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Three Passport Life Hacks To Try Before 2018

Here are three things you should know to get the most out of your passport and your international travel experience.
USA.gov Updates

How to navigate 5 areas of patient communication

Medical marketing and PR pros pride themselves on knowing—and adhering to—federal mandates around patient privacy.

However, there are additional compliance standards that govern the industry. The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration are two entities that manage regulations affecting patient communication.

[RELATED: Learn new strategies to beat data overload and boost reach, results and ROI.]

Melanie Matthews writes on Healthcare Intelligence Network :

The infographic touches on all points of patient communication—from digital advertising and marketing to scheduling appointments and patient reminders—to help practices protect patient information and stay compliant.

The infographic from Response Mine addresses:

  • Social and online engagement
  • Patient nurturing
  • Digital marketing
  • Data mining

Take a look. Do you have some catching up to do?

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Patient-Communication-Compliance-Infographic-updated-image-dec-2016-smaller

 

(Image via )

HealthCareCommunication.com

Preparation for Tomorrow Begins Today

Your personal my Social Security account is one of the most powerful tools available to help you prepare for retirement.
USA.gov Updates

Price tag on gene therapy for rare form of blindness: $850K

A first-of-its kind genetic treatment for blindness will cost $ 850,000, less than the $ 1 million price tag that had been expected, but it’s still among the most expensive genetic therapies in the world.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News

The rolling paper


latimes.com – Los Angeles Times

This Is Just a Drill

There has been confusion and rumors on social media about a U.S. Department of Defense drill that starts on November 4, 2017.
USA.gov Updates

How to Set Achievable Goals for Your Medical Practice

How to Set Achievable Goals for Your Medical Practice

Managing a medical practice is hard work – harder than most of us can even imagine – and many practice owners put in massive amounts of effort to make sure their business thrives. Having a clear objective can help you implement the right strategies and can give you the right direction. This may make running a medical practice a little bit easier.

In contrast, without setting effective goals we may just drift through life, achieving far less than what we deserve or are capable of. Trying to work without specific goals is like setting off on a journey without a map or destination in mind.

Whether you are setting up a new practice or you have been running a successful practice for years, focusing on what you want to achieve is critical to your success.

Setting new goals for your practice can be exciting. This is an extensive process that allows you to visualize a better and more productive future for your medical practice. While the inspiration that accompanies this process is incredible, it can also be time-consuming and demanding.

Not all goal-setting is done equally. There is a right and a wrong way to go about setting objectives for your business. In order to understand how to set reasonable goals, you have to understand the importance of this process and steps to avoid common mistakes.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting the Right Goals

Your practice’s goals are an extension of your vision, mission and priorities. While your specific objectives might change from time to time, they should consistently enhance your values and brand image. For instance, if superior patient service is a priority for your practice, then one of your goals should focus on that objective. A goal that focuses on providing excellent patient service will help enhance your practice’s reputation and conversion rate.

Without goals, your practice can lack growth and direction. Setting effective goals can put you in the driver’s seat and give you the power to steer your practice in whatever direction you desire. However, sometimes your goals and objectives become neglected. This usually happens when obstacles and hurdles come up, and most of us end up quitting. Goal-setting does not have to be that way. It is easy to throw in the towel, especially when you have a big mountain to climb.

Here are five simple steps to make sure you reach your goals.

1. Identify Your Specific Objectives: In a medical practice, a mission statement is not just a document, but a purpose that is accompanied by strong conviction. When a mission statement is clearly defined, it does not just describe a business; it sets the stage for the future success of the business. It is important to take the time to articulate the different short-term and long-term goals of your practice by reflecting on why you started your practice in the first place. Your mission statement should answer the following key questions:

  • What market do you serve?
  • Why should your patients come to your practice?
  • What problems do you solve for your patients?
  • What makes your practice better than your competitors?
  • What measures can be taken to improve the quality and range of services you provide?

Your mission statement is your reference point. In order to achieve your long-term goals, you will need to set and achieve short-term goals. Once you have identified your long-term and short-term objectives, you need to figure out how to get there. These short-term objectives are your business goals.

2. Set SMART Goals: Lack of clarity is the biggest reason why most goals fail. It is important to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals. Make sure the outcome of each goal can be measured.

It is also critical for the management to embrace key facts. Do not run away from ground reality or data. Often, executives set inaccurate goals without having reliable data. By setting goals that are specific and attainable, you will not only save time and effort but will also get closer to your destination. In addition, if you cannot measure what you are trying to achieve, your goal will likely not contribute to the growth of your practice. Keep your goals challenging but achievable. Make sure your goals are relevant to your practice’s success. Commit to a time frame to achieve your goals. This will keep you accountable.

