Did you know? More than 80% of the patients rely on online reviews to evaluate patients. 8 out of 10 Americans internet users have researched topics including diseases, treatments, health insurance, a particular doctor or hospital. They do not go to the specialist just because they were referred to. Indeed patients spend a lot of time researching about the hospital and other options. Hospitals try to seek the attention of the patients through advertisements. But in this world of growing technology, ads through radios and billboards have become old-fashioned. So the hospitals are quite lost with the following questions in mind,
- How can we reach our ideal patients at the right time with the right message?
- How can we keep them happy and loyal?
- If potential patients are no longer reacting to traditional advertising and promotional methods then what are they responding to?
It is through Patient Value Journey.
The way a patient chooses their health care provider shows what consumers want from a product or service. Below is the 7-step Patient Value Journey that can help practices turn patients into appointments and advocates of their practice.
The Patient Value Journey
Millions of Americans are embracing technology. From online search to wearables, they are transforming the patient journey at record-breaking speed. Google receives 63,000 searches per second on any given day and health care is the third most searched topic.
Considering the present reality, how can a practice drive more patient appointments both online and offline? The best marketing strategies begin and end with how a patient finds a practice and the process that flow after their first appointment.
1) Attaining Patient Awareness
A potential patient first becomes aware of the practice and its doctor(s) during the Patient Awareness Stage. Perhaps they have a health problem or concern, are researching a health condition and potential treatment.
In this early phase of the patient journey, the patient has a problem. The practice must present their solution while showing them what differentiates them from other practices. Potential patients can become aware of a practice in the following ways:
- Seeing an advertisement
- Finding the practice on social media
- Receiving a referral from another doctor, friend or family member
- Viewing the practice website as a search result on Google
- Meeting at a health fair or community event
All these avenues present significant opportunities for a practice to reach potential patients both online and offline.
2) Patient Engagement
After becoming aware of the practice, a potential patient will take action to learn more of their doctor(s). After grabbing their attention, the practice must trigger them to interact with you or their social circles. Downloading a digital asset (white paper, checklist or eBook) from your practice website
There are numerous ways patients can engage with the practice including:
- Searching specifically by name for the practice on Google
- Visiting physician review sites to check their overall score
- Sharing, commenting or liking one of their social media posts
- Clicking on an ad or post that drives back to their website
- Asking peers (online or offline) about their experience with the practice
- Visiting the practice website
Digital marketing, social media, and website strategies are critical for bringing the patients to the subscription phase. When new visitors arrive at the practice’s website, it must impress the users in a few minutes. The site must have an eye-catching design, have killer content, and be easy to navigate. In addition to being desktop-friendly, the website must also be mobile-friendly.
3) Patient Subscription
In stage 3, potential patients will opt in to view or receive additional content from the practice. Here, a prospective patient likes what they have seen so far, but isn’t ready to commit to an appointment just yet. They are, however, seriously considering that practice for their health care needs.
What patient actions can the practice expect in this phase of the journey?
- Joining an email list for the practice’s newsletter
- “Liking” the page(s) on social media to receive updates in their newsfeed
- RSVPing to attend a talk or seminar
- Signing up for a webinar discussing a particular pain point or treatment option
There are several tactics a practice can employ to optimize patient subscriptions.
- Keep blogs updated and post relevant content that readers can share across their social networks
- Respond (ideally in real-time) to comments on their social media pages
- Add social sharing buttons to their blog posts, newsletters, and general emails
- Encourage readers to share their posts on their social media networks
In the Conversion phase, the potential patient is satisfied with their research and is now ready to become a patient of the practice with a scheduled office visit. Upon entering the conversion stage, a patient will:
- Book an appointment and schedule an office visit via the website or by phone
- Set up a time for an in-office consultation about services
- Not cancel the appointment
To ensure a patient’s smooth flow from subscription to conversion, the practice must make the transition easy for them.
If a potential patient spends precious minutes on the website trying to figure out how to contact or book an appointment, they’ll just give up in frustration. The site must make it easy for patients to schedule a visit on every single page.
5) Achieving Diagnosis and Treatment
In the diagnosis and treatment phase of the patient journey, the medical team diagnoses and prescribes treatment to the patient. The patient receives immediate value in the form of a diagnosis or treatment plan following the appointment.
Depending on the condition, the patient is under observation or conservative treatment over multiple visits and monitoring.
As part of their journey, patients may or may not be prescribed additional treatments. It depends on their condition and their response to initial treatment(s) in the diagnosis and treatment phase.
Some patients will receive continued treatment as needed. Some others may be referred to supplementary services in or outside of the practice. While others may require surgery and rehabilitation.
In the Advocacy stage, the patient has completed their treatment protocol and is satisfied with the outcome of their care. They are now in a position to advocate for the practice both online and offline.
Patients can share positive feedback with the world by:
- Providing an online review or rating on the physician(s) review website(s)
- Taking part in a video testimonial to share their brilliant outcomes and benefits with other potential patients
- Become the subject of a case study
Patient advocates are one of the most valuable assets for a practice. Patient success stories create a connection, build trust, credibility, and interest to motivate potential patients to answer a call-to-action.
Making the Patient Value Journey Work For You
The patient-physician relationship is a symbiotic two-way relationship. The patients can provide transparent feedback which can positively impact the start of other patient journeys.
Mapping the medical practice’s goals with Patient Value Journey helps in understanding the audience’s mindset and behavior. It can hone the practice’s short-term, quarterly wins and activities that contribute to reaching their long-term goals.
Using technology to solve patient-related problems
If your practice is facing problems related to managing patient traffic, patient referrals, chronic care management, remote patient monitoring or anything at all, HealthViewX is always there to solve your operational issues and optimize the workflow. To know in detail about our solution, schedule a demo with us.