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Essay Contest


3rd Place - Robin Shepler of Carson City, MI ($250)


photo of Robin Shepler

It is true that every patient that has a good experience at your practice will share that experience with ten other people. The same holds true for the opposite: a negative experience will cause that patient to tell ten others. This is a medical practice's easiest way to advertise and grow the practice. Your patients with positive experiences will share that with their family, friends and co- workers.

The medical industry has had difficult economic times, like other businesses. Many small hospitals and practices have had to close. It is the role of the practice manager to oversee advertising.

As a manager you receive daily calls to buy local ads for upcoming events, teams, local groups or individuals. You will have to decide which would be helpful to your practice. I have learned not to advertise in the phone book or the yellow pages. Those charges are very costly per month. By stopping this practice three years ago there was no measurable decrease in our patient volume.

Our practice specializes in OB/GYN. Our providers are able to teach yearly at our local schools. This helps patients to see and get information about the services our practice offers. We attend local health fairs. We provide pamphlets and literature for women with our business information. Staff attends these events with the providers. When patients enter the doors of our practice, they feel more comfortable seeing familiar faces.

Our staff has been given colored tee-shirts for different events. At Christmas time, red shirts were worn that stated "Scatter Joy." Purple tee-shirts are worn that state, "Eat Less -Move More, Walk -Bike-Swim-Run." In October we wear pink shirts that state, "Fight like a Girl," and "When You Have Hope All Things are Possible." On the back of all the shirts is our practice name for all to see. Staff also has colorful jackets of their choice with" Generosity" and their name on the front and office logo on the back.

Professional photographs of our providers are taken and used in local papers to let patients know of new providers or changes in services we are providing.

In our community we have an event in June called Frontier Days. During this weekend celebration, businesses sponsor hot air balloons. If the weather allows, balloon races are held each of three weekend days with many other activities. Thursday night a community picnic is held. All staff and providers are asked to attend and join the festivities. This is another way for our business to share in a community event.

You may be able to add a musical advertising message to your telephone system that comes on when your patients are placed on hold. You can list the services you provide. You may give patients information about conditions you are able to treat in your practice.

Again, positive patient experiences are the best and least costly advertising for your practice. Try it and watch your patient volume grow.

Read the First place essay | Second place essay