How to Set Achievable Goals for Your Medical Practice

3. Identify Metrics to Measure Success: This step is often overlooked in the goal-setting process. Most marketers focus so much on ensuring the goal is specific and realistic that they forget to align key performance indicators (KPIs) with each goal. Metrics will help you determine whether you are on the right track to achieving your business goals and objectives.

Thoughtfully selected metrics can help you monitor progress and overall performance of your goals. Setting and monitoring the right metrics can also help your practice:

  • Identify the current performance levels of your staff.
  • Track progress on achieving business goals.
  • Focus on driving growth in key departments.
  • Drive accountability among employees.

When determining what metrics to track, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Do these metrics align with your objectives?
  • Can these metrics help you make decisions?
  • Do you have the capacity to measure these metrics effectively?

4. Identify Challenges: One of the biggest problems with goal-setting is that we think through all the steps and processes without thinking about challenges. Just as you should be safeguarding your practice from inevitable problems, you can proactively avoid challenges that are likely to stop you from achieving your goals.

When setting your goals, it would be a good idea to plan for potential obstacles. Taking this approach will help you stay prepared when the expected challenges arise.

Identifying obstacles and challenges can also tell you whether or not a goal is achievable. If your goal to attract a thousand patients turns out to be unrealistic, then you can filter that goal to something that is more attainable.

Potential challenges may include a personal fear, a lack of funds or the need for better staff training. Once you have identified what is standing in the way, it will be easier to remove these obstacles and achieve your goals. After you have identified the potential challenges, the next step is to think of solutions to eliminate these challenges.

5. Track Your Progress: Achieving your goals will be next to impossible if you do not have the right system to track and analyze the progress and performative of your activities. It is important to find a way to monitor the outcome on a regular basis.

By tracking and controlling the outcome of your goals, you can be confident that your strategy is working in your favor. You must set up some tools or a system for tracking and analyzing your activities and measuring progress toward your goals.

Goal Ideas for Your Practice

2018 is finally here, and it is time to start looking at New Year’s resolutions – not just for individuals but also for medical practice owners.
How to Set Achievable Goals for Your Medical Practice
Even if 2017 was a profitable year for your practice, there is always room for improvement. The time is right to examine possibilities for improvement and success in the year 2018.

So what can be the specific goals of your medical practice? Here are a few ideas of business goals and objectives that you can aim for in your practice.

1. Attract more patients.

2. Run a campaign for patient retention.

3. Effectively manage cash flow.

4. Improve your online presence.

5. Invest in staff training.

6. Launch at least one new service.

7. Improve patient experience or patient satisfaction score.

8. Reduce operating costs.

9. Improve the quality and quality of online reviews of your practice.

10. Improve leadership qualities.

Tips for Setting Attainable Goals

Regardless of the popularity or size of your medical practice, the first rule in setting reasonable goals is to understand that your practice’s growth and existence depend on them. The goals you create will focus your staff on where to spend the majority of their energy and efforts.

The success of your medical practice is intimately tied to the hearts, minds and actions of your staff who choose to come to work every day. So it is important to set aside some time to reflect on what is most important to you and your staff in the year ahead. You must be careful and clear and pick no more than five specific goals for the next year.

Here are some tips for setting reasonable goals for your medical practice that you will be able to follow through on.

1. Involve Your Staff: No one employee will ever have all the answers. It is critical not only to identify your business goals but also ask your staff to do the same. This will provide you with essential data for setting goals that are specific and achievable.

2. Identify and Fix Blind Spots: Every business has a few blind spots. Here again, you should ask your employees for help. You can create a questionnaire to help you find the blind spots that can lead your practice astray.

3. Do Not Forget the Lessons: Always incorporate the lessons learned this year into the goal-setting strategy of next year. The annual goal-setting exercises offer a perfect opportunity to evaluate your performance and adjust course.

4. Always Create Relevant Goals: When writing goals for the new year, ask yourself: How aligned are these goals with our practice’s business plan and strategic priorities? It is a good idea to check your direction before plunging into the new year.

5. Communicate These Goals: It is important to decide the best possible way to communicate your goals to your staff and stakeholders.

6. Do not settle for “possible goals”: This time of year provides a perfect opportunity to decide your course for the next year. So do not settle on “workable” goals for 2018.

How to Set Achievable Goals for Your Medical Practice

Wrapping Up

If these ideas are not appealing to you, try using a concept from the SMART method or see how they fit into your practice’s SWOT analysis.

