The medical profession is a noble one, one that’s based on service and not profits. At least that’s the way most people perceive it should be. But as all professions are, this one too is a business, one that’s not (one that should not be) as cutthroat as the rest of them. And that’s why profits do make a difference.
A private medical practice is sustained by its patients, both the old and new ones. And a doctor needs to do all he/she can to ensure that if people are sick or need medical attention, they choose to come to him/her. While some people may view the concept of “promoting” a medical practice as unethical or something that must not be done, there’s nothing wrong in doing the right things to attract new patients.
And to that end, you need to:
1. Treat your patients with care and respect
The best advertisement is that which is delivered by word of mouth. And when it comes to spreading the good word about a medical practice, people are looking for testimonials from patients rather than willing to believe self-promotional advertisements from the doctors themselves. So if your current patients are treated to the best care, by you and all your support staff, they’re definitely going to recommend your services to their friends and family members who require treatment.
2. Charge fees that are reasonable
There’s nothing that angers a patient more than a medical facility taking them for a ride. There are some practices that rook the patients and charge exorbitant amounts, especially when they need emergency care and have no time to go to another doctor. You need to be conscientious about taking money from your patients, especially if you know you’re charging much more than the treatment is worth. You’re not going to draw new patients if you earn the reputation of overcharging.
3. Conduct health camps and screenings
As a doctor, it’s not just enough that you cure patients when they’re ill; you also need to educate people about the preventive steps they can take in order to keep illness away and lead a healthy life. To that end, you could conduct health camps where you stress the importance of exercise and a sensible diet and exhort them to stay away from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Screening for diseases also helps them realize the importance of regular check-ups and the need to take active steps to cure any diseases the tests may reveal.
4. Avoid prescribing unnecessary diagnostic tests
When you ask your patients to undergo scans and other diagnostic tests that are not necessary, you’re making them spend more than they have to, especially if they’re not covered by insurance. So unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid this practice.
5. Follow up patient care
Patients are usually notorious when it comes to looking after themselves. So if they need to come in periodically to get checked, it’s up to you to follow up on the treatment they need and remind them when their next visit is due.
Attracting new patients is thus a combination of the doctor’s skill, the care they provide existing patients, and the concern they show new patients.