Healthcare Technology Featured Article

March 09, 2021

Taking Care of Your Eyes

So, you’ve countless days and nights attending medical school and earning your postgraduate degree to become a certified ophthalmologist. You’ve likely even invested a few years working at a reputed hospital to gain real-life experience in your field.

Now, you seem to be all set to kickstart your own practice. After all, what can be more rewarding than launching your own eye care clinic and catering to more patients, right? It’s only when you start working on your business plan that you realize the challenges of establishing and growing an ophthalmology practice.

Whether you’re building an ophthalmology practice from scratch or have been running one for years, you should know that it isn’t a cakewalk. You need to outline a concrete strategy to attract new patients, as well as retain existing patients.

This is particularly crucial considering that Medicare reimbursement rates for various ophthalmologic procedures were cut by 6% for 2021. Combined with hefty overheads, including equipment costs and staff salaries, it is becoming increasingly challenging for ophthalmology practices to thrive.

To keep their business profitable, many ophthalmologists are forced to see more patients. This, in turn, compromises the quality of patient care and adversely affects the clinic’s reputation. But there is a silver lining to this grim scenario.

From growing your online presence to hiring an ophthalmology consultant - there are various ways to propel your practice towards success. In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into a few steps you should take to sustain and grow your ophthalmology clinic.

Boost Your Digital Presence

First things first - you need to accept that you’re not just a physician. If you’re running your own practice, you’re also a business owner. And just like every entrepreneur in today’s world, you need a powerful digital marketing strategy to build your brand and amplify awareness.

Start by hiring a developer to build a website for your clinic (if you haven’t done that already). Alternatively, you can try using a content management system, such as WordPress, to create your website. While you don’t need any experience in coding, you should ensure that you have enough time to finish the project.

Apart from showcasing key business details and your profile, your website should include advanced features to let patients check availability and schedule appointments. Set up the live chat feature to provide instant support to prospective clients.

Also, it’s a good idea to hire a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist who can implement suitable measures to boost your website’s visibility in search engines. You can take this up a notch by regularly publishing relevant and interesting blog posts to attract and engage your target clients.

Next, you need to establish a strong presence on leading social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Keep your social media profiles active by regularly uploading insightful content related to your industry.

Focus on educating patients about various procedures, as well as sharing thought leadership content. You could even consider launching a YouTube channel to reach more people and build audience engagement. The idea is to position your brand as an industry authority.

If you’ve got your hands full trying to manage your practice, you should consider outsourcing digital marketing-related activities to a third-party agency. Or you can hire a freelance digital marketer who specializes in your industry.

Ophthalmology Consultants

Promoting your eye care clinic on the internet isn’t enough. You also have to ensure that you’re following the right business practices and policies to ensure profitability. Considering that most ophthalmologists aren’t well-versed with the intricacies of business management, it’s a good idea to seek help from an experienced ophthalmology consultant or associate.

Hiring or consulting with various ophthalmology associates for your business creates a network for you to work on your business and improve your practice. They can help you get an objective view of your practice and understand why certain things aren’t working.

A consultant can even identify billing errors and help you find the right third-party solutions to outsource this task. Likewise, they can guide you to develop a high-performing marketing strategy and PR plan. They can revise your HR policies, evaluate your staff’s performance, and help you identify the right incentive to improve productivity and efficiency.

Focus on Patient Engagement

The key to any successful medical practice is patient satisfaction. You must engage and interact with your patients before, during, and after a procedure. Educate them about the procedure they’re going to undergo and let your staff handhold them through the recovery process.

Send follow-up emails and feedback forms to every patient after the completion of their treatment. Include useful resources on eye care, as well as the latest updates about your clinic. Also, whenever a client schedules an appointment, send multiple reminders to pique their interest.

Lastly, don’t forget that while successful successful marketing and PR campaigns can bring patients to your clinic, it is the quality of customer experience and support you provide that will make them stay.

What techniques have you used to grow your ophthalmology practice? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.

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