Creating a Patient-Centered Practice
Can I state the obvious for just a minute?
I know you chose to become a practitioner because you want to help others have better lives.
Whether you’re a chiropractor who’s helping patients find relief from their migraines and back pain…
Or you’re a health coach who’s passionate about helping women naturally balance their hormones…
Or you’re a massage therapist who wants to melt away your clients’ stress and improve their resilience…
You do what you do because you believe in a better life for your patients. So, it’s safe to say that you’re pretty focused on your patients during their appointments… But what about when you’re not with them? What happens in-between your in-person or virtual appointments?
As a business coach and mentor for wellness practitioners, one of the most common blind spots I see clinicians struggling with is how to be patient-centered outside of appointments.
Why does this matter? Because in the grand scheme of things, your patients spend very little time actually with you during their appointments. For the most part, they’re going about their lives, hopefully following the protocols you set for them. They’re checking their emails, scrolling through social media, bee-bopping through life and work until it’s time to come see you again.
Showing up for them in the places they hang out – outside of their appointments – proves that you value and care for them. And this is vital for the success of your practice.
So, how exactly do you do that? To help you out, I’ve put together some of my “best of the best” resources to help you become more patient-centered in every aspect of your practice.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
1. Embrace the Niche
I’m going to cut to the chase here. In order to draw in your ideal patient, you’ll need to speak their language. And in order to speak their language, you need to know who they are. You wouldn’t talk to an elderly man the same way you’d talk to a tween, would you?
Yes, my friend, I’m talking about niching down. When it comes to healthcare, people want specialists, not generalists. (this is why you won’t find me going to a GP for a broken leg!)
I know that niching down can be scary. So, here are 3 resources to help you out:
- Why a Niche Matters and How You Can Get One – Start with this blog if you’re not convinced you need to have a niche. Then, keep reading for 7 simple questions to help you hone in on your perfect niche.
- 10 Things You Must Know About Your Ideal Patient – This podcast will walk you through how to get to know your ideal patient (like, really know them).
- How to Market in Your Ideal Patient’s Language – Once you choose your niche, then what? Check out this blog for three powerful tips.
There’s a saying, “If you’re speaking to everybody, you’re speaking to nobody.” The same goes for your practice. If you’re trying to serve everyone, you’ll end up serving nada.
2. Build Patient Loyalty
Building loyalty has to do with delighting your patient and exceeding their expectations. But don’t start giving away free supplements or other goodies quite yet. Check out these resources for some ideas on how you can begin creating super happy patients:
- 4 Simple Things You Can do to Create a Stronger Patient Relationship – Podcast
- Why the Customer Experience Matters – Podcast
- How to Build Loyal Patients in 3 Easy Steps – Blog
- Powerful Reasons Why Your Patients Need a Journey Map – Blog
Remember, when you truly connect with your patients, they can’t help but talk about you to their friends and family. This is an amazingly powerful way to get referrals and build your practice!
3. Connect With the Right Kind of Patient
I know I keep beating the same drum here, but this is where having a niche is sooooo helpful.
If you’re a chiropractor who wants to focus on prenatal and family care, you probably don’t want to attract highly complex sports injury cases.
If you’re a health coach who wants to help the senior population improve their mobility and vitality, then working with young professionals probably isn’t your jam.
But connecting with the right kind of patient goes deeper than just a specific niche. It’s also about knowing whether you and the new patient are going to be a stellar fit. This is sooo important! So, pause your reading and check out these resources:
- 10 Signs Your Patient May Not Be the Best Fit – And What to Do About It – Blog
- How to Make Unbreakable Patient Connections – Podcast
- Why You Should Prequalify Your Patients – Podcast
- How to Set Clear Boundaries with Your Patients – Podcast
Identifying your perfect patient isn’t JUST about knowing who you want to work with. It’s also, just as importantly, knowing who isn’t the right fit.
4. Improve Your Patient Experience
Whether it’s the appearance of your lobby, your check-in process, or a post appointment follow-up email, I guarantee you there are ways you can improve your patient experience. These seemingly small details can make a powerful impact on how your patients perceive you and your practice.
So, here are three resources on how you can go above and beyond on your customer experience so they’ll be scrambling to book another appointment with you:
- 7 Simple Ways to Encourage Overwhelmed Patients – Blog
- Simple Ways to Boost Your Customer Experience – Blog
- 6 Ways to Improve Your Patient Experience – Podcast
Even if you’ve been a practitioner for decades, there’s ALWAYS room to grow. It may be time to revisit some of your systems and processes with a fresh set of eyes.
How Will You Create a Patient-Centered Practice?
Research shows that 1 out of 2 Americans (54%) aren’t engaged with their work.1 They’re unattached and not passionate about what they do. They wish they could be doing something else…
But you’re different.
You’re living your passion every single day and making your community a better place. And that’s admirable, my friend!! Think of all the patients you’ve impacted and how their lives (and their families lives) are better because of you.
If you want to have an even greater impact, help more people, and build a profitable practice while you’re at it, I’d love to have you join my Facebook group. It’s a fun and supportive place where all types of healthcare practitioners share their own marketing strategies and learn different ways to grow, market and scale their practices into ones they absolutely love.
I can’t wait to see you there!
1. (2020, July 2). Historic Drop in Employee Engagement Follows Record Rise – Gallup. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://www.gallup.com/workplace/313313/historic-drop-employee-engagement-follows-record-rise.aspx