Understanding the Patient Experience and Using Social Media
A review of three marketing experts in our profession.
By Izette Swan, PT, CPT
One of this past year’s tasks was to update my clinic’s website and improve our content marketing.
Knowing how much work goes into this project, I went looking for resources to produce relevant content for our blog, newsletter, and social media. I also wanted a way to evaluate and monitor the website’s effectiveness in lead generation and conversions, and then the return on investment (ROI) on the website. My training as a physical therapist (PT) did not give me the tools to do this—and I was overwhelmed by the 34 million internet search results for “content marketing.”
I quickly came to the realization that I did not have to look any further than my own back yard—state and national private practice conferences.1 Three presenters whose work I found to be very helpful in meeting my needs were Paul Gough,2 Jerry Durham,3 and Tannus Quatre.4
British physiotherapist Paul Gough discusses and provides education on the business of physical therapy and how to get the consumer to realize that they need PT. From his perspective, what is often missing is the patient’s ability to connect their pain or problem to the process of physical therapy. When that connection is made, your clinic will thrive. For me, his podcasts were the most accessible. And while at times they could be slow to get rolling, they offer good pointers on how to market your services using booklets, seminars, and injury screens in a way that provides education to the consumer, which will then draw them to your practice. Paul currently offers some 40 podcasts covering a wide variety of subjects. There is plenty to listen to.
Jerry Durham, PT, is the chief relationship officer for his physical therapy practices, hosts the podcast Healthcare DisruPTion, and speaks nationally about the importance of engaging patients in order to attain great results. To Jerry, the “magic” is in the relationship you build with your customer (patient) with an emphasis on the whole team. To achieve this it is important that you analyze and understand your patients’ experience from the initial point of contact (Golden Moment) through plan of care completion, post–course of care, and then reengagement. To him it is the refining and improving of this process with emphasis on the team that is key to the ultimate sustainable success of your business. Jerry also emphasizes the importance of the role the front desk plays in the patient experience. I found that the dry humor of his weekly Tuesday morning video Facebook chats gave me insight into this part of the patient process. Jerry offers courses directed to the development and training of your front desk staff. He also has a variety of courses available on CD and offers independent consultation.
You may already be familiar with Tannus Quatre, PT, and his crew at BuildPT. I was not aware of the breadth of the material he has to offer. I found the variety of webinars offered on content marketing, creating a marketing plan, SEO basics for physical therapy clinics, Facebook marketing for physical therapists and so much more to be informative resources. You name it, his company puts it together with you and for you. The brilliance, at least in my eyes, of engaging with a company that does this is that while you still have to do some of the work, a good portion is done for you.
I needed a place to start this journey realizing that it was going to be a long one with many possible deviations along the way. What I needed was to build a solid foundation from which my patient lifecycle and experience could grow and flourish. In the end, my eyes were opened by each of these physical therapists: Get the word out. Make it about the patient/customer.
2Paul Gough: www.paulgough.com/podcast/
3Jerry Durham, PT: https://jerrydurhampt.com/
4Tannus Quatre/Build PT: http://buildpt.com/join-free-webinar/
Izette Swan, PT, CPT, is a founder and the owner of Real Rehab Sports + Physical Therapy in Seattle, Washington. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can learn more about her clinic at http://realrehab.com.