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How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
By Dr. John P. Barrett, Jr.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
About the Author… Dr. John P. Barrett, Jr.
Dr. John P. Barrett, Jr. , now retired, founded The Florida Knee and Orthopedic Centers in Clearwater, Florida
in 1983. In his career, he has personally performed more than 20,000 knee surgeries, including 7,000 total
knee arthroplasties. Agraduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Dr. Barrett completed an
Orthopedic Residency program at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was Chief Resident in 1972. Dr.
Barrett also served as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University prior to beginning his private practice in 1974.
Dr. Barrett has established training programs for orthopedic surgeons in Eastern Europe.
The Arthritis Research Institute of America, founded by Dr. Barrett, is a national non-profit foundation
conducting a 20-year epidemiologic study of osteoarthritis. There are now 5,000 cases and 5,000 controls
included in the study.
The Barrett family sponsors both clinical and research awards annually to senior residents at Massachusetts
General Hospital, where Dr. Barrett completed his residency. Dr. Barrett operated in one of the most
competitive markets in the country, yet his practice consistently ranked a leader in orthopedic market share.
He has created this long-term market dominance through an intense focus on patient satisfaction and
“positively outrageous service,” along with a commitment to clinical excellence. Dr. Barrett’s system for
patient care in joint replacement, called JointVentures®, has been adopted by more than 500 hospitals in the
U.S., Western Europe and Australia, and has been translated into five languages.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
Table of Contents…
Birthday cards ..........................................4
Park it........................................................5
Phone home..............................................6
Internet web site.......................................7
“A rose by any other name...” ..................8
Focus groups ............................................9
“It’s news to me!”....................................10
Wall of Fame ...........................................11
Sit down and speak..................................12
Diploma-see.............................................13
Thank you notes......................................14
“Learning Center” ...................................15
“Showing up is 90% of life” ....................16
Leave spaces open..................................17
Smiling faces...........................................18
Video education......................................19
Seminars.................................................20
“Take-out anyone?”................................21
Meet, eat and critique ...........................22
The “Happy Patient” list ........................23
The staff of your life ..............................24
Notable notes.........................................25
Get political ......................................... ..26
“Fore!”....................................................27
“Dear Doctor...”......................................28
Mystery shopper....................................29
Flexible hours.........................................30
Learn to love complaints .......................31
Toot your own horn ..............................32
Let them watch TV.................................33
Tear down the barriers...........................34
“Flag” new patients................................35
Chewed out............................................36
Clocks......................................................37
Recognition.............................................38
“No music so sweet...” ...........................39
Speak up & speak out!............................40
Open house ............................................41
Refrigerators that work for you .............42
Signage....................................................43
People, Time, & Us..................................44
Phone etiquette......................................45
“Survey says...” ......................................46
Message in a bottle.................................47
Good housekeeping ...............................48
Dressed to impress.................................49
Shameless self-exploitation ...................50
The “door knocker”................................51
Credo cards.............................................52
Follow up ...............................................53
Little things mean a lot...........................54
Implementation Worksheet…………………55, 56
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
1.
Send Birthday Cards
To Your Patients Every Year
Electronic Cards
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
2.
Change Your Parking Place
To The Worst One On The Lot
NEVER take the best
space in the lot for
yourself or your staff.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
3.
Call Patients To See
How They Are Doing
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
4.
Set Up An Internet
Web Site
The internet is the
primary source for
medical information
among consumers.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
5.
Send Patients A Flower
While In The Hospital
Flowers are the traditional
expression of health and
good wishes for
hospitalized patients.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
6.
Conduct Patient
Focus Groups
Industrialist Henry J. Kaiser
said “Marketing is very
simple… find out what your
customers want, and give
them lots of it.”
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
7.
Create A Simple Newsletter
With Patient Success Stories
Patient newsletters are
great ways to keep patients
in touch with your practice,
and for cross-selling your
services.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
8.
Create A Patient
“Wall Of Fame”
Patients will continually
offer pictures, ideas and
stories that they believe
qualify for the Wall of Fame.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
9.
Sit Down When You Are
Talking To Your Patients
You can help dispel the
perception that you are in
a hurry by sitting down.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
10.
Move Your Diplomas
To The Waiting Room
Patients are interested in
your training and
educational background,
and they will be impressed
by it.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
11.
Send “Thank You” Notes
To Patients Who Refer Other Patients
The note should be hand
written with a brief
personal message, not just
signed.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
12.
Convert Your Waiting Room
Into A “Learning Center”
Instead of tired, out of date
magazines, add informational
posters, displays, videos or
other educational media.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
13.
Be On Time!
Patients are like other
consumers and simply will
not tolerate long waiting
times.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
14.
Set Aside Appointment
Slots For New Patients Each Day
The ability to see new
patients within one or two
days is critical to the longterm growth of your practice.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
15.
Hire A Smiling Face
At The Front Desk
This person is the first and the
last person your patients
see and probably has more
influence over their perception
of your practice than everyone
else combined, including the
doctor.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
16.
Put A DVD Player In
Every Patient Exam Room
Using videos to educate
your patients on key
diagnoses insures that the
information is passed on
effectively and consistently.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
17.
Conduct Educational
Seminars In Your Facility
The seminars should be
short, no longer than one
hour, and should be
presented in an easy to
understand format.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
18.
Send Patients “Take Out”
Dinners After They Leave The Hospital
Negotiate a deal with a
delivery service to send a
healthy dinner for two to
the home of all your
hospitalized patients after
discharge.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
19.
Invite Local Office Managers
To A Luncheon To Assess Your Service
At the luncheon, solicit
input on how well your
office meets the needs of
these referring practices.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
20.
Create A “Happy Patient” List
Many patients delight in
telling others about their
experience, and they will
become your strongest
supporters in the process.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
21.
