As with any new business, when you first open, you generally are not as busy as you would like to be. Just like most practices, it took sometime before we had a full schedule. And even though seeing the empty schedule was a bit nerve racking, in retrospect, I think it was beneficial to have those hours of the day free of appointments because it gave us an opportunity to gather ourselves, get organized and most important, connect with our parents/patients.
As I spent most of my time working on sending out post-cards writing press releases, and gathering list of OB/Gyn practices in the area trying to promote the practice, my doctor would spend time calling patients we had seen the day before to follow up with them.
Parents appreciated the call from the doctor so much, that they would tell their friends about this new medical practice where the doctor (not a RN) had followed up with her to see how their baby was doing.
I would argue that the doctor’s call-backs during her down time, not only strengthen the patient / doctor bond, but also made much more of an impact than the best post-card I could have ever sent out.
As times get tough, your practice may experience a decrease in patient loads. Use this time to reconnect with your patients. Have the doctors, nurses or even the front desk staff make follow up phone calls or send out a handwritten get-well card. Not only will reaching out strengthen the bond between patients/parents, but also be one of the cheapest marketing investments with the largest return you will ever get.
This is the time to reconnect with patients.