Running a medical practice without proper healthcare marketing in 2020 can be disastrous. No matter where your clinic may be, from New York to LA, developing an effective marketing strategy with healthcare marketing experts is the best way to make your business grow.
New patients are crucial to the success of your practice, and healthcare marketing guarantees a constant stream of new patients contacting your team daily. Make the switch to full-time healthcare marketing and avoid the possibility of your competitors outgrowing you online.
In this article, we discuss exactly why healthcare marketing has never been more important than right now. We answer the questions: what does healthcare marketing entail, what are the tools and strategies required, and what is everything else you need to know to begin your first or best healthcare marketing campaign yet.
Why Healthcare Marketing Is Absolutely Necessary In 2020
Today’s healthcare industry is more sophisticated and advanced than ever before. Clinics and healthcare providers now have the latest equipment and technologies to provide the best care possible, and patients have higher expectations now more than ever.
Simply put, the healthcare industry evolves at a pace many doctors and clinics can’t match without the help of a strong healthcare marketing strategy. It’s no longer enough to keep your training, techniques, and equipment up-to-date; doctors also need to consider their healthcare marketing, and how it can be made more cost-effective and customer-centric.
Here are some reasons why healthcare marketing is now a necessity:
The world has gone digital
Before the internet, doctors and clinics could grow their business with just their reputation and patient word-of-mouth. Their main source of new client acquisition came from referrals, from other doctors and satisfied patients.
But the mass adoption of the Internet has changed the healthcare landscape. Healthcare providers that refuse to go digital find themselves losing patients to clinics who advertise online. Here’s why:
- Patients are now totally aware of all healthcare providers in their area. They can assess and compare all available healthcare options: 5% of all searches on Google are health-related
- Patients are less likely to ask for healthcare recommendations from their primary care physicians and their personal networks; instead, they are more likely to ask help from Google, meaning natural word-of-mouth is no longer as effective
- Since patients use Google to find new clinics instead of asking their doctors and friends, this means that healthcare marketing is now more important than a doctor’s reputation
General consumer behavior has changed general patient behavior
The digital world has changed general consumer behavior. This means patients have different expectations when it comes to all services they use, including healthcare provider services.
Healthcare marketing ensures that your online image is just as professional and intelligent as your real-life image. With an experienced digital team by your side, you can ensure that your reputation and expertise are properly reflected online. And patients notice and appreciate this effort.
Some of the expectations patients now have include:
- Being able to connect with their doctor and healthcare practice across multiple channels
- Being part of a transparent online community that works to retain and grow their long-term loyalty. One study found that “media richness had a strong, positive, and direct effect on brand loyalty”
- Being given timely and relevant content through online outreach across social media, newsletters, and emails
While it may seem unnecessary for healthcare providers to invest so much in their online presence, the extensive role of online activity has trained patients to trust businesses with active online platforms over those without.
This includes clinics and the general healthcare industry. Millennials are actually much likelier to switch practices than previous generations, with an estimated 43% of US millennials changing doctors every few years.
Online and virtual services make growth limitless
Healthcare organizations have traditionally never had to worry too much about growth. Your number of patients is limited by the number of working hours in a day. As long as you keep a full schedule of patients, you can consider yourself a success.
But the online world and the rise of telemedicine over the last few years means that growth possibilities of a local healthcare provider and healthcare practice are endless. Here are some of the reasons why growth potential is much higher now with telemedicine:
- Telemedicine allows doctors to save time between appointments, allowing doctors to treat more patients throughout the day
- Telemedicine makes it easier for patients to book appointments and meet doctors, meaning they are likelier to become more active
- Telemedicine still has much room for growth, with one study finding that 82% of Americans still haven’t used telemedicine services. Growth over the next few years will be the most significant change in the healthcare industry in decades
With a proper healthcare marketing strategy that aims to maximize upward growth, your clinic could multiply your overall patient count several times over.
