IT for doctors

The pitfalls of IT for doctors

Some things are not what they look like. We’re not talking about the core of your work in medicine here. Sometimes what is presented to you as ‘the tech stuff’, IT or information technology, does not belong there. In this article, we will treat one of the big pitfalls in IT for doctors. 

IT for doctors

The pitfalls of IT for doctors

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

July 12, 2022

The bizarre technophobia that is perfectly normal for doctors

internet technology

When humans were first presented with this new thing that would connect us all – internet technology – it made sense that it was the field of IT experts and computer geeks.
In the last few decades, IT experts, programmers and developers have converted the internet in something even a 2-year-old can use without studying. Swiping on Mum’s smartphone for example. 

At the other end of the spectrum, I still meet top doctors who tell me they either:

  • Think of themselves as non-tech-savvy
  • Hate all this tech stuff
  • Just prefer to delegate all internet technology to IT people

The combination of this technophobia and the tendency to dump it all on the IT guys, including the management of your online reputation, is what I would call the biggest pitfall in IT for doctors.

The red flag moment when everything becomes ‘tech stuff’

marketing is not IT

If you are wondering what all this fuss is about and why marketing is not IT, keep reading.

Your online presence as a doctor does not belong with the technician who just builds websites, creates email addresses and connects wireless printers. 

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

"When a tech team makes decisions about the patients you want to attract, it won’t come as a surprise that your competitor builds better referral generation systems. Online marketing is about business strategy, not about technology."

The red-flag moment I detect is when a surgeon or specialist tells me about monthly work that is happening and that nobody in the practice can actually explain.
Doing some SEO. It’s the furthest we get when we try and analyse what is going on. 

The main reason why this is a big strategic red flag is this. Just like you wouldn’t expect the Bricklayers Association to come up with innovative plans for the next Sydney Opera House, you wouldn’t expect the IT guys to come up with a brand and lead acquisition strategy for your private practice, would you?

IT for doctors is often the collection of computer-related work that you need in your private practice. As you will see, this comes with a big cost, one of lost opportunities.

Take back control. After all, you can communicate.

communication strategy

What is missing in the IT space is the concept of a communication strategy. The pitfall is wide open when you only buy tactics and tools. A bit of Instagram. A spoonful of Google Ads. A pinch of Facebook advertising. In the end, tools and tactics don’t bring you the goals you had in mind because there is no strategy. 

A communication strategy for doctors never starts from the tools or tactics. It contains:

  • Market research to map what your specific target patients are searching for when educating themselves or doing their own research.
  • Brand positioning choices to define what you want patients to remember and how you want to build rapport with them, as they compare your online profile to other specialists’ pages in your local area.
  • Detailed plans for monthly updates and monitoring of your competitive visibility for your main income earners (treatment plans or surgery types).

That – as you would understand by now – is not the realm of even the best programmer on the planet. You can now see that this is strategic business development, rather than IT for doctors in private practice.

Why digital is about connecting with people

media strategy

You could say that a digital strategy is – in many ways – a media strategy. Traditional media builds a one-way connection with an audience and uses content. 

Digital media uses a two-way connection with a niche audience. In your case, the people who either need your specialised healthcare services right now or possibly in the future.

Spectacular shifts happen when you start using your online tools as communication channels. This is almost like a traditional media strategy where you define your audience, your key messages, your overall brand values and your brand story, as well as the look and feel of your channel.

That is when you start seeing the expertise that is needed to help you build a great private practice in a different light. That is where the Digital Practice method comes in.

IT for doctors

The Digital Practice approach to growing your practice

integrated marketing

We have a long history with medical content. In broadcast journalism, in medical video journalism ever since YouTube became mainstream in 2005, and across dozens of medical marketing strategies for surgeons, clinics and medical organisations. 

Our integrated marketing approach could become yours and the benefits are clear:

  • Business first: we start with the business objectives for your private practice. Not with a marketing package.
  • Research-driven: we analyse the specific local Google searches that apply to your specialty area in your local community. The data helps us make well-informed decisions about your content.
  • Ongoing improvements: we analyse the month-by-month visibility and conversions created by your content so we keep adjusting your online presence to the latest reality of your practice.
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free marketing tips

You could say we offer free marketing tips in your 1:1 Strategy Session. We go over your current digital marketing setup and make suggestions for the future. After all, you have worked too hard to let a misunderstanding about IT for doctors damage your career. 

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