As the health care landscape evolves, patients are transforming from passive users of health care services to engaged power players in the health care ecosystem.
How can physiotherapists and clinic owners work to transform patient engagement and be apart of it rather than being left behind?
Here are 5 ways to engage your patients with technology and keep them coming back for more.
Everyone and their grandmother is on social media these days. If your clinic isn’t, consider getting at least one account.
TIP: Facebook and Instagram are the two most popular social media platforms and many clinic owners have reported a lot of success using them.
The great thing about social media channels is they provide free, easy ways to deliver high quality content about your practice as well as useful information to engage your potential patients.
There are currently about 2.5 billion users on social media, and by 2020 that number is expected to increase to well over 3 billion. If that alone hasn’t convinced you to pick up your tweeting game, maybe this will…
Between 2009 and 2016, social media spending for businesses increased by 234%. Between 2015 and 2016, it went up another 11.7% (triple what it was the year before). Yes, it’s a big deal and companies are now realizing just how much power these platforms can have.
But, it’s a fact, some businesses are just terrible at managing their social media.
If you ask anyone with a decent online presence what their most profitable social platform is, chances are they’ll say Instagram.
Instagram currently has over 600 million users, and each user spends on average three hours each day on the platform (you do the math.) Seriously high engagement rates (4.21%) show that Instagram actually matters to a brand’s audience. In fact, one high quality Instagram post will drive on average 50x the engagement of a Facebook post and about 120x the engagement of a follower on Twitter.
Here’s what one practice owner had to say about her experience using Instagram:
“We want to be able to connect with our patients and have a genuine relationship that takes us outside the traditional four walls of the clinic (in a professional manner, of course!). Instagram allows for us to do this and has provided us with a platform to show multiple facets of who we are and what makes [mend], [mend]! It has also helped us connect with peers and other professionals around the globe, and has allowed us to share our practice standards so that we can continue to build and promote our profession. It’s an amazing communication tool!” –Candice Wong, [Mend]Physio
To learn more and get started with Instagram, read this blog.
2. Email Newsletter
Email newsletters are easy to create and free to send using a service like Mailchimp.
While social media is key to any practice these days, it’s a busy world online and getting an email into your patients’ inbox puts you front and center. Don’t set up a newsletter, though, unless you plan on delivering useful content. While it’s helpful for patients to know if you’re closed for a holiday or have a special promotion coming up, people are looking for information about how you can help them. For example, explain a concept, common injury or seasonal tips for staying injury free.
Not sure how to get started on Mailchimp and send out a great newsletter, sign up here to get exclusive access to Embodia Academy’s mini-training.
3. Appointment Reminders
This isn’t just practical and helps reduce the number of cancellations but also keeps your practice top of mind for your patients.
All EMR systems have or will have automated message reminders (emails and/or texts) that get sent to your patients without you having to do anything.
TIP: If you choose to do online booking, don’t allow patients to cancel their appointments online. This gives you/your admin staff some control.
“Technology is a great servant but a poor master” -Gretchen Rubin.
This blog is primarily about technology based solutions but nothing replaces the personalized care we provide our patients. Running a workshop in the community or at the clinic can be a great way to re-activate patients and teach them about a specialty you or one of your clinicians has.
A workshop doesn’t have to be a big endeavor and you can start small but the high quality, valuable experience you can provide the community can yield incredible results.
There are a few options for providing your patients with an app that allows them to book your services, get rewards or view their exercise program. In the next few years there will be more options and patients will expect that you have an app that you can use with them, so why not be an early adopter and really impress your patients with novel technology – while it’s still novel!
healthSwapp is one example of how you can engage your patients with their home exercise program, education material and videos. You can also custom brand the app with your clinic logo and colors by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s what one clinic owner said about using healthSwapp for home program prescription:
“healthSwapp has moved my practice into this century! As my approach is entirely therapy based, I relied on the requisite paper handouts doctored with my chicken scrawl and stick diagrams for home follow up. Now I have a more polished and professional service to offer my patients.” –Rochenda Howard, BET PhysioPilates
Physiotherapy can be a slow process with little short-term reward. Engaging patients in the process and being their go-to source for information while blending technology into our practices will keep us at the forefront of the evolving healthcare landscape.