Core Aspects of Modern Healthcare Marketing
So what are the core aspects of modern healthcare marketing for healthcare marketers to get best results? Modern marketing healthcare practices should revolve around the following principles:
- Healthcare Customer Relationship Management: Also known as HCRM, this type of platform uses the clinic’s existing database to optimize multichannel healthcare campaigns to maximize outreach to your audience. This improves customer service, patient experience, patient engagements, and encourages loyalty and long-term relationships.
- Marketing Automation Strategies: Marketing in healthcare means getting the most out of automation software, or working with an online marketing team that can develop content distribution and engagement plan activities. They can develop automatic triggers that react to patients depending on what they do. These can be used together with a healthcare marketing strategy through email, social media, and other paid campaigns.
- Content Management System: Also known as CMS, this kind of software lets you build healthcare marketing content and integrate it with your HCRM to align your content strategy with your marketing strategy. Digital marketing efforts that combine content and distribution across multiple channels can help you get the most out of your budget.
- Patient Engagement Center and Marketing Pipelines: Marketing for healthcare requires a patient engagement center where patients can interact to learn more about your clinic. This can be done online, over the phone, through text, and more.
What Makes Good Healthcare Marketing: Tools and Techniques
Healthcare marketing tools that healthcare marketers used can be complicated, as they generally require years of digital marketing experience to understand. Here are some tools that healthcare marketers use to grow any healthcare provider’s online presence:
Web Design and Development
No respectable marketing efforts begin without a focus on web design and development. Your online platform is the core of your online presence. An active social media presence can’t replace the value of a professional, fast, and beautiful website.
Patients expect a flawless experience when they visit your page on whatever device: computer, tablet, or smartphone. Speed, navigation, content, call-to-actions; all of these and more will influence whether patients schedule their first or next appointment.
Ads and Analytics: PPC, Facebook, Instagram
So many of us spend so many hours per day on social media, making it one of the best places to reach new patients through online ad campaigns. Digital marketing teams work on optimizing ads to maximize ROI.
Your digital team should utilize marketing strategies that get the most out of PPC marketing (also known as paid search marketing, search engine marketing, and pay-per-click), Facebook ads, and Instagram ads. They should also have the expertise to perform analytics to make every campaign better than the last.
Did you know it only takes 1 to 6 online reviews for a potential patient to form an opinion on your health practice or clinic? So what do you know about your online presence? What are people saying about your health medical practice on all the platforms? No health care marketing strategy is complete without time spent refining a business’s online reputation.
With an amazing health system digital marketing team like PracticeBloom, you can get your reputation under control before it gets out of hand. This means monitoring the reviews and discussion around your medical practice, and developing the right reputation digital marketing strategies to improve the way your healthcare services look.
Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing
There’s a lot more to social media marketing than sending out funny Tweets and publishing weekly blogs. The difference between an average social media junkie and a professional digital marketing team with customized marketing strategies is the difference between zero organic visitors and too many of them.
Healthcare marketers study everything around your clinic to gain the necessary insight and make the proper adjustments to boost your site’s rankings. This means utilizing all relevant information: site navigation, information architecture, WordPress security, word count, and more. We use data scientists to engineer the most cost-efficient SEO and social media marketing strategy possible.
Marketing is all about results, and results mean calls. A professional health marketer team should equip your business with patient call tracking, so you can analyze your marketing strategy.
Even the top New York healthcare practice cares about their call numbers, and they analyze their call data. Calls are more important than web leads, with caller retention rate being 28% higher than retention rate from the web.
Health system marketing teams understand the importance of tracking every patient and their call, and helping your health system staff push those numbers higher while making each patient call count for more.
It’s all about maximizing the patient experience, and the patient experience is all about that first call.
Main Challenges In Healthcare Marketing and How to Overcome Them
Healthcare marketing isn’t as simple as creating a beautiful website and expecting patients to book appointments. The healthcare industry has become oversaturated with too many practices and clinics with their own websites. These days, creating a website is the bare minimum to healthcare marketing.
