How do you get new patients into your clinic? If your census is low, and you’ve determined that you don’t have a patient retention problem, the next step is to look at referral building, lead generation, marketing, or whatever you want to call “getting new patients”. As I’ve written before, many clinic owners rely on referral sources to get new patients coming into their clinic. They try to “build relationships” with the referral gatekeepers (usually an office manager or the like).


Now this can work for a bit, until it doesn’t. In fact, I shared a story in the 2019 Survey Report about a clinic that I worked with that relied too heavily on an office manager at an ortho practice to keep their clinic full. When this person left the practice and moved on to another position, that referral source all but dried up (you can download the full report here).


Like it or not, as clinic owners, managers, or directors, finding ways to get new patients into your clinic is something you need to spend some time on. But what works? What doesn’t? And are there ways to grow a steady stream of new patients without having to rely on gatekeepers or referral sources? I had the chance to sit share some strategies and tactics with Meredith Castin from The Non-Clinical PT for an article on WebPT. Check out the article here!



Strategies for Getting New Patients Into Your Clinic


The article outlines 5 unique strategies for getting new patients in the door of your clinic. Here they are below:


  1. Hosting Open House Events
  2. Injury Clinics & Informational Sessions
  3. Targeting Specialized Clubs
  4. Informative & Inspiring Content
  5. Sports Leagues and Meetups


Even if your clinic has multiple referral sources from large practices or hospitals in the area, adding an independent stream of new patients to your clinic helps when the inevitable drought of patients does come (and we’ve all experienced those). Most of the above-mentioned ideas focus on direct access and even private-pay clients and patients, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work for traditional, insurance-based clinics. It’s all about finding creative ways to build relationships with patients and prospective patients. By providing value and opportunities to interact in a low-risk situation, you increase the odds of prospective patients taking the leap to becoming actual patients.


Salazar notes that the move to a consumer-driven model has empowered patients to take advantage of direct access. Marketing directly to consumers helps build trust between patients and practitioners—which in turn alleviates some of the risk that consumers feel when they invest in something new. Salazar explains: “Prospective patients are worried about the risks they are taking when they pay for your services.” They may think: -What if PT doesn’t work? -What if I don’t like the clinic? -What if it’s a waste of my money/time? “All of these risks go away when the clients have a chance to meet you/your staff, experience a taste of your capabilities, and have real interactions with you,” he says.


Check out the full article here!


Do you have any out-of-the-box tactics to get new patients into your clinic? Share any additional resources that you found helpful in the comments below!

If you’d like to talk with me about your clinic, department, or practice, and how Rehab U can help you improve patient retention and engagement. Schedule a FREE 15-minute brainstorm call with me.


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For more informational reads, check out our Insights Page to see all the articles we’ve published to date. Click here to head over to our resources section and check out our variety of clinical and professional resources aimed at increasing your knowledge and skills. Or you can check out our online courses and programs. If you’d like to make some changes in your clinic or health center, and would like some help, check out our consulting and advisement services or contact us to see how we can help you break out of the norm and provide a truly impactful patient experience.

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L is the president and CEO of Rehab U Practice Solutions. He has experience in a variety of rehab settings, working with patients recovering from a variety of injuries and surgeries. He worked as the lead clinician in an outpatient specialty clinic at his local VA Medical center. He also has experience as an adjunct faculty instructor at Augusta University’s Occupational Therapy Program, as a Licensed Board Member on the GA State OT Board, has served on several committees for the national OT Board (NBCOT), and as a consultant working for the State of Georgia’s DBHDD. He is also on the Board of Directors for NBCOT. He works to help healthcare clinics and organizations deliver uniquely impactful patient experiences by improving service delivery through training & advisement and through courses & training programs.

Read his full bio Here. Read about Rehab U Here.

Schedule a free 15-minute brainstorm call with him Here.

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