Attracting New Patients
I need a Primary Care Physician. I am quite healthy and this is the right time to find someone and build a relationship. A specialist that I am seeing recommended a doctor. I searched the Internet trying to find out more about this doctor. I searched Google, my insurance website, the hospital’s website and Pubmed. That’s what I know so far: She’s a woman, educated in Asia, with 12 years of experience, no reviews on HealthGrades, no metions elsewhere on the Internet, no hits on PubMed. My doctor, that I respect, recommended her, so that’s a good start. I think she needs a blog. What could a blog tell me? Some ideas of posts aimed at newcomers:
– A general philosophy of care – what does she care about most with patients? What is her aim?
– A connection point – recollection when she was a patient and how did she feel about it
– An emotional post inspired from her work experience – like A Piece of My Mind in JAMA
– Office procedures for new patients: does she prefer to have history of records faxed to the office, how long will be the first appointment? Is there a structure to the first appointment
– Any specializations or preferences she might have
– The characteristics of her practice: % male/female, ages, status, etc.
– Other office practical facts: hours of operation, what happens after hours, who sees patients if doctor on vacation, how long to get a first appointment, does she accept walk-ins, how long to get an emergency appointment, etc.
– Comments from other patients or colleagues: they can be good, but also bad comments that are answered in a balanced way are useful. Not everything that is not shiny needs to be deleted. I need to know how does this doctor react under fire, that’s when a doctor is essential!
– Links to any publications or written information.
Now, if I had all this, I would be so much more comfortable that I am picking the right doctor. Could this lose you some patients? Probably, but the ones that coem to see you will know what to expect and there will be less anxiety about a first doctor’s visit on both sides.