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Going Digital: A Simple Prescription for Healthcare Practices

These days, there is virtually no business that doesn’t—or couldn’t—benefit from some sort of digital strategy. Physicians and group practices are certainly no exception. The question is: Where do you start?
Like all sound marketing strategies, that answer depends on who your targets are. Generally speaking, just about all patients want some digital healthcare services. According to an international survey by management consulting firm McKinsey, 75 percent of consumers would use these services—now here’s the important part—“as long as these services meet their needs.” How do you ensure your digital services are meeting your patients’ needs? These insights, culled from the McKinsey study, are a good place to start:

  • Digital isn’t just for the young. Older patients (those over 50) want digital healthcare services nearly as much as their younger counterparts. But think “traditional” digital channels, such as a website and email.
  • Mobile apps are. The demand for mobile healthcare apps is strongest among younger people, so creating a solution that targets this segment—such as one for prenatal care or healthy lifestyle choices—may make sense for your practice. One that focuses on managing a chronic health condition typical among older patients may not.
  • It’s OK to keep it simple. What people want from digital healthcare services are actually pretty basic: efficiency, information access, integration with other channels and the ability to speak to a person if needed. The most frequently requested functionality? Locating a physician or specialist, scheduling an appointment and requesting a prescription refill (not brain surgery, by any stretch of the imagination).

The study is quick to point out, however, that while digital technology is an important engagement tool, non-digital channels will remain important and relevant to the patient experience and should be incorporated into a strategic multichannel concept.

How is your healthcare practice using digital to attract and engage patients? Share your ideas here.

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Vice President, Communications Strategist

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