Where Physical Therapy Marketing and Technology Meet
Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Written by Brian Gallagher, PT, President & Founder of MEG Business Management, contact: email@example.com
I believe we’re in the middle of a technology revolution, and now is the time to investigate how to take advantage of the most recent technological advancements.
When it comes to Marketing, I honestly don’t think we have much of a choice anymore. Many of us realize that “lunch and learns” or doing Doctor’s office “drop offs” likely aren’t the best practices right now for attracting more new patients.
It’s time to explore innovative marketing strategies with high-tech practice management systems and tools that will broaden your reach and establish customer loyalty. Your brand is what people remember, in other words - it’s how your public views and values your company and its products or services.
How can we, as trained and responsible CEOs, wear our hat of adding more value to our company?
Over the past two decades I have been coaching physical therapy practice owners to flip from seeing themselves as PT’s who own a private practice, to practice owners who happen to be physical therapists. With this mindset you can quickly see how important it is to innovate and automate from the top down with your practice operations.
Without the willingness to take a deep dive into the inner workings of the four keys to private practice success, you’re susceptible to getting hung up on the crude approach of “let’s just see more patients and pay out less and everything will be fine.” That would be like peeling a banana with a hammer - it simply doesn’t work!
If happy, satisfied patients who are no longer suffering from their original complaint and are now willing to refer a friend, family member, co-worker and their doctor about our good work, then we are well on our way to having a successful brand impact. However, in order to do that effectively, we need to take full advantage of the technology that is available to us.
Here are some innovative strategies that I have divided into admin and clinical categories for you to consider:
Admin Innovative Strategies:
First, VoIP phone systems: these are internet-based phone systems that will save you time and money over the old copper line PBX systems. Don’t keep practicing like you’re in the 1990’s, please.
Today, VoIP for businesses include what are called “Unified Communications.” These are features such as phone calls, faxes, voicemail, email, Web conferences, and more.
Some quick business advantages to using VoIP phone systems include:
⦁ Lower costs
⦁ Increased accessibility
⦁ Complete portability
⦁ Higher scalability
⦁ Advanced features for small and large teams
⦁ Clearer voice quality
⦁ Supports multitasking
⦁ More flexibility with soft-phones
Here are the top six providers that we recommend:
Secondly, it’s important that you consider implementing a Learning Management System (LMS) that is web-based and open to your entire staff. This will be one of the most major advancements you can make across the board for the health of your company culture.
Based on staff surveys, employees are wanting to be noticed for the value they bring, and they take great pride in knowing that they are making a difference in the clinic. With a merit-based LMS, your staff will drive up the ladder of success based on their performance, thus eliminating the need for micromanagement.
Advantages of a Learning Management System also include:
⦁ A fully comprehensive training system that can span all aspects of your business regardless of your practice model (cash-based, traditional insurance, Mobile PT or Hybrid model)
⦁ It should have good content that is repetitive and instructional in such a way that it can be practiced for greater ease of application.
⦁ It provides greater consistency between staff with onboarding & policy training.
⦁ It provides a library of resources that are always up-to-date and relevant due to free, unlimited updates.
⦁ It results in enhanced skills per post within your company, therefore creating higher degrees of certainty and proficiency across the board.
⦁ Best practices can be learned through “role play” from within the office, reducing the need for trial-and-error efforts that waste time and money.
PT Wired is a service that outperforms its competition at every turn. It does so by enabling the clinical team to be able to quickly and easily develop their patients’ home exercise program through an app that allows for ongoing, direct patient communication on a HIPAA compliant platform.
Here are some the advantages to using PT Wired’s technology:
⦁ Automated outreach communications and surveys sent directly to the patient's app throughout their plan of care, and beyond.
⦁ White-labeled app created to elevate the professionalism and brand of the users clinic with their patients.
⦁ Home Screen customizable rotating advertisements, rewards and incentives that the user views on a regular basis when signing into their program.
⦁ Clinically able to track patient adherence to the program for accurate clinical engagement with treatment.
⦁ HIPAA compliant two-way communication between clinician and patient.
Trust me, it doesn’t get any better than this. No more scribbling plans of care onto napkins for your patients - it’s time to evolve and use technology to make your life and career easier. Isn’t that what technology is for? Work smarter, not harder.
Lastly, I suggest the NEUBIE e-stim device, which stands for neuro-bio-electric stimulator. This is a revolutionary piece of high-tech equipment that accelerates patients' fitness and injury outcomes with the use of a direct electrical current rather than alternating current with therapeutic training protocols to yield a swift recovery.
The Neubie specifically identifies faults in the pain-signaling pathway, resets them and then promotes normal movement patterns. This next generation physical therapy application takes a working relationship between the clinician, the patient and the Neubie to work through a step-by-step movement protocol that yields the following results, and more:
⦁ Pain reduction
⦁ Muscle building
⦁ Fat burning
⦁ Improved motor coordination
⦁ Better stamina
⦁ Quicker injury recovery
Once you begin to embrace these tech advancements, you need to know how to use the latest digital strategies in marketing today for truly effective brand reach.
You MUST be able to take full advantage of the following digital marketing strategies:
⦁ An optimized, attractive website that is built upon user behavior best practices.
⦁ Search Engine Optimization and all the components of what enable great SEO for your company, such as through the use of backlinks.
⦁ Consistent content marketing across social, blog etc. to drive traffic and capture leads that can be cultivated into patients
⦁ Email marketing and all of its key elements such as hitting the same public a minimum of three times in 6 months, offering something of value through the use of messaging.
⦁ Digital newsletters in addition to paper newsletters. For certain markets (believe it or not) the hardcopy paper in the hands of your consumer is sometimes preferred. In fact, a study found that 82% of 18-34 year olds say print influences their buying decisions.
⦁ Direct mail marketing including post cards, newsletters and promo letters from the owner. I know - not exactly digital, but these still work to supplement your digital strategies and carry value when you consider the fact that it takes 20+ touches to get the average person into action.
In closing, my message is that you need to have something of value to talk about that is of interest to your customers, and then have the correct means and channels to be heard.
Today, people seek the best of the best and refuse to settle for anything less.
Give your potential patients what they want with your adoption of advanced technologies both administratively and clinically. You will stand out from the competition and be noticed by patients - and what’s more, the word will spread from the lips of your happily satisfied customers to the rest of your community.
This ultimately supports your very purpose as a physical therapist: to improve the lives of as many people in your community as possible through your skill and care.