physical therapy clinic. By marketing directly to patients, you can take control of your growth. If a large percentage of your traffic is based on patient referrals, you’re leaving business on the table. Try using local marketing, print advertisements, websites, social media, newsletters, and blog articles to tap into a new patient base.
It’s worth noting that states have conflicting views on direct access, be sure to check out this link to find out your local laws and regulations.
4. Expand Your Online Marketing Approach
While it’s easy to set it and forget it, finding long-lasting results from short-term marketing isn’t easy. Here are some great ways to create patient demand for your physical therapy practice:
Seasonal marketing is a fantastic way to stay relevant in the world of advertisement. Practice owners can use seasonal advertisements on social media platforms, websites, print ads, and newsletters as a fun way to help patients engage with your clinic. The beauty of seasonal marketing for physical therapists is that you’re not using the holidays to push your services but to remind your patients about your practice and build brand confidence. Building brand confidence goes a long way when people are choosing their physical therapist.
Newsletters are essential when promoting your clinic. And if you don’t already have one, it’s a good idea to start now. Newsletters help practice owners keep in touch with patients, build brand confidence, increase occupational awareness, and provide so much more. While popular clothing companies and furniture stores might use them to pitch products, physical therapists should approach newsletters with one thing in mind—building brand loyalty through education and insight.
Physical therapists have a unique opportunity to provide free information to their prospective patients that could convert them in the future. According to the United States Bone and Joint Initiative, over half of adults 18 and over, approximately 124 million Americans, had musculoskeletal disorders in 2015. The market for physical therapy is massive, but the level of education that the average American has about physical therapy is limited—your practice can help bridge the gap through education.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) ads are one of the best market mediums to kickstart your physical therapy practice. Ever wonder how companies place their ads on social media websites, Google search results, and in physical therapy relevant spaces? Look no further; by purchasing digital real estate, you can create a bold advertisement that will put you directly in front of prospective patients. The best part is that you only pay when interested parties click on your ad.
COVID-19 and Patient Safety Information
Communication of your practice’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 is not only useful for the health and safety of our community but for easing patients’ concerns when receiving treatment. Practices that can effectively highlight sanitation protocols, use of protective equipment, and contactless telehealth services can help more people get the treatment they need.
Social Media Presence & Engagement
Social media is imperative to keep in mind when attracting patients to your physical therapy clinic. Well placed social media posts and interaction can add value to your brand. Furthermore, when patients are looking for physical therapy services, they’ll already have your clinic’s name in the back of their mind—especially if you’ve previously engaged with them on a social media platform.
5. Refresh Your Website
Keeping your website current is essential when attracting new patients to your practice. A polished website allows prospective patients to do they’re own research on your clinic, gauge your professional expertise, and make an informed decision based on several factors.
Therefore, keeping fresh testimonials and relevant information upfront could sway their decision-making process. Include potent tools such as blogs and email sign up programs to inform and reach out to people, even before they’ve received treatment. Finally, make sure all of your content is organized, speedy, and user-friendly. These methods will keep people on the page and increase conversions.
6. Utilize Feedback to Your Advantage
Practice owners who know what’s going well—and what’s not—tend to be more successful at keeping their schedule full of appointments. The best way to accomplish this is by listening to the source, the patient. By incorporating a simple feedback survey, PTs can become more well-rounded and efficient.
If your PTs are more efficient, patients get more value out of their treatment. This value, and hopefully recovery, patients experience is one of the most powerful tools to increase volume. People want to talk about how great they feel after that physical therapy appointment and are more inclined to become repeat patients if they have problems in the future.
Whether you have patients fill out a survey after treatment, send an email, or even ask them in person about their experience, feedback is an underrated tool for a long-lasting referral system.
The Bottom Line
As you can tell, there isn’t a singular solution that creates a stampede of patients. However, by keeping in touch with digital and print marketingؙ—including seasonal campaigns and newsletters, you can see instant results. Also, creating great relationships and showcasing your outcomes is a massive driving force for increased referrals. Pair all of this with an excellent feedback system and shiny website, and your practice will be hiring PTs to keep up with the workload.
All of this information can be daunting at times, so if you’re looking for an instant way to increase profitability, efficiency and compliance, you should check out MWtherapy’s all-in-one physical therapy software. It’s the easiest way to save precious time, integrate, and organize your practice. Click here for a live free demo so you can see for yourself.