In rehab therapy, the patient is always central to your goals. There’s no disputing this.
All the years you spent honing your skills as a physical, occupational or speech therapist – all the hours and days you put into your education, traveling to conferences, attending workshops and seminars, and completing continuing education courses – have ultimately been about improving people’s lives.
And now, with so many options available when it comes to engaging with patients and improving outcomes through predictive analytics, rehab therapists have access to an even bigger toolbox when it comes to providing stellar services and optimizing the patient experience.
Yet, while improving the lives of your current patients is great, using these positive outcomes and experiences to reach wider audiences of potential patients … well, that’s even greater. Not only is it better for your patients, but it’s better for your bottom line.
So how might you turn positive patient outcomes into opportunities to market your clinic? Here are some suggestions:
Share Stories and Testimonials
Few things pique the interests of an audience more than stories about people successfully overcoming challenges, especially when those challenges align with difficulties experienced by the reader, listener or viewer.
That’s why regularly sharing positive patient stories and brief testimonials can be an effective strategy for rehab therapists. Not only do these stories reflect the skill and proficiency of your team, but since they’re shared by the patients themselves, they come wrapped in a heavy layer of third-party credibility.
Both patient stories and testimonials can be told in various ways (i.e., statements, blog posts, videos) and shared throughout a variety of channels like your website, blog, or social media pages.
Improve Online Reputation
According to a 2020 survey, 90% of patients use online reviews when evaluating healthcare providers. Of those, nearly three-quarters checked online reviews as the first step in finding a new provider.1
So, it may be understating things a bit to suggest your online reputation – the online reviews and star ratings you receive on sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. – is something that should be continually nurtured.
Of course, if you and your rehab therapy team are focused on patient engagement and achieving optimal outcomes, online reputation shouldn’t be a problem. The key, though, is to never assume such online praise will come on its own.
When you know a patient had a positive experience at your clinic, always ask them if they’d be willing to leave you a positive online review. You can do this in person, and you can also do this digitally through the use of patient surveys (i.e., Net Promoter Scores).
Along with asking for positive reviews, also empower happy patients to speak well of your rehab therapy practice to family, friends, coworkers, etc. – ideally in the form of referrals.
You can encourage patient referrals by offering formal incentives such as gift cards, but don’t underestimate the power of so-called “softer” incentives. Gestures like sending thank-you cards or calling to express your appreciation to someone who offered a referral can go a long way toward ensuring past patients continue to sing your praises.
Create Patients for Life
To create a patient for life is to have provided such a positive experience – from initial engagement and connection to outcomes that met or exceeded expectations – that the patient is almost certain to come back to your clinic for all future rehab therapy needs.
In other words, you did everything right, and the patient fully recognized and appreciated your efforts. To keep a patient for life, however, requires regular engagement beyond her or his plan of care (POC).
This may include checking in with them and their condition via texts and phone calls; encouraging them to follow one or more of your social media accounts; securing permission to send them clinic news, updates, invites and advice via email newsletters; and even sending them cards on their birthdays.
Creating patients for life is the holy grain of outpatient rehab therapy, and it starts with ensuring patients achieve the outcomes they hope for and expect when first coming into your clinic.
Use FOTO to Improve Patient Outcomes
By leveraging the industry’s most advanced outcome measuring system, FOTO Patient Outcomes, rehab therapists can help ensure their patients achieve their goals by elevating the quality of care they offer.
With a database of more than 36 million patient assessments, FOTO allows providers to better manage quality-of-care metrics, support goal-setting conversations, track patient satisfaction, and predict functional outcomes.
All this helps rehab therapists create success stories that can be shared, marketed, and used to establish referrals and create patients for life.
To learn more about FOTO Patient Outcomes and how your rehab therapy team can turn positive outcomes into powerful marketing opportunities, contact us today to schedule a demo.
1 Software Advice, “How Patients Use Online Reviews,” April 3, 2020