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Reimbursement and Practice Management

What’s Your Brand?

You and I both know brand recognition is a powerful marketing tool. You might have a favorite auto repair shop. Do you go out of your way for that service? Maybe you’re willing to pay extra because you know you’ll get great service. Is this a place you’d recommend without hesitation to a friend? Those behaviors all point to brand loyalty – and signs of business success.

In healthcare delivery, patient loyalty is critical for business success. So how do you increase patient loyalty to your brand? For starters, whether you are a solo practice or part of a large health system, make sure your brand is consistent.

Maybe you’re a private group. Under your medical business you have a medical group, an ASC, or multiple locations. Each of these might have different names or visual identities. This could be confusing for both patients and referral sources. Be sure to build consistency across locations.

If your clinic is within a health system, you’ll want to make sure everything is sub-branded in a way that makes it easy for people get to you and your services. Is it truly easy to follow your brand through web searches, literature, provider directories, at referring practice locations and other common places? Are you sure? Check it out. Ask a friend who hasn’t been to your clinic to try to find out about you and your clinic. Then ask for feedback about your brand – you might be surprised.

One way to emphasize your brand is by using consistent messages – in conversations, voicemail, videos or answering the phone. Your group might be called Neurological Associates. Be sure to have the phone answered, “Neurological Associates, this is Dale speaking, how may I assist you?” (No lazy-tongue versions like Neuro Associates, NA or Neurology Associates allowed!) Conclude in the same way, “Thank you for choosing Neurological Associates for your medical care.”

Keep the visuals consistent too – logo, font and colors. Check your website, voicemail, and printed materials. Do they present a consistent image of your medical group?

Think about your favorite coffee shop – especially an “indie” shop. How have they successfully portrayed their brand? Are there things you notice that could inspire you to take your brand to the next level?

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