February 11, 2016
For doctors, most of their training is focused on real-world patients and the treatment of whatever ails them, but, like it or not, the medical industry is a business every bit as much as it’s a profession of healing and helping. Like other business owners, doctors have to learn how to keep up with technology and take advantage of it, too, and with 80 percent of consumers now owning a mobile device, the future is all about mobile marketing and how it can help you and your patients connect.
Image credit: healow.com
No one enjoys sitting in a packed waiting room while balancing a clipboard full of paperwork on their knee as talk show guests bicker on the television in the background. Cut out that time suck altogether by directing new patients to your mobile app, which of course will have all the necessary paperwork available in digital form. They can fill out their personal details, upload pictures or scans of insurance cards and government ID, and send them straight to your records department.
You can improve patient satisfaction by integrating estimated wait times into your app so your patient knows at a glance if they have the time to walk-in.
For those with an appointment, you can take it a step further by allowing your patients to see the current wait queue that will alert them on the best time to start driving to your office.
Doctors are notoriously thorough record keepers because they absolutely have to be, but that penchant for detailed documentation doesn’t always extend to patients. A mobile network within your office that patients can tap into via a mobile website or app creates an ongoing conversation that extends far beyond the exam room.
You and your front office staff can communicate with patients and have those conversations logged, requests for prescription refills can be filed and tracked digitally, appointments can be made and/or changed, and patients can ask questions without tying up a phone line for a query that may not have an immediate answer.
Software now exists to help you automate some of your mobile marketing efforts. The practical use for these applications is virtually infinite, but for doctors, an immediate use comes to mind: appointment reminders. When a patient forgets about an appointment, it hurts both parties: doctors have an hour or so in their day that will no longer generate the projected amount of revenue (even if you bill for no-shows it’s only a fraction of the actual appointment fee) and your patients are potentially putting their health at risk. Set up the proper triggers and appointment reminders will go out when you want them to via the method your patients chose at sign up.
Here’s an example of how it can be done with mobile automation via Trumpia:
Image credit: adtelusa.com
You may only see healthy patients once a year for their annual physical, but medical news and treatment updates come on a much more frequent basis. You can send out SMS messages about the flu epidemic or let existing patients know when you start offering new services or expanded hours through a post to your mobile app’s blog. Sometimes mobile marketing is all about how to improve the user experience, and these updates are one way to do just that.
See this great example of SMS alerts sent to a patient:
Image credit: eurosurveillance.org
You can set this all up through an automated platform that allows you setup triggers based on user’s response. It saves you time because the system handles all the delivery of messages on your behalf.
It’s hard to wait when you’re expecting results of a lab test or scan, and often that wait extends weeks or even months because it requires another appointment with a very busy physician. By delivering text results through a quick text or a mobile app, you help patients fight anxiety related to fear of the unknown and you give them priceless peace of mind.
Unlike results delivered by phone, mobile updates can include pictures of X-rays or MRIs and detailed bloodwork results that patients can then keep in their files.
There is a lot of evidence that mobile marketing is remarkably effective, but using it to engage with patients makes it even more valuable to your business. When you better connect with the people you’re trying to help, they learn to trust you more, they’re comfortable seeing you more often, and you’re in a prime position to help them live happier healthier lives. What could be better than that?
Sophorn is an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s mass text messaging automation solution, he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members. Watch Trumpia’s 5-Minute Demo on how to execute an effective mobile marketing strategy.