modern private practice

5 steps to a modern private practice

Let’s talk about the essential 5 steps you can take to develop a contemporary and successful private practice: brand creation, recruiting wisely, creating online visibility, generating more referrals and getting amazing reviews.

modern private practice

5 steps to a modern private practice

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

March 28, 2022

#1 Do I really need to think about my brand?

brand creation

Yes you do.

Doctor reviews and general consumer research validates our own internal research and the bottom line is that your private health practice enters the patient’s awareness like any other brand. 

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Beyond your qualifications and status, your experience and reputation, there is something new at play when patients choose a doctor. It’s a combination of their first impression, the trust and rapport they feel when they first evaluate your practice. That is a game-changer."

Your brand is made up of the visual and verbal impressions your patients experience before they sit in front of you in a consultation:

  • What comes up on Google Search when they type your name, a surgery type that you offer, a condition that you treat.
  • The images on your home page, your about page, throughout your website.
  • The tone-of-voice that you use in the copy on your website.
  • Your social media presence.
  • The communication skills of your reception team.
  • Your own communication style prior to, during and after a consultation.

It takes a particular focus to become more aware of the brand experience you offer when you run your own private practice. But once you start inspecting it and fine-tuning it, you will start seeing the beauty of this new way of thinking. Your brand creation for your modern private practice will be aligned with the latest consumer habits and your patient’s expectations.

#2 Why company culture is not a fancy term for doctors

team building for doctors

There is a remarkable void in many surgeons’ business expertise and it’s often a taboo topic. It is often referred to as the ‘soft skills department’.

Reading people’s minds intuitively. Building rapport. Understanding the mechanics of thoughts and emotions. All of that.

When it comes to building a company culture at your private practice, many doctors are not in the best position to nail it from day one, because of the nature of their industry. Team building for doctors is not about the annual Christmas function. It’s about building a team on a daily basis so your patients get better service. A few things to inspect:

  • Being scientific often creates a focus on logic, medical skills and factual knowledge.
  • Doctors are generally time-poor.
  • In theatre, surgeons are expected to lead and direct. In their private practice, they tend to maintain this management style and their status tends to intimidate team members.
  • The patient-doctor relationship is traditionally built on status and authority which adds to the risk of a disconnect…

Company culture, bedside manners, rapport…They are all related and if you look at 10 doctor reviews, 9 of them will relate to these exact aspects of your private practice. Not to your clinical skill.

modern private practice

#3 Understanding the big questions about visibility

google visibility for doctors

For leading specialists and surgeons, online visibility is a constant growth driver. Yet, visibility for doctors in Google Search is one of the most misunderstood business areas of the modern private practice.

Here’s why. 

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Most doctors check their online visibility by googling their own name. Google visibility for doctors is mostly about attracting new patient leads when patients have not heard of you before."

So how do you attract new patients to your practice? How do you systemise your lead generation so you capture this low-hanging fruit? 

Contemporary medical marketing is not based on hope marketing (a technique based on hoping to attract visitors). It uses market data to underpin the content on your medical website so your pages are a response to specific online searches by patients who need your services.

You can read more about Google-optimised medical content in some of our featured Grow!

Articles about Google visibility for doctors:

We run regular webinars about medical marketing for doctors in private practice and you can also make use of our free strategy sessions.

#4 Amplifying word-of-mouth

getting more gp referrals

Getting more GP referrals is one of the most popular topics in our marketing webinars and strategy sessions. It makes sense. Many private practices depend on the volume of referrals from general practitioners. 

Within that space, the role of digital should not be underestimated. Leading specialists understand that – in an ideal world – these different success pillars work together like clockwork.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"GPs talk about specialists and also value them for their clear, professional and helpful online information. When patients keep mentioning specialists to their GP because of their excellent websites, GPs will discover new specialists and start referring to them. And then there are patients who just go and see a different specialist after having done their research."

Working with dozens of specialists across Australia, we see a change in the online behaviour and a change in the gp-referral ecosystem. With everything becoming more dynamic, it is in your best interest to help as many GPs as possible refer to you, and we can help you achieve that with a failproof and effective online presence. 

#5 The ultimate path to raving reviews

getting positive reviews

We all love it when we can be of service and make a happy customer. In your case, a happy patient

So how do you solidify these moments of bliss, so you use them for your business growth? In Australia, AHPRA regulations are strict and you can not use reviews in your advertising, nor can you be seen begging for positive reviews, let alone creating incentives such as free gadgets or rewards.

So how do you get long lists of positive, raving reviews on your Google Business profile or on other forums for doctor reviews?

We will assume that you are in the best position to evaluate your clinical skills. And we know that the majority of online reviews are not about a scientific assessment of your diagnostic skills, therapeutic decisions or surgical technique. They are human comments.

So is getting positive reviews something that has been on your mind lately? More reviews that make other patients choose you?

Focus on the right brain stuff, the human aspect of your practice. Train, upskill, or replace your receptionist. Implement simple improvements to your waiting room, your appointment system, the way patients are notified when you are running late, add more touchpoints to demonstrate genuine care before, during or after a treatment.

Show your patients that every single team member is aware of the vulnerability involved in healthcare.

Show your patients that every team member is always fully present, aware of the patient’s needs, and that you truly believe every patient deserves to be treated in this manner. And if someone drops the ball, take action.

The clinics that thrive and get raving reviews are populated with energised and inspired team members. And because that is not a scientific or medical thing, it may take an extra effort as a practice owner or a practice manager, to get this one right. But it’s worth it.

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We help you build your practice

private practice builders

The communication experts here at Digital Practice are – in a way – also private practice builders, if there were such a profession. The strategic work we can offer you to modernise, rebrand or launch your private practice, is a massive cost-saver because your foundation will help you attract the right volume of patients, so you can build the practice you have in mind. Book your free consultation today to discuss your practice growth.

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