With telemedicine, video conferencing, and remote health system consultation gaining a major foothold in the digital age, you aren’t just competing with other clinics in your area. Patients can now choose from clinics from all over the world, and if they have better marketing, patients might never consider your services.
But coming up with the best healthcare marketing plan isn’t impossible. It begins with understanding the challenges specific to the healthcare industry, and finding solutions to overcome them.
Here are the most common challenges when marketing online in the healthcare industry:
Traditional marketing believes that casting the widest net possible is the best way to get the largest audience. But this simply doesn’t apply to modern consumer behavior.
Healthcare is a broad field with multiple disciplines involved. Each health discipline involves a specific skill set and expertise. Modern patients are looking for hyper targeted clinics that focus on one thing and nothing else because specialization generally means high expertise. Amongst the many choices of clinics, patients tend to choose those which address their specific concern.
If you run a podiatry clinic, your marketing plan should target clients who have foot and ankle ailments. If you operate a chiropractic clinic, target patients with chronic back pain and spine alignment issues. Understanding your target market or best patient group and hyperfocusing on them are the first steps to creating a healthcare marketing campaign that works.
Outdated Marketing Tactics
The general internet is savvier than ever before. Your patients can see through attempts at upselling unnecessary services and overbearing sales talk. These days, effective healthcare marketing should focus on authority building and value proposition.
Your relationship with your patients doesn’t start when they walk through the doors. With an online presence, your relationship with them begins the moment they click on your website and visit a page or read an article. Modern consumer behavior is predicated on heavy research and individual assessment before they contact your sales representative.
It’s not that ads are no longer important; it’s that content is now just as important as ads. The content you publish, the words on your website, the reviews you have online; all these contribute to your clinic’s image. Cultivating that image through trust-building assets is the foundation of effective healthcare marketing and building loyalty with every patient.
Healthcare marketing is a complex organism with different internal processes. These processes include targeted ads, setting up landing pages, producing valuable content, and showcasing a beautiful and functional website. Too many business owners believe that you only need one or two marketing aspects for a perfect campaign.
It doesn’t work this way in healthcare marketing. To drive real results, you need to invest in every single aspect of your healthcare marketing campaign. If you don’t do it, your competitors will, with healthcare global advertising expenditure expected to rise 3.6% this year to an estimated $36 billion.
The good news is that ROIs are well-defined and immediate. Good healthcare marketing agencies provide monthly reports on your progress. ROIs aren’t immediate — they usually take about 3-6 months before you can see the first results — but reputable agencies will always provide a clear status to help reframe your expectations.
Making the Most of Your Healthcare Marketing Strategies
Coming up with a patient strategy is just one aspect of healthcare marketing. Here are some tips on how to maximize your resources and achieve optimal results with every marketing campaign:
- Find And Focus On The Best Channels
Different patients respond to different channels. If your target market responds best through email instead of text, consider funnelling all your resources onto email marketing. The idea of hyper targeting doesn’t just apply to your patients – it should also apply to how you utilize your marketing channels.
While presence on multiple social media platforms is helpful in establishing ubiquity, running multiple ads on Instagram, Facebook, and Google Adwords simultaneously can easily waste your marketing budget.
Instead, run analyses on each platform to determine which social media platform receives the most traffic. Choose the platform with the most engagement and focus all ad spending there.
- Personalize When You Can
Modern patients don’t just prefer personalization, they expect it. With tools like CRM and email management platforms, it’s easier now more than ever to deliver that touch of personalized service.
But personalization in health care doesn’t stop at mentioning their names on emails or remembering their last appointment. This also includes creating sequenced campaigns and delivering content appropriate for them.
For instance, a new patient who just signed to your newsletter won’t need the same resources as a patient who has already undergone a treatment. Keeping the content relevant to your patients’ health care needs will make every interaction feel more special.
