If you are reading this article, it means that you are not indifferent to the thought of growing your practice in the years to come. Either because you are starting out in private practice, or because you feel a specific market pressure for your niche in your area.
Digital is important because it disrupts the traditional model, when patients see their GP about a health concern, are then referred to a specialist and obediently follow the pathway that was presented to them. The disruptor in this day and age is the technology in your patients’ pockets. We can no longer claim that online and digital are only buzzwords for younger generations. The pandemic has seen grandparents embrace and use Zoom, Skype, Facetime, and Viber like no generation of grandparents before ever did. After that digital shockwave that came with Covid-19, we can safely assume that many under-80s are now able to use Google and click on a link, wouldn’t you agree?
Digital is important because it is not just about the new technology. It is about real conversations. It is about patients asking questions (or doing a Google search) and specialists providing answers (or having excellent FAQ pages about endometriosis, ACL-reconstruction, benign prostate enlargement, or sciatica. At its core, the conversation is emotive: when I am unwell, I feel insecure and doctors are there to inform, reassure, support or act.
Over the last 5 years I have seen private practices doubling their turnover and patient numbers just because they started using digital patient acquisition on top of the existing strategies: still building solid word-of-mouth referral pathways and making sure local GPs send patients their way. The difference, the growth, came from becoming a digital leader for specific conditions or treatment pathways.
And let’s face it: if you can keep your overhead costs at the same level and create a growth model for your private practice, wouldn’t that give you peace of mind and perspective for the future of your business?