What we find today is many physicians are not able to determine how to reach individuals. They just don’t know. They're not sure of who to reach out to. They're not sure where to reach out. And they're not sure of what types of money should be spent in the multiple of ways that they believe that they can gain access to patients. Read these tips offered by our expert in this healthcare management article.
Now, some of those are using some very old techniques. If you ask any physician today, what they're going to do to announce their services and get their proclamation to the world. The two most formidable that are out there but offer very little return on investment would be advertising and the yellow pages.
Out of the trillions of dollars that spent each and every year in advertising and just generically speaking, advertising in the domestic United States is roughly $1.7, $1.8 trillion per year. That is on print. That is on multimedia.
Our expert clarified it in a medical management training session that the fact remains is that if you throw advertising out there, you're expecting some type of a return, your return should be approximately 1% of your spend. But if you're, say, spending 10, 20, $30,000 on advertising, you would at least like to get an exam back, an initial exam back something that pays for that. And many small businesses don’t even look at from that perspective.
The other is the yellow pages. And many people today especially for a business ad in today's yellow pages is anywhere between based upon the size of the ad, $400 to roughly $1100 for the entire year. And there's a 0% return on the yellow pages.
At one particular time in the 50’s, in the 60’s and the in the 70’s and 80’s, yes, yellow pages made some type of sense to those that needed it. So business were good. But think about it from this perspective. If your last name is (Smith) or (Jacob), (Zircon) or even (Stevens). And we pick very common names. We are not trying to stereotype nor pin anybody in a corner other than suggest to you some generic names that we can provide.
The fact is that what are you doing to offer that differentiation? How does a patient know when they're looking in the book for (Smith) or (Stevens) that (Jim Smith) is any better than (Drew Smith) or that (Jane Levin) is any better than (Joe Levin). It doesn’t matter. And those old techniques really need to fly out the handle.
While we're looking at some old techniques, there are some new ones that are out there and you must have medical management training to exploit those options. However, interestingly enough, there's a lot of folks that are bantering and saying, “Well, you have to get on the internet, you have to build a webpage, and you have to do this and you have to do that.”
Most certainly. But if you don’t have a strategy, you don’t have any knowledge of how to formulate that strategy and if you're listening to anybody’s advice without doing any knowledge assessment yourself, then you're in trouble.
Because truly, people today that will be happy to build you a website simply because you're a service based organization for $80,000. And probably you heard that number and you just said, “What? $80,000 for a website?”
So what are some of the things that typically stop divisions from taking a look at any of these things and even moving forward? Well, the first thing is that there's lack of time. You're treating patients.
Physicians are on rounds and they're constantly late from their rounds because they're seeing particular people and then they're going on to their clinics and seeing their individual patients. They're putting in 14, 16, sometimes 18 hour days. They're very lengthy days on average.
So there's very, very little time to look at marketing efforts, makes a lot of sense. Some of you don’t have the money to do that. Many individuals today that unfortunately, before we even gotten a chance to work with them, have called, have been interested and maybe two, three, four months later, have decided that they're getting out of the practice of being a medical practitioner simply because business no money in it for them.
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And, you know, yes, we understand that there are healthcare changes. Outside of the healthcare reform issues is the fact that physicians today really need to consider themselves marketing principles. And if the waiting room is not full and if the phones are not ringing and we are not suggesting that people just get sick and you make them sick to be sick, but you need to discover ways to bring them into the waiting room or at least get your patients to talk about you to other patients so that they're brought into the practice.
And last but not least is the fact of there's confusion on who to listen to. We know that there are a lot of practice management folks that are out there today. There are many medical management training people that focus on billing and coding and management and hiring and firing. But reality says that you know what, you can go through your medical coding and billing and your hiring and firing practices all day long.
And many people today that are focusing on the wrong things. And they're focusing on the wrong things simply because what they're focusing on is the internal mechanizations that, yes, are important but they're important only if you have people that you're treating in order to get to that level. So what you need to do today is you need to stop spending time on these foolish projects and you need to start creating some visibility.
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