- Design Marketing Techniques With Objectives
A disconnect among upper level management, health care professionals, and marketers could bring down marketing initiatives. Firstly, healthcare marketing campaigns should work in favor of your professionals. That means adopting new technologies, services, and tools that will accommodate the influx of traffic and new appointments.
Keep in mind that not all marketing campaigns are created equally. Campaigns that are driven by brand awareness goals focus on building the brand and promoting the clinic. This may focus more on value proposition instead of opportunities to sell. On the other hand, sales-driven techniques are typically ad-heavy and utilize email and text messaging campaigns to increase bookings and drive profits.
While it’s possible to launch these campaigns simultaneously, taking the time to build your practice or clinic from the ground up is the best way to make sure that all bases are covered effectively. With a strong presence, it might not make sense to stick to brand building. Talk with your team to align your marketing efforts with organizational goals.
What an Effective Strategy Looks Like
Health care marketing campaigns vary on a per clinic basis; not all practices have the same marketing needs. However, there are fundamental elements necessary to guarantee a campaign’s success.
Listed below are some ways we’ve maximized results in the past as a healthcare marketing agency:
It Starts with the Website
At PracticeBloom, we implement healthcare marketing strategies from the ground-up. Clinics, practices, and similar institutions in the health care industry are usually too busy to design beautiful websites. Common issues involve having an outdated design, a confusing and clunky interface, bad copy or no copy at all.
Healthcare marketing begins with a beautiful site – one that your patients want to visit. This embodies your brand and what you stand for as a clinic, and sets the tone for all your content.
High-Quality Content Marketing
Having a beautiful site isn’t enough. Publishing top-quality SEO content designed to rank well on search engines boosts your site ranking, making you visible on targeted keywords.
In return, searchers looking for specific services (“colonoscopy in NJ”, “colonoscopy visit”, “do I need a colonoscopy”) are funneled to your site. Even if the reader’s intent isn’t to book an appointment, having your site as a viable resource puts you on their radar. When it’s time to book, a patient is more likely to make an appointment with a clinic that helped them understand the topic instead of a different clinic.
Targeted Ads and Social Media Campaigns
Good healthcare marketing agencies believe in the power of organic traffic. But to drive even faster results, they spend their time creating targeted ads on social media or any other channel relevant to your clinic or practice.
Think of content as the lure and ads as the bait; it’s the final piece of the puzzle that gets your patients to bite on an offer. Marketing for a patient is different from marketing for the average consumer. Including specific offers in the call-to-action (book a free chiropractic adjustment; get $100 off your podiatrist visit) is guaranteed to get the bookings to create significant returns on your investment.
Successful ads are driven by two crucial factors: targeting the right audience and creating a hyper targeted message. Knowing the demographic that needs to hear your messaging the most is key to success when it comes to paid marketing.
Let Your Practice Bloom with PracticeBloom
At PracticeBloom, we have turned healthcare marketing into a science. Using a combination of proprietary SEO tricks, email and content marketing, and smart ads on social media and Adwords, we give your practice or clinic the boost it deserves.
Learn more about what we do in our case studies section. Schedule a quick call with us to learn more about what makes PracticeBloom the choice healthcare marketing agency in NJ and beyond.
Telemedicine is the practice of using technology to provide medical services remotely. With telemedicine, physicians can conduct consultations, refill prescriptions, perform diagnosis with live HD video and photos, as well as monitor patient health.
So, how much do telemedicine physicians actually make? Hourly rates range anywhere from $15 to $50 per hour and yearly wages range anywhere from $30,000 to $500,000 a year. This depends on whether or not the doctor is a full-time telemedicine physician, as well as other factors including location and specialization.
Do Telemedicine Physicians Earn More?
A telemedicine physician enjoys benefits that conventional physician jobs don’t offer, which includes financial advantages that stem from remote work:
- On top of more flexible hours, telemedicine physicians can scale their practice by tapping into new markets. Instead of exclusively serving their local community, a telemedicine physician has access to patients outside their state, especially areas that are lacking access to quality healthcare.