There is no set method for goal-setting that fits every practice’s needs. Do not feel discouraged if some of the popular methods do not work for you. You can explore other useful and straightforward ways of setting goals. Regardless of how high your business goals take you, there will always be more targets to achieve and more improvements to make. Setting realistic goals can help your staff put their best foot forward, and your practice will thrive because of it.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

How to Fight Flu This Season

Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to friends and loved ones.
USA.gov Updates

How patients prefer their doctor’s communication

Patients demand greater engagement with care providers, and not all of it is technology-based. Some, according to this infographic, may require traditional methods of communication. Research has found:

  • More than 40 percent of patients would like a phone call from their doctor.

  • Around 25 percent prefer their physicians reach out through email.

  • Some 70 percent of consumers appreciate patient portals as a way of communicating with providers.

At the same time, 60 percent of doctors say social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients.

FREE DOWNLOAD: How to manage online patient feedback and brand reputation

Take a look:

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NHIT_Q2TechReportDM_Infographic_0915_1000

(Image via)

HealthCareCommunication.com

How to Make Your Patients Follow Your Chiropractic Practice on Social Media

How to Make Your Patients Follow Your Chiropractic Practice on Social Media

We hear it all the time: “Engage patients!” Sounds like a valid and proven marketing advice, right? But what are the best and most efficient strategies for engaging your patients? Every medical practice is different, and so there is no one-size-fits-all mantra to follow. However, there are a few ideas you can implement that, when blended with research data and experience, can help you gain traction in the social sphere. Active patient engagement on social networks will help your chiropractor practice and is an important step toward increasing the conversion rate.

Social networks such as Facebook and Instagram are changing the way medical practices operate and interact with potential and existing patients. However, the key to success on these platforms is to have an active and engaged following. Engaged patients are great assets as they tend to spread the positive word about your practice and its services.

Why Do Patients Follow Your Brand?

Have you ever wondered why someone would even want to follow a healthcare brand on social media? Most of us will dislike a site that throws a three-minute pop-up ad at us while we are trying to read a two-minute blog post.

So, why would your patients be willing to follow your chiropractor practice on social media and have your content show up in their social feeds for free? Don’t you want to think about it?

As social networks become more prevalent and essential to marketing strategies, healthcare marketers need to have a solid understanding of the various reasons that existing and potential patients choose to follow, engage and interact with brands on social media.

It is important to understand the underlying reasons as to why your target audience would choose to follow your brand on social networks. This understanding will make the process of attracting and retaining those followers much simpler.

According to research, relevant content is one of the top reasons patients follow healthcare facilities on social networks. If you are looking to ramp up your conversion rate and brand awareness and increase the number of leads, check out these reasons why patients follow chiropractors on social networks:

How to Make Your Patients Follow Your Chiropractic Practice on Social Media

1. For updates on products and services: Majority of patients turn to social networks for their daily dose of updates about the latest products and services. If an existing or potential patient is interested in your products or services, he or she may choose to follow your brand on social networks to be “in the know” when new products and services are launched. So whenever you have news about your products or services, make sure you share the information on your social media pages. You can even consider sharing a short video or images related to the update.

2. To learn of exclusive offers and promotions: Your followers need to be rewarded for their loyalty. You can keep your patients glued to your social media pages by offering special discount codes, exclusive offers and other promotions. Nearly 70 percent of people follow brands to take advantage of special offers, promotions and special deals. While social networks are not the ideal place for throwing deals and discounts, such posts can help you generate leads and attract potential patients. As a bonus, in order to make your followers feel exclusive, you can announce a special discount only for them. However, you will have to be careful because posting discounts and offers frequently can make you look desperate. So limit the number of such posts. According to a survey, having access to special promotions is one of the top reasons patients follow a brand on social media. These discounts and incentives serve two main purposes: They attract potential patients to your page, and they help retain existing patients by positioning your brand at the top of their minds.

3. To find customer support: An increasing percentage of patients are turning to social networks for customer support. For a lot of people, contacting their doctor on social media is a quicker and more convenient way of expressing concerns and asking for help. According to research, 71 percent of patients who received positive customer service on social networks are more likely to recommend the doctor to their family and friends. Social networks are excellent platforms for engaging with your patients and showing them that you care about their experiences. If an existing or new patient posts feedback about your chiropractor practice on social media, a quick reply is an effective way to show gratitude and resolve concerns.

4. To keep in touch with your practice: Some patients will follow your brand simply because they like its unique identity and personality. Almost 32 percent of patients follow your brand on social media just because they want to stay connected and informed about the activities of your brand. From a healthcare marketer’s point of view, this proves the value of social networks as an effective tool for patient engagement and feedback. Your brand’s social media page serves as a useful resource where patients can see the latest updates from your practice without having to visit your website. Whether you are posting about a new product launch or an exclusive discount offer, following your practice presents the opportunity to keep informed about all the important updates.

