Marketing your practice will help you build excellent relationships with other physicians. Considering most rheumatologists receive patients from referrals, marketing your practice makes your name known to primary-care physicians or other physicians who would typically refer patients to a rheumatologist. Marketing your practice is also a way to let drug or product vendors know you are practicing in the area.
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Explore This IssueNovember 2013
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Developing a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan begins with you deciding what goals you want to reach through marketing. Refer to your business plan so you can begin developing the marketing strategies necessary to achieve your mission.
Marketing Action Plan: After understanding your practice’s market, you need to put the goals and objectives into an action plan. Your practice’s action plan should be created to achieve its specific goals and objectives over a defined period of time. A properly implemented marketing plan is constantly being assessed by accurate and consistent tracking systems to evaluate the plan’s performance against expectations.
Examples of how to get started in marketing your medical practice include:
- Conduct a patient satisfaction survey. The practice may discover lurking problems as well as confirm what it is doing right.
- If the practice does not already have one, create a website.
- Determine the patient profile, known as your target market, and how to reach those patients.
- Offer to speak to consumer groups on health and wellness topics in rheumatology.
- Sponsor a community or charitable event.
- Write a column for a local paper.
Like any other business, marketing your medical practice is essential to its success. Make sure you understand the needs of the community you will be serving as well as what you are able to spend to make your practice visible. Be open minded and listen to those who are involved in this venture with you—your spouse, partners, and staff should be involved in developing a plan to grow the business. There are various marketing techniques, and don’t be afraid to use all the resources available. Contact your local newspaper and the media to establish yourself as the medical expert in your area.
Keep in mind that this is your practice and it will only go as far as you take it. Any marketing plan you decide to embark upon requires commitment to execute well.
For more on marketing strategies for your practice, download the ACR’s Business Side of Rheumatology manual at www.rheumatology.org/Publications/Practice_Management_Publications_(Members_Only). For additional information on practice management, contact Antanya Chung, director of practice management, at email@example.com or (404) 633-3777, ext. 818.