In a world where we have instant access to information, the patient has become a consumer. More empowered than ever before, your patients are gathering information and carefully weighing the options before ever setting foot in your office. So how do you engage and retain this new more informed patient at every touch point along the way?
Having an understanding of the patient’s thought-process and the steps they take as they navigate the selection of a caregiver, diagnosis and treatment is crucial to providing a positive patient experience. We call this the Patient-Buyer Journey, and it should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
Here’s how to maximize the patient engagement opportunity at key points along the way:
- Awareness — Often, patients don’t begin looking for a doctor until they realize there’s a problem. The awareness of a need is the starting point that kicks the patient off down their journey. Savvy providers are now identifying ways to get into their potential patient’s line of sight long before they have a need. This could mean utilizing digital advertisements or thought leadership articles that might get you out in front of the right audience at the right time.
- Engagement — Once a potential provider is on a patient’s radar, developing trust and encouraging engagement is essential in order to get them through the door. For some providers this could mean sharing unbiased information to help them live a healthy lifestyle or being upfront about costs and setting appropriate expectations.
- Payment Experience — Statistics show that if a patient understands their bill they are more likely to pay it on time and consider their experience with the provider to be a favorable one. Patients often don’t pay their bills because they are confused about what’s owed or assume they cannot afford it. Make it a priority to help your patients understand their bills, offer up payment plans, and several types of payment options to make forking over the money easier.
Check out our Healthcare Patient Buyer Journey Infographic below for more details and data to help you enhance your patient engagement.