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How to Enhance Your Practice Visibility?

You are one among the 9,88,922 allopathic doctors practising in India. You can find a clinic in every nook and corner. How do you attract patients to your practice? What do you do to become more visible to your target audience? The only solution is to be different from others and think out-of-the-box!

This write-up will familiarize you with different approaches to making yourself stand out from the crowd, and increase your patient base.

A. Go the digital way- healthcare digital marketing

According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India and market research firm, IMRB International, the number of Internet users in India is approximately 465 million. Now, to capture this huge base, you need to be present there. Following strategies may help you attract these digital users to your practice:

1. The power of social media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are emerging platforms to market your practice.

These platforms have huge user base; having them into your social network may increase your visibility. Content marketing on these platforms can be highly beneficial; it is 3 times more effective and costs 62% less than traditional marketing.

2. Google business

Having your page in Google business can increase the chances of users finding you when searching for doctors online. What more, it is absolutely free!

3. Website/portal

A website or portal of your practice/profile can serve many purposes.

Most importantly, it can be a tool for patient education.  It is estimated that 78 % of patients find the custom content to be interesting and is a good way to build relationships. You can post recent news in healthcare, blogs, or health care tips to engage the patients.

4. Doctor review sites

Register on any of the doctor review sites, to help your practice get noticed by patients looking for a consultation. A survey reported that 96% of online users look for doctor reviews before taking any decision. Apart from Google reviews, the other doctor review sites include:

Cost: There are two options when considering digital marketing of your practice. You can either have an in-house team or outsource it to an agency.

An in-house team consisting of a digital marketing head, social media content person, technical and design people will cost you approximately 2,00,000 INR per month.

Outsourcing the digital marketing activities to an agency is best, to start with. The agency provides you the access to experts in social media marketing, search engine optimization, content writing, web designing and much more. The cost of outsourcing depends upon the types and number of services you want. There are various packages available, starting from Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 18,000 per month. The services usually include:

B. Embrace technology

1. EHR

Healthcare seems to be handicapped without technology.  An Electronic Health Records (EHR) system incorporated in your practice can make the operations much smoother. Even a basic EHR system comes with useful features like digital medical records, appointment scheduler, SMS reminders, email reminders etc.

Some of the players in the market include:

Cost: The cost of implementing any EHR system will depend upon the in-built features, and usually ranges from Rs. 1 lakh - 45 lakh.

2. Exploit mobile users

Do you know that India has 300 million smartphone users? Using mobile phones to access the internet is becoming a common practice. In 2016, 24.33% of Indians used mobile phones to access the internet. Another study showed that an average Indian spends 28 hours on mobile per week; so why not capture this mobile phone user base.

You can reach this user group through social media platforms, website, educational portals, and customized messaging.

Cost: Using the mHealth option is quite cost-effective. Once you have a database of patients, you can use any messaging device to engage them. The messaging device can be even a part of the EHR that you use or can be a service that the digital marketing agency provides. Therefore, there is no additional cost!

3. Offer virtual visits- Telemedicine

Telemedicine can help you to keep in touch with your patients beyond the office hours and premises. Patients usually appreciate virtual visits using the telemedicine option, as it both convenient and time-saving.

A basic telemedicine set up and function will need:

Cost: Setting up a telemedicine can cost you anything ranging from Rs. 15 lakh - 30 lakh, including equipment, technology, staff and support. However, considering the long-term benefits, it is worth investing.

4. Develop an app

Developing your own app can make you stand out from the rest of your peers. The app can be for the purpose of patient education, updating recent happenings, or for practice updates.

Cost: Making an app is an investment on your long-term return. It should be a well-thought decision, and with sketched out structure and purpose. Some companies and the cost of making the app are listed below:

C. Improve your office experience

Patient experience is the most important that will distinguish you from your competitors. The following tips will help you to improve how your patients feel in your office:

Cost: More than the cost, your time is important in hiring the correct team and training them as per your requirements. Depending on the type of practice involved, and the number of staff needed, having a good team may cost you from Rs. 50,000 to a few lakh rupees. An investment of about Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh may be needed for the patient education material. The cost may vary depending upon the number and the types of material you need.

Conclusion

Whichever strategy you choose for increasing your practice visibility, an adequate amount of investment is important. You may explore various financing options- self-financing or customized loans from banks.

Bajaj Finserv now offers customized loans for doctors. It is suite of four different loans and comes with benefits like:

To know more about these loans,  click here.