- Telemedicine physicians charge by the hour. Their finite resources become much more valuable because every call and interaction is billable. Telemedicine physicians aren’t expected to give an unlimited amount of time for a maximum amount of salary.
- Succint video calls replace long-winded in-hospital visits. As a result, a telemedicine physician can fit in more patients in one day, and conduct more sessions than they would have in a busy hospital.
Physician Salary By Specialization
Salary estimates for telemedicine jobs vary depending on location, job experience, and services offered. This is especially true in the United States where medical professionals can be compensated differently based on their location. The data listed below comes from a range of telemedicine physicians, including those that are:
- Self-employed and operating their own telemedicine company at home
- Those who are part of a hospital or practice and are using telemedicine as a supplement to conventional care
- Those who offer telemedicine outside of their hospital contracts
- Physicians who are working part time (less than 40 hours a week)
Listed below are the most telemedicine-friendly specializations in the United States:
Telemedicine Family Medicine
|Hourly rate||$15 to $200 per hour|
|Yearly rate||$28,000 to $386,000|
|Average yearly rate||$191, 202|
Primary care physicians are among the easiest practices to convert into telemedicine, with some physicians offering telemedicine-only consultation. Common duties of a telemedicine physician include diagnosing and treating mild symptoms, providing scheduled physical check-ups, and connecting patients with other specialists.
Telemedicine Psychologists and Psychiatrists
|Hourly rate||$25 to $181 per hour|
|Yearly rate||$60,000 to $300,000|
|Average yearly rate||$189,000|
Salary estimates for telemedicine psychologists and psychiatrists depend on their experience. Adult psychologists earn $2,000 to $5,000 more than child psychologists. Nonetheless, both specializations are suitable for telemedicine jobs. With constant communication, psychologists and psychiatrists are able to encourage better compliance and cooperation with their patients, leading to higher success rates.
|Hourly rate||$30 to $200 per hour|
|Yearly rate||$150,000 to $500,000|
|Average yearly rate||$494,400|
Teleradiology is one of the more lucrative specializations making the shift into telehealth and telemedicine, so much so that teleradiologists are earning a lot more than conventional radiologists without changing the core aspects of their profession.
|Hourly rate||$45 to $100 per hour|
|Yearly rate||$45,000 to $250,000|
|Average yearly rate||$190,000|
Not all health issues concerning children are urgent, which is why consultations over telemedicine technology is ideal for pediatricians. Instead of going to the hospital or the emergency room, worried parents can easily access their telemedicine physician and get much-needed, urgent advice.
|Hourly rate||$50 to $200 per hour|
|Yearly rate||$50,000 to $500,000|
|Average yearly rate||$464,000|
Managing congenital heart diseases and reducing the risk of complications becomes easier with telemedicine. Most of cardiology care involves patient monitoring, which is now even more accessible since patients can participate in consistent remote monitoring.
|Hourly rate||$40 to $150 per hour|
|Yearly rate||$150,000 to $300,000|
|Average yearly rate||$175,000|
Gastro conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids are typically treated as outpatient conditions. Gastroenterologists who make the shift to become a telemedicine physician can still manage these non-emergency chronic conditions without a hospital visit. Common duties include checking for symptoms and providing prescriptions when necessary.
|Hourly rate||$30 to $200 per hour|
|Yearly rate||$60,000 to $280,000|
|Average yearly rate||$200,000|
On top of video conferencing, endocrinologists typically use trackers and other bioscanning devices to monitor glucose, blood pressure, and other data. These information will be sent directly to the hospital’s database so endocrinologists can keep track of their patients’ health remotely.
How to Get Started: Telemedicine Physician Jobs
Telemedicine doctors are growing in demand, particularly in the United States. To get started, you can look up available telemedicine physician jobs online in marketplaces like Job Hunt, Indeed, and Zip Recruiter.
