Patient-centered care, also known as value-based care, is about transforming the relationship between healthcare providers and patients from the traditional model (same treatment for similar problems) to individualized care. The individualized care provided is based on each patient’s unique preferences, background, lifestyle, and medical concerns. This topic has been trending in the past year because it is the care model that most providers now try to follow in their clinic. To demonstrate to patients that PTs are adopting these improved methods of care, they must also update their marketing to align with this shift. Many PT’s are now employing methods of patient-centered marketing, which is created with the patient experience in mind. 

Care providers have traditionally gotten many of their clients through referrals by marketing to those referral sources. While this is still a common practice, PT’s must shift their focus and market directly to patients. To successfully do so, care providers must move forward with the future and use new tactics. This involves using new technology, greater collaboration between patient and therapist, and more transparency about practice methods. With technology almost everything is done seamlessly with customer experience at the top of mind so why should physical therapy be any different?

Benefits of Patient-Centered Marketing

The benefits of patient-centered marketing are that patients are more engaged, there is greater trust, and patients are experiencing improved outcomes with their treatment. With personalized medicine, patients are making informed decisions about their own health and treatment, and they are more deeply engaged which can reduce costs associated with care for both practitioners and patients. These same benefits affect patients using patient-centered marketing too. 

Social Media Has Changed the Game

Social media has fundamentally changed the way that consumers and patients interact with a brand or company. Patients often share their feedback and experience on their platform and companies can’t interfere with word of mouth marketing so they have to work harder to ensure a positive customer experience each time. Figuring out what patients are looking for can be relatively easy, just ask them. Most people are willing to share their experience and what marketing methods they are likely to pay attention to. One of the most effective performance indicators (KPI) to measure how happy a patient was with your services is their Net Promoter Score. A Net Promoter Score is how likely a patient is to recommend a clinic’s services to other people online. Incorporating social media into how PTs provide care has the potential to improve treatment outcomes as well as keeping patients engaged. 

Start Paying Attention to Metrics 

For many PTs trying to figure out where to start their marketing efforts, they already have useful data at their fingertips to help them get started. Assessing and analyzing data is a great way to find out a clinic’s strengths and weaknesses. Data is helpful because it is objective information that reveals truths that patients might not say directly to PTs. Some important metrics to pay attention to are vacancy rates, current email campaign marketing metrics, return on ad spending, and social media metrics. The clinic vacancy rate is the amount of unscheduled free time a PT has during their shift. Understanding this metric can minimize cancellations or no-show appoints and can be streamlined for better patient experience. Social media metrics to pay attention to include audience size, engagement, and average traffic. The purpose of social media is to produce results but if patients are not seeing your page or not interacting with it, it is the same as not having a social media platform.  

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Personalize the Marketing Message 

With the rising cost of healthcare, patients are increasingly careful about where they spend their money. One-size fits all marketing message no longer do the trick when there are so many options in the saturated healthcare market. This is where the data from the above metrics becomes handy. If your clinic is known for doing exceptionally well with rehabbing hip issues then focus your marketing efforts on hip issues while improving the other areas that the clinic is not known for. Communicate your strengths in a way that is easy for patients to understand, without high-level PT jargon or medical terms. 

Target your Market 

If your PT clinic doesn’t already have a website, bookmark this page and get started on creating one today! The best way to create a personalized lasting impression on each patient is to get your marketing efforts through to them before they even step foot in the clinic. Become a savvy social media user and collect testimonials and reviews from existing patients and publicize the success stories. It is important to remain genuine and establish credibility so make sure your marketing efforts are aligned with your mission statement and vision for the clinic. Emphasize your strengths and set your clinic apart from the competition with transparency and high-quality care. It is also important to make sure everyone in the clinic, from the front desk to PTAs, and PTs are on the same page with the marketing efforts. The front office staff are usually the first to interact with the patient and can set the mood for the entire treatment. 

Patient-centered marketing starts with listening to the existing client base and improving on pain points. Use customer surveys and patient engagement tools to keep in touch after the appointment has ended to follow up on their needs because health care should be highly personalized for each patient and marketing efforts should reflect that model of care. With the industry shifting heavily towards patient-centered care now is a crucial time to shift towards patient-centered marketing. 

To try out a telehealth platform that has been successfully shown to increase patient engagement, treatment adherence, and improve overall satisfaction contact AC-Health today. AC Health is the only home exercise program app that has a 91 Net Promoter Score from patients and the only HEP software that automatically fills cancelations to lower clinic vacancy rates.