Finding Your "Ideal" Patient
Does your practice just take any patient that walks through the door? While you are professionally obligated to treat virtually any patient that walks into your practice, because ethically, physicians can not deny patients care based on race, income, or other descriminatory practices, you may have more control than you think about who you can attract to your practice. Have you ever thought about who you would really like to treat? A good practice should think about who their “ideal” patient is, and how they can attract those patients to their practice. Doing so can lead to more strategic branding and marketing of the practice and, as a result, a more satisfying practice.
So, what kinds of questions should you ask yourself to help figure out who your ideal patient is? PhysiciansPractice.com just had a nice article exploring these questions regarding ideal patients.
First, what is an ideal patient? Generally speaking, ideal patients are: 1) ones that you enjoy building a relationship with, 2) need your help, 3) pay what you are worth, and 4) get great results and care from you.
Second, look at your current patients. The article suggests pulling a “good” days’ charts and a “bad” days’ charts and sorting them into five piles, where 1 is an “ideal” patient and 5 is the “least ideal” patient. What do the “ideal” patients (1s & 2s) have in common? What do the “least ideal” patients (4s & 5s) have in common? Do they share common attitudes? Personalities? Lifestyles? Medical situations? Age range?
Once you have identified your ideal patient, you can begin working to attract these patients. You can attract patients in several ways, including: 1) using targeted marketing, 2) bringing in attractive amenities to your practice and 3) offering new services that target these patients.
We’d love to hear your tips and suggestions for how you have successfully targeted and cater to your ideal patients! Leave your comments below.