These websites congregrate multiple listings, from one company to another, and collate it on one page for easier application. The salary for the physician jobs are typically posted, making it easier to decide whether or not you want to work with a specific clinic or practice.
On the other hand, you can also start your own telemedicine practice, and let your own time define what your physician salary is going to be. Get in touch with PracticeBloom today to learn more about telemedicine, and why you should consider becoming a telemedicine physician.
Read more: What Can Be Treated Through Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is on the rise, with more and more patients seeking alternative means of healthcare and visiting a doctor. With modern internet and technology situated in most homes, virtual care is a viable means of healthcare. This allows any practice to offer care to patients who can’t leave their homes, help free up congested schedules, and expand their audience.
But like any new service or product, it is necessary that you market and promote your telemedicine practice. In this article, we explain what it takes to properly and successfully create a telemedicine marketing campaign.
Why Proper Marketing is Crucial for Telemedicine
For many health practices and clinics, there are little to no marketing choices to be made. Word-of-mouth is often sufficient to ensure a steady stream of local patients. But when marketing a service like telemedicine, relying on simple word-of-mouth isn’t enough
True marketing tactics must be employed to help a clinic launch and maintain their telemedicine medical practice. This is because of the following:
- New service: Everyone knows what a doctor’s appointment is like, but much fewer are familiar with a virtual doctor’s appointment. Although an increasingly popular method of healthcare, telemedicine has yet to enter the spotlight, and many patients are simply unaware of how it works.
- Online competition: Health clinics and practices often thrive in their local community, but in the online world, your competition is more than just the other practices in your town. Patients can select from regional or even national choices, making competition much higher than before.
- Patient education: As with any new service or product, customers seek education and understanding. Producing your own branded educational content is crucial towards securing your foothold in your local telemedicine market.
With telemedicine, online marketing is the name of the game. You want patients who are familiar with and comfortable with the online world, which is why all marketing efforts have to be centered on your online presence.
Below we’ve prepared five steps you should take to market your telemedicine service:
Define Your Target Market: Questions to Ask
The first step of any marketing plan is asking yourself and your team all the important market questions. There needs to be a shared understanding across the board of your direction, your goals, your end game, and your tactics. Without this shared understanding, your marketing decisions will be inconsistent, confusing, and overall ineffective.
Consider the following questions with your practice staff and team:
- Is your goal simply to transition your current patients to a telemedicine service model, or do you want to broaden the reach of your patient services?
- If so, how far are you willing to reach around your local area? Do you want to be a city, state, region, or one of the biggest national telemedicine service providers?
- Would your team be able to handle a 10%, 20%, and 30% increase in patients with telemedicine services in place? How would this affect your doctors and staff?
- Is your goal to increase your overall number of patients or to improve convenience for your doctors and current patients?
- Will your telemedicine services be offered to all patients as a general practice or to specific patients with certain issues?
Maximize Your Online Presence
In the digital world, look and functionality are just as important as credentials and training. When a potential patient opens your website, they need to get the same feeling of trust and comfort that they would when walking into a clean and well-kept clinic lobby or waiting room. If your website looks outdated or is difficult to navigate, potential patients can be turned off, and they would instead seek out another option.
Your online marketing efforts branch out from your online presence, and your online presence starts with your website. Does your website convert visitors? Does it clearly explain your credentials and service details, and offer your visitors the educational service line resources they seek? Do your patients ever have difficulty making bookings, appointments, or finding crucial information?
With our health care marketing team at PracticeBloom, we have created, designed, and launched countless beautiful and functional websites for all types of clinics and practices, including telemedicine. We understand the landing page aesthetic and content marketing materials that the general public expect when searching for a health care provider, and we specialize in infusing your brand with the design elements that are data-tested to work.
Meet Them Where They Are: Targeted Online Ads
Paid online advertising is more nuanced and complex than ever before. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer the tools and data for marketers to truly tailor a program fitting for any specific audience.
