Empower Your Practice
Journal for Practice Managers

Improving practice management with data and insight

Michael May
August 30, 2019

Photo: Freepik

Improving practice management with data and insight
The first point of contact between patients and clinics is more than ever somewhere on the internet. Patients search for clinics using booking directories and aggregators, and they choose doctors based on social media reviews.

What’s more, patients are increasingly likely to prefer booking online and checking test results by logging into their own online portal.

The main difficulty encountered is patients’ rather opaque online journey from somewhere in cyberspace to the clinic’s booking page. It’s not clear at all where patients have come from, what attracted them, nor how they made the decision to book an appointment.

In order to elucidate the patient journey from their first online search all the way to booking, clinics need the support of an integration between their website and a practice management system. Couple this approach with the use of end-to-end analytics platforms like Google Analytics, and everything becomes so much more transparent. Let’s use the example of the Medesk partnership and referrals program for doctors in conjunction with an end-to-end analytics solution.

Transparent booking options for online patient acquisition

The vast majority of people have become accustomed to solving problems and finding answers to their questions online. Naturally, this extends to your prospective patients, who can use search engines, browse social media, and form their opinions based heavily upon online reviews and comments.

Patients are now more than capable of choosing which clinic to attend and when. Unfortunately, they are often limited by callback request forms which give no indication as to when an appointment might be available.

This common problem is easily solved with an online booking widget that can be linked up to your practice website or even your social media pages, be it Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Online booking lets your patients choose a convenient appointment slot without the need to call the clinic or wait and see.

Medesk simplifies the patient journey from cyberspace to your clinic with transparent booking solutions, while enabling you to regulate your schedule and workload. Learn more

One could easily consider online booking to be one of the major trends of 2018. Despite this, less than 10% of clinics had a website with fully transparent booking options.

Aside from landing on a clinic’s website, patients have become increasingly reliant upon specialised healthcare professional search engines such as Doctify amongst others. Services like these often give preference to those clinics which offer online booking and allow their patients to book appointments online quickly and easily.

End-to-end analytics and practice management

Whenever you are planning a marketing campaign for your clinic, you need to evaluate a range of performance indicators such as:

  • The ratio of first-time to follow-up appointments
  • The conversion rate of newcomers into repeat patients
  • Revenue generated per appointment
  • Correlation between revenue and expenses for marketing channels

To carry out such analytics, you need to correctly collect, store and process the right data using a practice management system. An efficient way of making this happen is to integrate your clinic’s website with digital telephones and end-to-end analytics. This will allow you to track every new patient request and phone call, record the acquisition channel and understand exactly which campaign attracted your patients’ attention.

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Case Study

Let’s illustrate this with a case study of a Medesk client. Based in a rehabilitation centre, this client came to us as a result of the difficulties they faced in choosing effective advertising channels. In particular, when they increased their marketing budget and the number of advertisements used, they did not experience any significant growth in booking requests.

Until they integrated their site and marketing approaches with Medesk, this clinic was using standard metrics instead of tracking the patient journey. They considered only the following:

  • Advertising channels and requests (split into site visits and requests made);
  • Each landing page was dealt with separately (measuring conversion rates only for requests);
  • Conversions into repeat visits.

In just two months after implementing our integrations, this is what happened:

  1. Through the use of tags within Medesk, we were able to organise data on the exact acquisition channel that attracted each patient, which patients were referred by specific doctors, and even which keywords the patient used to find the clinic in search engines.
  2. Ads corresponding to search queries via which patients came to the clinic on the recommendation of others were disabled or updated, resulting in a 15% reduction in the marketing budget.
  3. The average bill per patient grew by 15% as we advised the removal of landing pages and ads focusing on services that doctors could suggest during consultations.
  4. The clinic website now included pages dedicated to the sale of comprehensive health packages lasting more than one appointment.

Empower your practice by taking advantage of end-to-end analytics integrated directly into the Medesk practice management system. Learn to plan your marketing properly so you can cut back on expenses and boost your income.

Source: HTN

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