In addition to being effective clinicians, chiropractors must be effective marketers. How can you reinforce your educational message to patients, and keep them coming back to your office for wellness care?
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, low-investment, high-return means of educating patients, consider building and promoting your own website. You can promote the website through your practice newsletter, during the report of findings (ROF), and through your direct interaction with patients.
Your website can explain the different health-care problems that chiropractic can treat. It’s the perfect opportunity to further educate patients (and potential patients) about the depth and scope of your practice. For instance, a patient may be coming in to see you for low back pain, but may not realize that you also may be able to help with neck pain and chronic headaches. When the patient sees the list of all the services you offer on your website, you’ve opened the door to a dialogue during that patient’s next appointment with you.
Getting to the Website
But first, you have to get the patient to your website. You can let patients know about your website verbally, through your patient newsletter, in a direct-mail campaign, and by posting your web address anywhere and everywhere (including patient invoices and on business cards and appointment cards).
Your website doesn’t have to overwhelm people with fancy graphics or tons of information in order to be effective. Your site should explain who you are, your qualifications, the services you offer, your contact information, etc. You should provide information that will educate and inform both existing patients and potential patients. Use your site as a patient retention tool as well as a new patient recruitment tool.
Use the ROF
When you give your patients their ROF, keep in mind that they might not be able to absorb all you are telling them in one sitting. You can amplify your points by telling your patients about your website, and directing them to more detailed information about their health conditions. Your patients can read the information at their leisure, in the privacy of their homes, and then they can follow up with any questions at their next appointment.
You should still offer printed patient education literature (brochures, etc.), for patients who don’t have Internet access or who prefer to read this type of information off-line. However, for the growing number of patients who do prefer surfing the web, you will come across as a high-tech doctor, and you’ll save on printing costs as an added bonus.
Your website can reinforce your other patient interactions and educational efforts. An effective website can be a powerful tool to make sure you’re always on your patients’ minds. Ms. Mulligan has more than 15 years of experience in medical and technical writing and marketing communications.