Setting up an effective online practice and solidifying your “know, like, and trust” factor with patients. Clinical Grand Rounds with Dr. Michelle Rogers
As we are catapulted into the necessity for a virtual medical model, there are many strategies you can adopt to help keep your business flourishing and keep patients healing. Thankfully, we are equipped with many technological advances and tools like never before. Use this opportunity to explore new avenues of business, education, and strategy. Setting up the framework to an online platform can uniquely position you to live a more flexible work-life balance, even after COVID19.
In many ways, technology makes the world a smaller place. Establishing a virtual or hybrid business model allows you to have greater reach and access to patients that need your expertise. Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone as there are many benefits to establishing a telemedicine practice. First, it requires little overhead and creates a lean business model. Second, it allows patients to have access to you from farther geographic regions. Third, it enables you to use more educational tools to keep your patients motivated and on track. Fourth, offering group work can be a great revenue stream while also creating a high-value experience for patients. There are many other benefits beyond this list. The important thing is that you build out a vision that is unique to you and your expertise.
Here are some simple steps to get your online practice off the ground:
- Research your state’s rules and regulations regarding telemedicine.
- Sample and demo different HIPPA compliant telemedicine platforms.
- Set up an online nutraceutical dispensary to make online ordering easy.
- Create your fee structure if it is different than in-person. How will you accept payment?
- Establish your virtual laboratory processes by contacting mobile phlebotomists, downloading pdf requisition forms, and creating step-by-step instructions. This will help keep processes clear for you and the patient.
- Begin thinking about how you will communicate your new services to your database. Would you like to call them individually to announce your changes? Email individually? Send out a newsletter?
It is important to maintain a human connection in telemedicine. Working virtually can feel sterile. There are many ways that allow patients to connect with you and with one another. Creating a virtual culture can seem daunting but there are many ways around it. Utilizing video telemedicine sessions, group programs, and packaged programs can help create personality to your practice. Some practitioners send a small welcome package to new patients who purchase a program or sign up for a consult. Even a simple “thank you” note can help extend a human element. Another simple way to stay visible and connected is through social media.
Once you’ve laid the foundation to your practice, begin thinking about how you plan to attract new patients and how you will keep your current patients engaged. For any online practice, YOU are the brand. Your long-time patients know, like, and trust you. To widen your reach, many practitioners turn to social media. Used effectively, it is a great tool to offer another route of connection and education.
Simple ways to rev up your social media experience:
- Link your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts and keep visible to the public.
- Be sure to use regional “geo-tags” on Instagram and Facebook so local patients can see your content easier.
- Follow some thought leaders you respect to get ideas for your branding.
- Stay focused by determining your ideal patient and the types of patients you’re looking to work with.
- Curate content and messages specific to your ideal patient group. Touch upon their pain points. Some examples could include weight loss, hormone health, gut health, adrenal fatigue, etc.
- Make a schedule to release new content and stick to it.
In the end, taking small steps can lead to a big impact on your target audience and best business practices. Utilizing telemedicine and social media are outlets that allow patients to get a sneak-peek into your life. We can extend a branch of human connection through social media and work more intimately with patients. The education resources you create can be utilized multiple times to keep current and new clients motivated on their journey to better health.
Here are some resources to get started:
- Telemedicine legislation and best practices: Click here for the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center.
- Telemedicine Platforms:
- Doctors Supplement Store
- Social Media Strategy: