As a Practice Manager, you probably know that keeping in touch with your patients is an important part of increasing the revenue of your medical practice. The more top-of-mind awareness you create, including your practice’s blog, Facebook page, printed marketing materials, in-office television, special offers on receipts and invoices, and even phone call reminders for appointments, the more your practice will reap the benefits. Patient newsletters, or e-news, is simply one more way of creating top-of-mind awareness – and it’s surprisingly easy to implement.
Patient e-news is particularly important to your medical practice because it offers an opportunity to educate patients and potential patients about medical conditions and treatments related to your specialty, as well as let them know about the full range of services offered by your practice. Patients may be suffering from particular symptoms but be frightened about painful treatments or negative side effects of medications their family and friends have shared, whether true or untrue. Patient E-News is a chance for you to dispel their misconceptions and offer attractive, or at least more palatable, alternatives.
As a practice manager, you are probably aware of media coverage of the physician shortage in the US and the fact that the roles of nurse practitioners and physicians are expanding to meet that shortage. However, some physicians and even some patients are resistant to the change. Whether or not it has influenced your medical practice at this point, how will the expanding roles of nurse practitioners and physician assistants affect physicians?
One positive aspect of this change is that physicians can be freed up to perform more complex revenue-generating procedures because they are spending less time on basic evaluations and general patient care. This is especially positive because of the large number of uninsured individuals who are entering the nation’s patient pool and who will require care for minor illnesses and accidents. The expanding role of NPs and PAs will help keep pace with a growing base of patients who require general care.
Our last article focused on the benefits of providing patient educational materials. As a practice manager, how can you manage the dissemination of this information without overly taxing your busy staff? This article will explore a variety of methods on how to promote patient educational materials.
First, gather the educational materials you have from all sources. Then determine which are relevant and discard the rest. “Relevant” means that the materials address commonly-prescribed medications and procedures that are frequently performed by your physician(s). Material on more obscure treatment recommendations with regard to your practice should be discarded so patients don’t get inundated with information. Too much information leads to poor processing by patients.