Today’s patients demand flexibility and different appointment types and times that fit their busy schedules. According to Tebra’s 2023 Patient perspectives report, nearly one-quarter of patients would switch providers for the option to have telehealth appointments. But it’s not enough to simply offer virtual care options; your patients and prospects have to know about them.
Telehealth can be a crucial part of your medical practice business strategy — if you know how to position it.
If you use telehealth each day and have open slots you wish to fill, want to turn unpaid follow-up calls into paid telehealth appointments, or want to attract new patients seeking telehealth options, try these simple multi-pronged strategies to draw attention to your services.
“Nearly one-quarter of patients would switch providers for the option to have telehealth appointments. ”
Use your website to drive telehealth marketing
Your website is the piece of internet real estate you can control the most. Use that to your advantage by conveying exactly what you’d like prospective patients to know when they arrive at your site.
If you’re just now implementing telehealth, highlight your new offering in key areas to draw attention to it. For instance:
- Add “telehealth now available” and a booking link to a carousel of images and information on your homepage
- Promote telehealth in an ad-type space
- Add a telehealth pop-up module to your site
- Implement a sticky message that remains persistent on the screen as patients scroll
- Devote a section of your homepage to a telehealth message
Whether you’re new to offering telehealth or repositioning it as part of your existing strategy, make sure you have a dedicated telehealth page on your site.
Ideally, your practice website should already list each healthcare service you provide on its own page. Organizing your site by having a separate page for each individual service sets you up for better search engine optimization (SEO).
To ensure telehealth becomes part of your overall strategy, your telehealth services page should include the same type of information as any other service page on your website. This means it should:
- Indicate why your practice is the right choice for that service
- Describe why you offer telehealth and how patients can benefit
- Address commonly related questions
- Make it clear as to how and when patients can book that service in the case of telehealth with a link to your online booking or other scheduling information
- Give patients a clear next step — in this case, how to book an appointment, preferably using an online scheduling tool for convenience
Optimize your online profiles to show off your telehealth
When patients research a potential provider, they look for positive and recent online reviews across dozens of websites that list profiles for local businesses and medical practices. The sites that patients visit most often to check a provider’s online reviews are Google, WebMD, Facebook, and Yelp.
To use these sites to your advantage, your information must be accurate and consistent. This ensures that inquiring patients have the right contact details, but it’s also an SEO necessity.
These sites are also opportunities to market your telehealth services.
Claim each listing as your own, and then add specific information related to telehealth. For instance, add “telehealth” to your list of products and services and link directly to your telehealth service page on your practice website — or even directly to your online booking form.
Side note: If you haven’t already claimed and optimized your practice’s Google business listing, do it today. As of June 2023, Google owns 92.66% of the search engine market share worldwide, so it’s where most patients go when searching for care. To claim your listing, go to google.com/business.
Send email campaigns to your current patients
Now that you have initial strategies to attract new patients, devote some time to your current patient base. They want to hear from you, especially during times of stress and medical uncertainty.
Send an email campaign that happens to highlight your telehealth services. Practices that place a premium on patient communication use email as a cost-effective method to share:
- Preventive health tips
- Practice details, such as seasonal hours, introductions to new providers, or reintroductions to established providers
- Upcoming information sessions (ideal for pediatricians, OB/GYNs, or diabetes and smoking cessation classes)
- Alerts for recommended vaccinations
- Information on any seasonal concerns relevant to your practice specialty or services
All of the above help you keep patients informed, healthy, and engaged with your practice. Adding a telehealth email to your schedule can increase bookings — especially with patients who may delay visits or even no-show for reasons related to their job schedule, travel time, or childcare considerations.
In your dedicated telehealth email, remind patients that virtual visits are available, what they can expect, and how they can schedule an appointment — preferably with a single click or tap from the email.
Make telehealth marketing work for your practice
Depending on your local competition, resources, and goals you want to accomplish with telehealth, you can also:
- Delve into a deeper SEO strategy
- Implement a social media schedule
- Invest in paid Google ads
Just as offering telehealth can be a key component of serving your patients, implementing telehealth marketing can be a key component of reaching more of them.
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Learn how to create a seamless patient experience that increases loyalty and reduces churn, while providing personalized care that drives practice growth in Tebra’s free guide to optimizing your practice.