5. To post an online review or feedback: If a patient is following you on social media, it is highly likely that he or she is already a loyal patient or is interested in learning more about your services. Patients often follow brands they care about and give feedback about the doctor on their experiences. Social media can give your patients a public voice, so it is critical to take feedback and reviews constructively. Social networks are an excellent way to see what your patients think about your practice and where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Practices that are more open in soliciting the feedback of patients will send the message that the feedback matters, and this can have a positive effect on patient loyalty.

However, not many patients will bother to leave feedback unless they feel passionately enough about your practice to make an effort. Your social media pages will often be one of the first platforms that your patients will turn to when they want to post a review or leave feedback.

And, Why Do Patients Unfollow Your Brand?

Acquiring a massive social media following is incredible, but it is pointless if you keep losing those followers. It is important to understand what is making your followers leave. Being unfollowed is an expected part of the social media journey.

You may think you know your patient demographic inside and out, but do you really know what they want to see on your social media pages? Unknowingly, you might be committing social media mistakes and forcing them to hit the unfollow button. So where could you be going wrong? As a healthcare marketer, it is almost impossible to please every single patient. Here are five key reasons patients unfollow a practice on social media:

1. Irrelevant or boring content: According to research, 21 percent of patients will unfollow a brand if the content is uninteresting and repetitive. If the content you are sharing is not exciting, your target audience will unfollow you. The truth is, there is a lot of competition out there, and you need to be innovative in order to stand out from the crowd. Your patients are following your practice for a specific reason, and if you continue to share boring content, you can kiss those followers goodbye. Your followers demand and deserve fresh and informative content.

2. Over-promotion: Of all the reasons patients unfollow practices on social media, “posting too frequently” is one of the biggest turn-offs. Unfortunately, many practices still approach social media as if it is a broadcast channel where they are allowed to post updates every hour or two. It is important to understand that social networks require two-way communication – brands post, target audience responds and engages. But how much is too much on social media? The answer is, most followers expect the brands to post only once or twice a day. If you are posting updates more than six times a day, you need to slow down. The best way is to stick to a social media schedule so your target audience knows what to expect. However, stick to whatever schedule you decide on.

How to Make Your Patients Follow Your Chiropractic Practice on Social Media

3. Lack of engagement: The goal of social media presence is to be social. Social networks are designed to help you engage with your followers and make your brand seem accessible. However, if a follower messages you and you ignore him or her, it can defeat the purpose. It is critical to use your social presence as a medium to interact with your followers. As a healthcare marketer, you must engage with your target audience. Communicating with them in a personal and friendly manner is crucial. Nearly 39 percent of patients expect doctors to engage with them when they post on their social media pages. Engaging with your followers can help improve conversion rate, drive traffic to your website and attract new patients.

4. Your competitors are more engaging: A small portion of your followers can unfollow your brand if they come across a competitor who shares more compelling content and is more appealing than you are on social media. However, this is more of personal choice than a social media mistake. You cannot do much to stop such incidences. Your only option is to try to be better than your competitors by keeping an eye on their social media activities. It is important to take note of things they are doing right, and include those in your social media strategy.

5. Posting too little: While posting too frequently can cause you to lose followers, not posting enough can do as much harm. When you do not post for two months, and then all of a sudden post a promotional offer, your patients may wonder why they are following you in the first place. If you are too quiet and only posting rarely, your patients will find it pointless to follow you and most likely click the unfollow button. Again, it is advised to set up a social media schedule and adhere to it. You must post at least once a day. Being consistent will show your patients that you are present and active. The idea is to find a good balance when posting content on social networks.

How to Make Your Patients Follow Your Chiropractic Practice on Social Media

Conclusion

Social networks help in brand promotion. Healthcare brands need to make the most of these platforms by posting useful content frequently.

An important thing to remember is that your followers expect high-quality content that fits their requirements. Social media is a two-way communication platform, so be careful not to overwhelm your followers with frequent updates and promotional content. But if you are too quiet and only posting rarely, your patients will find it pointless to follow your brand and will most likely click the unfollow button.

Engaging patients through social networks can be challenging for some chiropractors, but it is the first step in creating loyal patients and for promoting your practice in earnest. It tells potential patients that you are listening and are actively involved. Social media engagement should be a pillar of your healthcare marketing strategy.

If you need more help with managing your social media profile, feel free to contact our social media services team today.

Medical Healthcare Marketing