Transparency is the quickest and surest way to engage your readers and followers (and get them to become patients).
Transparency can be equated to honesty and sincerity. Patients are looking of doctors, practices and health care systems who are willing to share about who they are, how they practice and how they run a business.
Patients are not our colleagues and, thus, are unable to fully digest and understand our accomplishments. We are not relevant to our patients.
We often use fancy clinical terms and hang diplomas and plaques of our accolades and memberships – usually only meaningful to ourselves. Transparency allows us to become more relevant to our patients, using terms and references that they can understand. Relevance is the beginning of engagement (converting a reader to a patient).
This post corresponds to our latest podcast episode of “Russ and Randy” – a podcast on Healthcare and Medical Internet Marketing. We hope you like “Using Transparency to Engage Your Patients.” You can find us on iTunes …and now, ReachMD.com!
Patients are looking for doctors who are relevant, or meaningful, to them. Clinical prowess is really not in the decision process. Clinical abilities are assumed. Patients want more information about their next provider to make a choice, and the information must be relevant.
Patients are eager to find a common ground, common denominator, etc. Understanding and learning more about their providers is now paramount to the “patient” serfing the web. There are 2.5 forms:
- Personal transparency
- Professional (how you practice)
- Business transparency
With tongue in cheek, we added “professional transparency” as the 0.5.
We focus on distinguishing between who you are as a person versus what you are (professional accomplishments). Patients can relate to our humanizing attributes (cyclist, musician, golfer, dog-lover) compared to our professional accomplishments (because they aren’t health providers).
Russ’ self-description as a “booger-doctor” is a strong descriptor of his profession in humanistic, and relevant terms.
A doctor showing human qualities makes you more tangible.
We advocate using personal transparency in your About Page on your website. Talk about your hobbies and interests. Do so to your level of comfort. We talk about an easy “test” you can try in your office.
Professional (aka Practice Philosophy)
This is probably a subset of “personal transparency.” Professional transparency reflects your practice beliefs. For example, do you believe in vaccinations? Do you use only state of the art, hi-tech diagnostic equipment? Do you advocate the use of vitamins?
What is important to your practice or your health organization? Business transparency includes those elements which are important to you as a business or organization:
- best doctors
- best equiptment
- no waiting times
- serve everyone
- monitor reviews online (because it’s important to you and your patients)
Business transparency may be very similar to your mission statement (we treat everyone as if they were family).
What Can You Do?
We give a few examples of how to get started. There is no magic recipe, but demonstrating some transparency on your website or social platforms will humanize you and help your patients choose their next doctor.
By becoming relevant to your patients, you empower them to better describe who YOU are to others!
See you next week!
Find “Russ and Randy” on iTunes!
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All the best!
Healthcare and Medical Internet Marketing
Healthcare’s Rx for Web and Social