3 Ideas to Track Medical Practice Marketing
The first day of each month is one of my favorite days. I typically spend the first few hours of the first day of the month compiling monthly marketing reports to see how our marketing efforts fared for the prior month. The great thing about these metrics is they help me make educated decisions on where to shift my marketing efforts for the coming month(s). I relay on six marketing reports to track our monthly marketing efforts, but today I’m going to focus on the top three. Report One: How Patients Found Us Before we had an EMR with a good reporting element, we tracked how patients found us with a simple question on our comment cards asking patients to indicate what brought them to our Medical Practice clinic. This became fairly tedious because it meant someone had to enter those responses into an Excel sheet. But it was fruitful because we had honest feedback from patients. A few years ago we adopted an EMR that allows the front desk to input how a patient found us during the patient registration process. This sped up the process but created a new set of problems. Anytime you have a second party inputting data, you must make sure they’re trained properly on what to enter. Because it is a required field in our EMR, we learned that our front desk was often just picking things when a patient had left the field blank on the registration form. We also learned that if what the patient wrote on the form wasn’t one of the selections, the front desk was simply ticking “other”. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a way to track what the “other” was. The lesson we quickly learned was that ongoing training of the front desk on why and how this report was important was invaluable to getting more accurate results. While the “How They Found Us” report is an invaluable tool, it shouldn’t be the only tool you rely on. Remember that it takes three to four times for a person to be exposed to a message before they remember it. So a patient may see you at a community event. They may hear your commercial on the radio. They may hear you speak at a civic club. But on the day the need you, they search the web for Medical Practice, recognize your name, and come in. They indicate to the front desk that they found you from your website. Report Two: Patients by ZIP Code The second report we track on a monthly basis is which ZIP Codes patients came from during the month. We trend this data over time to figure out which parts of the market we need to strategically hit each month. The first few months you start trending patients by ZIP Code won’t be as helpful as data trended over six or eight months. For our established clinics, we know the yearly average of patients who visit from each ZIP Code surrounding the clinic. When we see a drop off in that particular ZIP Code, we begin to strategically think what we can do this month to reach the residents living in that part of town. Report Three: Yearly Comparison of Patient Counts by Category Finally, since 2008 we have been trending for each clinic the patient volume for the different categories of patients who visit our clinics. A category defines the type of visit (i.e. established, new, workers comp, weight loss, etc…). By doing this we can quickly see each month if our marketing efforts need to be shifted to focus on marketing a particular service more heavily. Additionally, it helps us know how we are doing with our internal marketing strategies and customer service. If we have a continual increase in new patients, but a decrease in established patients, we know we have an internal marketing problem. Other Reports to Consider There are a lot of other monthly reports you can run to see how your marketing efforts are doing. But these are the three I recommend you start with. In future issues of Medical Practice Success we will look at how and why to implement other monthly marketing reports like: Daily Patient Count, Website Analytics, and Social Media Analytics. We’ll also examine the daily and weekly marketing reports you’ll want to be measuring to ensure you’re not surprised by your end of month marketing reports.
Article By: Tina Bell Tina Bell is the Director of Marketing for HealthCARE Express®, where her responsibilities include spearheading the company’s social media and internet strategies, leading the in-house physician recruitment team, and developing aggressive programs to promote patient satisfaction and effective service recovery. Tina speaks nationally at industry conferences including the Medical Practice Association of America and the National Association of Occupational Health Professionals. She is the director of business development for Medical Practice Success and an independent Medical Practice marketing consultant.