With a team of healthcare marketing experts like PracticeBloom, your telemedicine services and practice can be marketed and pinpointed to the exact audience you need. We will work with your team to understand the key demographics that would best respond to your video visit ads, and facilitate an online ad campaign that maximizes this information. Our campaigns are designed to convert with the lowest cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion rates you can find to get the most out of your bottom line.
Promote Your Telemedicine Credentials and Training
When people search for telemedicine services, they want more than just an established doctor and practice. They want to know that they are in good hands specific to telemedicine and video visit virtual care. It’s another way to stand out from the intense online competition: specialize your credentials and training in the telemedicine service line space.
With accreditation with the ATA, your doctors can have official qualification for online patient consultation. This streamlines patient trust and acceptance in your telemedicine services, and is the first step to helping your doctors transition to the world of virtual care.
The ATA also has a number of partnered training programs which your doctors can complete for further qualifications. Not only does this build greater trust with your patients, but it also ensures that your healthcare providers perform consistently and professionally across all patients. Become one of the most trusted providers out there.
Promos, Online Reputation, and Social Media Management
Last but not least: your day-to-day online presence. When everything else is set up and established, from your website to your credentials to your knowledge hub, it’s crucial to maintain day-to-day activity in your online space as one of the top providers in your market.
- Promos: No one can resist a good promo. With PracticeBloom, we can help you discuss and promote your latest practice promotions: from “Your First Virtual Appointment Is Free!” to “Recommend a Friend For A Special Prize”, and create the marketing materials you need. No telemedicine launch is complete without a good promotion
- Online Reputation: Reviews are crucial for your potential patients in this market: they use it to judge you, whether the reviews are fair or not. Respond to your negative reviews, promote your great reviews, and help convince all your patients to review top feedback
- Social Media Management: Daily activity shows patients that your virtual practice is alive and running. Respond to chat requests, answer questions, and help your patients navigate their way into their next appointment
PracticeBloom: Promote Your Telemedicine Practice with the Pros Today
PracticeBloom is the home of the best medical websites on the internet. We’ve designed and launched countless healthcare websites, helping healthcare providers all across the country connect with their ideal patients.
If you are looking for a telemedicine marketing campaign that is guaranteed to bring in the numbers, PracticeBloom is the team for you. Contact us today to find out more about our services and how our patient-first campaigns have helped thousands of people nationwide.
Read more: Pros and Cons of Telemedicine
Telemedicine comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, and weighing these can help you decide if it’s time to set up telemedicine services for your practice or not. With a majority of American households now equipped with smartphones, tablets, and internet access, it would seem that we’re finally ready for widespread telehealth growth. But there are still many people who are wary of telemedicine and virtual access, patients and doctors alike.
In this article, we’ve compiled the top pros and cons of telemedicine as a healthcare provider. Understanding the various advantages and disadvantages will help you in deciding if telehealth is right for you, and whether you are ready to adopt the telehealth access solutions that thousands of providers offer today.
Pros of Telemedicine
Greater Patient Reach
Expanding your existing patient base is beneficial for both your practice and your patients: more people can access the care they need, and your team can access the patients you need to grow and expand. And one of the greatest advantages of telemedicine is reaching out to more patients you wouldn’t normally be able to care for and treat.
Patients who may be stuck at home and patients who have to travel far from rural or remote areas to access care can now be treated by your team. Primary care, medical education, specialist referrals, consumer patient education, and remote patient monitoring can all be successfully performed with virtual appointments.
Save on Costs and Time
Save time and costs on both ends by freeing up the in-office visits and turning them into visits that can be performed from the doctor’s and the patient’s living rooms. One study found that the wait and duration of a doctor’s visit costs an average of $43 for a patient in lost time.
Giving your patients the freedom to choose a virtual visit is an offer that most patients can’t refuse. And turning a majority of your patient meetings into virtual meetings saves you the extra overhead costs as well. This drives down late appointment rates and no-show rates, giving you a clearer and more streamlined overall schedule.
Quicker and Easier Patient Communication
Doctor visits are generally reserved for times when patients feel they have bigger issues that require access to professional care. But there are many cases when a patient won’t make the effort of going to the doctor because they don’t feel that their issue warrants a doctor’s visit, even if it does.
With virtual care through calls and email access, patients are more comfortable engaging with doctors even for minor issues that might not be so minor. For example, if a patient has concerns about their treatment plan or wants to know more about a certain medication, telehealth services allow them to get in touch with their doctor in a professional manner and learn what they need to know.
As discussed above, urgent and real-time consultation is crucial for providing the best patient care continuity. Healthcare providers can save their patients expensive, unnecessary trips to the emergency room with real-time telemedicine appointments that can provide them the consultation they need.
With the access convenience and ease on both ends – for both patients and healthcare providers – patient engagement rates generally rise once a practice starts offering telehealth solutions. The access barriers that stop patients from seeking care are eliminated, and patients can more comfortably engage with their doctor.
Finally, as a doctor you will be able to more effectively access and treat your patients who might wait years for a diagnosis on an issue that can be diagnosed in minutes. With increased access and a more flexible schedule, telehealth opens up treatment possibilities for thousands of patients with video access and email.
Cons of Telemedicine
Frustrating Regulations and Barriers
Like all specializations in the healthcare world, telemedicine regulations can be frustrating and confusing, with regulations unique to each state. Adding access to telemedicine services and dealing with the onrush of new and unfamiliar regulations can be a headache many doctors simply do not want to deal with.
There is also the issue with privacy concerns as you access and use telemedicine equipment, with questionable telemedicine software and tools. If you do not adopt the right equipment and technology, you risk putting your practice in danger of hackers and legal issues.
Specialized Technology and Equipment
While it might seem like all you need is a smartphone or a tablet to help patients in rural areas access you with virtual visits, this isn’t always the case. The specialty technology and equipment for your telehealth services depends on the level of access and service you wish to provide.
Whether it’s therapy appointments, post-operative care, chronic patient monitoring, or other remote health services, the hardware and software to access and perform these properly can be costly and might require additional IT staff, specialized technical training, and additional equipment such as your own servers to avoid technical problems that might lead to reduced care continuity.
It is important to remember that virtual doctor appointments are still limited by the non-physical nature of the meetings. While live video conferencing is easier than ever before, they aren’t always enough to make a proper diagnosis that you can be sure about.
There are many doctors who are uncomfortable with making a diagnosis on issues they can’t see and touch in-person. Unless you have the training and are comfortable with making online diagnoses, you might find yourself having difficulty with virtual appointments.
Possible Office Reshuffle
Whether you are transitioning to a full telemedicine practice for maximized access or simply adding telemedicine services to your offerings, there may be a required office reshuffle. You might need fewer nurses – with a nurse seeing an average 7 in-office patients per day as opposed to 33 virtual patients per day – and more IT staff, requiring more than just equipment and technology implementation, but an entire overhaul of your clinic staff.
Overall: Is Telemedicine Worth It?
Many doctors might still be reluctant to add telemedicine services to what they do, but studies show that clinics who adopt telemedicine programs properly grow significantly with their new virtual care services.
The most difficult aspect of launching a telehealth program is in the initial set-up. But once that is complete, many physicians find their workload much more manageable than before, with more patients treated and greater profits coming into the practice. Telemedicine is the future of healthcare; the sooner you adopt it, the better it will be for your practice.
Market Your Telemedicine Solution with PracticeBloom
PracticeBloom is the leading healthcare marketing team in the country, and we can help you market your telemedicine services to your ideal audience. Website development, content creation, targeted online ad campaigns, and reputation and social media management: with PracticeBloom’s tried and trusted ProfitEngines program, we can boost your telemedicine program in no time.
Contact us today through phone or email to find out more. Thousands of providers have adopted telehealth to maximize their access – it’s time to learn more today.
Continue reading: Successful Telemedicine Examples: What to Learn from Them