The whole system of health care is becoming more and more complex with the exception of family practice doctors. There are doctors or specialists that are committed to treating just cancer or just the heart but family practice doctors are committed to treating the whole person and nothing can be more unique than that.
Because of the grim image that has been given to family practice doctors many medical students are turning their back on the possibility of entering the family practice field. In order to keep up with the times and for upcoming generations to invest their trust into family practices, the entire basis of family practice may have to be remarketed to them. Although many family practice doctors believe that it is unethical to allow themselves a marketing budget and solicit themselves they are going to have to enter a new facet in order to draw the new generations into the belief that family practice is not second rate health care. Baby boomers have visited the same family practice for decades but many of the following generations refuse to consider it.
Many family practices rely on word of mouth to build up their patient population but in order to capture the new generations and allow family practice to refuel in an attempt to advance into the future; some strategic moves will have to take place. Start off with seeing what is going on with your competition, the community as a whole, and their expectations. Review patient records and have patients fill out short surveys while they are waiting and allow them to remain anonymous. Family practice doctors are going to have to recapture their patients and potential patients in order to ensure future growth and stability.
It helps if your family practice has been longstanding in your community and has a good reputation. Where are your strengths and weaknesses? Review your cancellation rates, staff turnover, and scheduling procedures. See where there may be room for correction or if it is fine the way that it is. Look at the demographics of your family practice and see where your patients are from, are they mainly male or female, children or adults? All of these are things to consider when deciding which avenue you will pursue when marketing your family practice.
Find out how your patients perceive you and your family practice. Why do they come to see you and are these needs changing at all? These are the questions that need to be answered so that you can move your family practice and reposition it for greater strength. People will then come to understand that only family practices offer health care for the entire body. You have a major advantage so go ahead and use it. Compare a family practice to that of a Walmart or Meijer or any one stop shopping. They offer everything. In rare cases, you may have to go to a specialty store for something rare. A specialist is comparable to going to a meat market, a place that has quality meats but if you are looking for anything else you will have to make another stop. Analyzing it that way will make it easier for your patients to see that running to a bunch of different doctors doesn’t make sense.