If you can find a way to deliver convenience to a specific target market, you will create a very successful practice. This is even more true if you want to create a telemedicine practice! People are looking for convenience in this day and age. We are all busy with work, hobbies, our children, friends, and family. The last thing anyone wants to do is go sit in some medical practice lobby for 3 hours.
This is where the nurse practitioner entrepreneur can shine! If you can deliver fast, convenient, and safe care, you will become busy very fast. This is part of creating VALUE to your patients.
No one wants to add complication to their life.
The reason why people see me at my medical cannabis clinic is because it is simple and fast. I do not complicate the process. Everything is done to the standard of care, but I deliver it conveniently!
The reason why the urgent care I work at has increased its volume significantly over the past 2 years is because the average door to door time when I am working is 15-20 minutes. How many people can say their last urgent care visit was completed in less than 30 minutes?
The reason why my telemedicine practice is exploding in growth right now is because we deliver CONVENIENT, private, and secure care from the comfort of the patient’s home.
My men’s health and testosterone clinic is growing rapidly because we are the most CONVENIENT men’s health practice in the state. We have created processes that make treatment easy. I follow up with my patients over the phone! They love it! I will be opening my second location next month utilizing the same model because it WORKS and it is CONVENIENT for the patient.
You must create convenience within your practice if you want to see it grow by leaps and bounds!
How do you deliver convenience to your patient? There are multiple ways. The more you can implement, the better!
1) Optimize your practices processes: You must figure out a workflow that is fast and efficient. The urgent care I work at has a long registration process, for example. The patient must sign a big stack of paperwork and the receptionists have to enter data into 2 different systems. The registration takes longer than the actual visit! Remember, patients do not want a complicated process. They expect the transaction to be smooth and simple.
It is VITAL you examine the process from start to finish. You need to step in the shoes of the patient. Go through the process from when they call/schedule an appointment, all the way to the end of the visit when the intervention is performed/prescribed. If there is anything burdensome, get rid of it and figure out a way to make it more streamline.
After you do that, go through the process of the provider from start to finish. After that, go through the process of your receptionist or any other staff you might have.
This will only take you a couple hours to do but will save you countless more hours of wasted time in the future and it will make your clinic more convenient for the patient.
When I started my telemedicine practice, I created dummy emails/patient accounts and went step by step through the process a patient would need to take to schedule an appointment, pay their bill, login to the visit, etc. I found inefficient tasks and multiple hang-ups along the way. This allowed me to make the process as simple as possible.
2) Delivering care via telemedicine: One of the BIGGEST selling points of any telemedicine practice is the convenience factor of your care! If you do not have the keyword “convenience” within your marketing campaign for your telemedicine practice, you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice. This is one of the reasons why the patient is reaching out to you for telemedicine services. Going to a medical office is INCONVENIENT, whereas making a phone call or hopping on a video chat from their phone is very CONVENIENT.
As I described in the last point, you need to go through the entire process from start to finish for the patient and the provider with your telemedicine practice. Patients do not want to go through multiple different steps to obtain treatment. Try to make this as convenient as possible!
3) Contacting your practice: This is absolutely critical as part of your overall marketing strategy. It is even more important for the telemedicine practice. Patients must be able to contact you easily! How do you do this? By having your phone number embedded all over your website and a simple contact us form on the bottom of every page. You should also make sure your Google listing is updated. You should be easy to contact by potential patients, if it is difficult, they will give up. It is that simple.
4) Deliver fast care: Patients do not want to sit in a lobby for an hour. When they arrive for their appointment, they should be seen within 10 minutes. If you find yourself having very long wait times, then you are lacking in your time management skills. This could be because you are spending too much time on busy work, over scheduling yourself, or spending too much time with the patient unnecessarily. Most patients are there for the service you provide, not to chit chat about the weather or family. If you are finding yourself having long wait times, you need to evaluate the reason why this is happening and fix it.
I have found that patient’s value fast care vs burdensome long care. Yes, there is a place for long and thorough visits, but for the majority of medical visits, especially ones where niche services are delivered, the visit can be completed within 15-30 minutes.
My men’s health visits typically last about 60 minutes for the initial evaluation and then 10 minutes for follow ups. I do the follow ups over the phone; it is VERY convenient for these busy men.
5) Do not make care complicated: I have worked with dozens of nurse practitioners in urgent care and emergency room settings where they complicate care. They are asking questions that are not relevant to the complaint at hand and are performing unnecessary medical interventions. Less is more! Do not order a bunch of unnecessary tests that do not change the outcome of your intervention. Keep care simple. Use common sense. If it looks like strep, it is probably strep!
One of the reasons many people avoid going to a medical office is because they worry about it being unnecessarily intrusive. Make sure your care is FOCUSED on the problem at hand. I knew an NP that used to look at people’s ears for a complaint of urinary frequency… Come on, how is that relevant?
If you are in the start up phase of opening your practice, you really need to create processes that are as simple as possible. This needs to be everything from scheduling, registering the patient, the visits, documentation, etc. Really spend the time and go through each process step by step for everyone involved, especially the patient!
If you already have a practice, figure out where time is being wasted. Ask patients what they find INCONVENIENT about your practice and fix the issue!
If you can make your practice convenient for the patient, your patient retention rate and word of mouth referrals will go up significantly!