How an EMR Can Help Your Clinic’s Marketing Efforts

digital_medical_recordsThis post was contributed by our friends at WebPT to help you jump start your marketing efforts during National Physical Therapy Month.

Typically when discussing electronic medical record (EMR) systems, people bring up the benefits of digital documentation: it’s easier, faster, and more organized, plus it looks better than the traditional pen-and-paper method. But that’s only the beginning of the great EMR discussion. The right EMR solution provides so much more than a just means of documenting effectively and efficiently. It can also help you market your practice. Here’s how:

Referral Reporting

According to the APTA’s Marketing to Health Care Professionals guide, 94% of consumers go directly to their primary care provider for pain or mobility concerns. Those providers—hopefully—then refer those patients to rehab therapists, which means referrals play a key role in your acquisition of new patients. Thus, in addition to marketing your practice to potential patients directly, you must also market to other medical professionals. And when it comes to any form of marketing, you should track your efforts.

Good EMR solutions take into account the importance of this, and that’s why they offer referral reporting. This feature allows you to attach the name of a particular physician to each patient he or she sends your way. Later, you can create a report identifying your best referral sources as well as those that probably need a little more networking attention.

Branding

Some EMRs also allow you to place your clinic’s logo on all of your digital documents, including physician notes. This not only gives you an extra bit of professional polish, but also puts your brand in front of referral sources on a consistent basis. Subtle, I know, but effective, because as any marketing pro will tell you, when it comes to branding, repetition is key. Continue reading

Guerrilla Marketing, a PT Perspective

The term guerrilla marketing was first coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 national best seller of the same name. The concept is so popular, Levinson has built his whole career around it, writing exclusively on this subject for the past 30 years. For good reason; Guerrilla Marketing is considered to be the best known marketing brand in history, was named one of the 100 best business books ever written, selling over 21 million copies. Levinson’s ideas have influenced marketing so much that his books have been translated in 62 languages and are required reading in MBA programs worldwide (I can attest to this).

Needless to say, in 2012, it has become a critical part of the advertising lexicon. While the method has clearly never gone out of fashion, with the explosion of social media, the spotlight has been on it again. With that in mind, I recently revisited my dusty copy looking for inspiration. What did I find? It turns out PTs might be some of the best candidates to become guerrilla marketers I can think of.

Guerrilla Meets The Tortoise and the Hare

Let’s start with guerrilla marketing lesson number one, “Marketing is every bit of contact your company has with anyone in the outside world. Every bit of contact.” This means your company name, website, branding, clinic location, voicemail message, staff, length of sessions, follow-up, growth plans, and so on. If you’re not a clinic owner, you’re not quite off the hook. Don’t forget you are a brand in and of yourself.  Your personal brand is much like a company and what the world sees whether it be online networking or looking for a new job.

On top of keeping all these elements in mind, Levision further stresses that “marketing is a process, not an event.” In the tradition of the childhood fable, slow and steady wins the race. A true guerrilla marketer, he says, knows that marketing has a beginning and a middle, but never an end.

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Blogging for Beginners

If you’ve read our Social Pulse Resources page, you know the importance of blogging to increase your online reputation and searchability on the web. Many of you may be thinking that this is easier said than done. However, with a little strategy, beginning to blog is much easier than you think. Continue reading