Healthcare is built on trust. Patients have to trust that your doctors have the skills to fix whatever health issues they are facing. A healthcare company that does not earn the trust of its patients will not succeed.
But if you’re in the healthcare industry, you already know that. Stating that you must earn your patients’ trust is not life-shattering news. But saying that you can earn their trust before you ever meet with them face-to-face may shake up your perspective a little bit (which is what we like to do here at Burg & Co. Marketing).
How do you build a solid trust relationship with a potential patient before they ever enter your healthcare facility? You create a digital patient journey that gently guides them through the process from learning about your healthcare facility to filling out a new patient form.
Here’s where we get into the nitty-gritty. What is a digital patient journey? Honestly, “digital patient journey” sounds like one of those buzzwords marketing people throw around to make themselves sound innovative, but it’s actually something that you’ve experienced more than you may realize. A digital patient journey is a series of web pages that feed into each other, and that address the common concerns of potential patients in the appropriate order. If you’ve ever been on WebMD, you’ve experienced a digital patient journey. Here’s how:
- You wake up in the morning with an itchy throat and watery eyes. You’re not sure if it’s just allergies or if you’re actually getting sick, so you Google your symptoms. One of the first search results is a WebMD page explaining your symptoms, so you click on it. BAM! Now you’re in WebMD’s digital patient journey.
- The first page of the digital patient journey explains your most prominent concern: what is causing your symptoms? This page is purely informational and helps you determine what’s causing your itchy throat and watery eyes. Now that you know the cause of your symptoms, your next concern is how to treat it. Luckily, WebMD’s digital patient journey anticipated that treatment would be your next concern, so they added a button to the bottom of the Symptoms page that indicates you can click there to learn about treatment options.
- The second page of the digital patient journey answers your next concern: what do I do to treat it? This page typically starts out with at-home treatments that you can do on your own. Don’t miss this: empowering your potential patients is one of the fastest ways to build trust! Even if that person never becomes a patient or a client, he/she will remember when you offered free, valuable information and will refer your name to a friend who may need your services.
- By now you’ve learned that your symptoms are caused by seasonal allergies, but the at-home treatments recommended did not alleviate them. Fortunately, WebMD once again anticipated your needs, and the button on the bottom of the page leads to you find allergy doctors in your area who can treat your symptoms. Because WebMD already offered so much free, valuable information to try to help you, you are likely to use their recommendation and contact one of their doctors — which is the final conversion step in their digital patient journey.
Here’s the craziest part of it all. The average person spends five minutes or less on WebMD. So, in five minutes or less, WebMD builds a trust relationship with us to the point where we contact the doctors they recommend, and we’ve never even had a conversation with them! How much would your healthcare facility grow if your potential patients already trusted you implicitly before they ever walked through your doors?
So how do you implement a digital patient journey for your healthcare website? Start by identifying your top three services you want to grow, and then determine the top three or four concerns a person has about each of those services. I’ll give you another quick example:
If you are looking to grow your pediatric patients, consider these three concerns parents have about finding a doctor for their children:
- Do you have enough experience and certifications to treat my child?
- Is my child going to like you or are you going to scar them for life?
- Can I even afford your services?
You can address these concerns by creating the three following pages to outline your digital patient journey:
- Talk about your experience both in your medical education and your time in practice and in the community.
- Tell parents that you know children are often scared on the doctor, so here is what you do to make the visit friendlier. Be upfront with this concern; it’s emotional, which means it’s weighed heavily. You may even want to add testimonials on this page.
- Address the insurance companies you accept so parents know that they have options.
If you want to start streamlining your new patient process, grow your practice and build trust relationships with your patients before they ever walk into your office, our team at Burg & Co. Marketing can help you. Our team members have experience creating digital patient journeys for a number of medical companies throughout the country, including large facilities such as Laser Spine Institute. Contact us today to learn more about how we can consult you through creating a digital patient journey, or to learn about how our team can implement this for you. Contact us today.