As a practice owner, you prioritize the patient experience. It’s common for the patient experience to be the focus whenever providers choose office management software, but considering ways to make our practice more profitable should also be a priority. Adopting a patient portal can assist your healthcare digital marketing to help you grow your practice and attract new patients. Here’s what you need to know.
Start with Email
The first step to incorporate your patient portal into your healthcare digital marketing is to capture email addresses from every patient in your practice. Email addresses are commonly used for patient logins on portals and they provide you with a direct online connection to your patients.
Perhaps you already have email addresses for most patients. If you don’t, figure out the best way to get them. With new patients, you can simply add a required email address field to your intake paperwork.
For existing patients, you may need to call to ask for an email address. Alternatively, you can ask as they come in or call for appointments.
Create an Autoresponder Series to Explain Your Patient Portal
Some of the reasons most commonly cited for low patient adoption of healthcare portals include:
Patients not understanding the benefits of the portal
A user interface that’s not intuitive or easy to use
Limited healthcare literacy (patients worry they won’t understand the information on the portal)
Providers don’t talk about the portal with their patients
One way to address most of these issues is to create an autoresponder email series to educate your patients about the portal and its benefits. Research shows that email marketing is one of the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to connect with people online.
Your autoresponder series should:
Explain the benefits of your new patient portal
Show patients how to use the portal with step-by-step instructions and screenshots
Alleviate patient concerns about privacy and security
Let patients know that the portal is your preferred way to communicate
That last point is an important one because there’s evidence to suggest that provider attitudes about portals play a significant role in patient adoption.
As you create your email series, make sure that each email is easy to read with plenty of white space, relevant images, and simple language. Don’t try to cover too much in one email. Instead, walk patients through what they need to know about the patient portal one step at a time.
Give Your Portal a Prominent Place on Your Website
You want patients to use the patient portal, and that means you’ve got to eliminate as many barriers as possible. One simple way to do that is to add a high-profile link to your portal on the homepage of your practice’s website.
The link to the portal should be above the fold, meaning that patients won’t need to scroll down to find it. Some providers choose to put the login fields in a box on their site. Others simply have a link that will redirect site visitors to the portal.
Use Social Media to Educate Your Followers About the Portal
Many practices have active followings on social media. If your practice has a Facebook page or Twitter, then you can use those platforms to let your existing followers know about your new patient portal.
Keep in mind that organic reach on social media isn’t what it used to be. If you want to be sure to reach a majority of your followers, you’ll need to boost a post about your patient portal. Here are some options to consider:
Promote a blog post about the benefits of your patient portal
Create a video where you demonstrate the portal and promote the video
Create an infographic showing the benefits of patient portals
You can also encourage your followers to share your patient portal content with their connections.
Promote Your Patient Portal in Digital Ads to Attract New Patients
Finally, you can use your patient portal as a way of attracting new patients. Many young people, in particular, expect online access to information. Marketing to them can help you grow your practice.
You can advertise on social media and use your existing followers to create a lookalike audience to attract new patients. The same things we mentioned for marketing the portal to your existing audience can work for new patients, too.
You may also want to consider search engine advertising for patient portal keywords to help you attract new patients. Be sure to use local keywords. They’ll be cheaper to bid on than general keywords and they’ll also ensure that you’re reaching the right audience with your ads.
A patient portal is more than a convenience. If you market it properly, it can help you attract new patients and grow your practice. To learn more about HENO’s new patient portal and check out its features, click here to schedule a free demo now.
Jania has been a dedicated member of the HENO team since November 2017. As our marketing and customer service specialist, she’s here to help you optimize your practice management processes and provide a better experience for your patients.