Provide Serious Customer
Service Training To Your Staff
Customer service is most
important to your practice
from a marketing standpoint
because it has a direct
bearing on the “word-ofmouth” marketing you will
generate in the community.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
22.
Send Patients A Copy Of
Their Office Notes After Each Visit
Sending them a copy of the
office notes will help them
understand the results of
their visit and will prevent
miscommunication when
they are discussing the visit
with family and friends.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
23.
Have Lunch With Your
Hospital Administrator
Instead of complaining about
service, staff and equipment
in the hospital, offer ideas
you can do to help the
hospital save money and
improve care at the same
time.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
24.
Host A Golf
Tournament For Patients
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
25.
Volunteer To Write A
Column In The Newspaper
Writing a weekly column is
a great way to establish
yourself as the local “expert”
in your field.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
26. Hire A “Mystery Shopper”
Everything from parking to
payment policies should
be reviewed, with an
emphasis on those people
and things that directly
contact patients.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
27.
Offer Early Morning And
Early Evening Hours Once Per Week
Offering occasional “flexible
hours” will give you access to
patients who may have either
put off seeing a physician or
simply visited a 24-hour
“doc-in-a-box” for routine
care.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
28.
Write Personal Letters
Of Apology To Patients Who Complain
This simple gesture often turns
an unhappy patient into one of
your biggest fans!
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
29.
Create A Brochure That Highlights
Your Patient Satisfaction Outcomes
It is vital that you measure
and publish your results in
a format that can be passed
on to referring physicians,
insurance companies,
benefits managers,
adjusters and patients.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
30.
Use A Lobby Video
To Market Your Services
Produce a thirty minute
“loop” video that introduces
your staff, along with a brief
biography on their
background and training.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
31.
Remove The Frosted Glass
Window From Your Reception Area
Remove the glass barrier
and open up your
reception area so people
feel welcome.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
32.
“Flag” All New Patient
Charts So Everyone Makes A Fuss
Everyone who handles that
chart should see that as an
opportunity to add a little
“positively outrageous
service” in order to make a
lasting first impression.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
33.
Institute A “No Gum
Chewing” Policy In Your Office
Enough said!
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
34.
Remove All Clocks
From Your Waiting Room
Until you conquer your
problem of keeping patients
waiting, don’t provide them
with a constant reminder of
how long they have been
out there!
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
35.
Recognize And Reward
Staff Who Exhibit Extraordinary
Customer Service
The goal is to make
customer service part
of the culture and climate in
your practice. To do so
demands constant
reinforcement, publicity,
training and reward.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
36.
There Is No Music
So Sweet … As Your Own Name
Insist that your staff address
everyone by their names
and that they use courtesy
titles (Mr., Mrs.) for anyone
over forty.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
37.
Join The Hospital’s
Speakers’ Bureau
Hospitals, civic groups,
and other local
organizations are
constantly looking for
guest speakers.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
38.
Conduct An Office
“Open House”
Prime time for functions
of this type is a Sunday
after noon or the lunch
hour. Make sure the
office is immaculate.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
39.
Give Away Refrigerator Magnets
With Your Name And Phone Number
Take advantage of the
easy publicity by making
sure the one they see
every day has your name
and number on it.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
40.
Make Sure Your Signage
Is Large And Easy To Read
Choose a name for
your clinic that people
remember the first time
they hear it, and use it on
your exterior signs so that it
can be read easily from at
least 150 feet away.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
41.
If You Must Have
Magazines In Your Lobby
It is essential that you
assign one of your staff
the specific responsibility
of ordering and replacing
the magazines on an issue
by issue basis.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
42.
Train Staff To Use A
Consistent Phone Greeting
Write a brief script for
how the phone should be
answered and insist that
it is done this way each
time.
“Thanks for calling our office.
This is Jean. May I help you?”
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
43.
Send Satisfaction Surveys To
Your Patients—And Act on the Results!
Written surveys are good,
telephone surveys are
better, because you will get
a much higher response
rate.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
44.
Add “On Hold Message”
To Your Phone System!
Using a bright, upbeat voice
and music to cross-sell your
services is easy and fairly
effective.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
45.
Keep Your Act Clean!
Take serious steps to insure
your office/clinic reflects a
truly professional image.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
46.
Have Staff Wear Team
Shirts And Name Tags
Golf shirts work well, are
easy to obtain, and are
relatively inexpensive.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
47.
Send Golf Caps To Referring
Physicians With Your Logo On Them
These are fun and memorable
little advertising items that
can help keep your name in
front of the physician
“gatekeepers” in your market.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
48. Hire A “Door Knocker”
Large practices can
benefit directly by hiring
a “door-knocker” to
literally make sales calls
on referring physicians
and corporate customers.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
49.
Print “Credo Cards” And
Have Your Staff Carry Them Each Day
One of the most effective ways
to reinforce your philosophy of
customer service is to print the
“standards” on a small
laminated card and to require
all employees to carry the card
to work each day
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
50.
Follow Up
You might be surprised how
many patients each year in your
own practice do not follow
through with your
recommendations.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
51.
Provide Simple Amenities
In Your Waiting Room
Install a telephone for patients’
use in a part of the waiting
room that provides reasonable
privacy. Provide water and
coffee for patients and their
accompanying families.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
Implementation Worksheet
Use this form, or facsimile, for organizing
and scheduling the important tasks that
need to be assigned, coordinated and
implemented into your practice. Applying
these concepts will ensure the successful
integration of your practice enhancements.
How To Market Your Practice
Without Advertising
Implementation Worksheet
Use this form, or facsimile, for organizing
and scheduling the important tasks that
need to be assigned, coordinated and
implemented into your practice. Applying
these concepts will ensure the successful
integration of your practice enhancements.

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