Like any other business, a medical practice needs to set themselves apart, and above, their competitors. It seems so obvious, but how do you do it? What are the elements needed for a doctor and medical practice to create and sustain a superb reputation? As a PR firm specializing in publicity for doctors and wellness experts, we offer the following thoughts on some of the key components that make a medical practice stand out.

Be Great.

It goes without saying that the most important element in setting your practice ahead of your competitors is to be great at what you do. On a most basic level this means providing superior medical care to your patients all the time. It also means creating a positive and welcoming environment, running an efficient office, and having office staff who is patient centered. You’ll want your medical practice to also be excellent and efficient at all problem solving, be it medical, billing, or something else.

Be Responsive.

Here again the goal is to consistently provide your patients with timely information, attention, and courtesy with regards to both medical care and medical administration. This includes listening to patients tell the details of their health problems, probing for more information and confirming that you are understanding them correctly. From a business perspective, it means returning phone calls to patients promptly, following up on patient questions and making the billing process as clear and easy as possible.

Be known.

In addition to providing exceptional patient care and creating a welcoming environment doctors need to be known to the public to maintain and grow their practices. There are a couple of ways to become known. One way is with an active online presence. This includes having a professional and accessible website and active social media accounts. Doctors should welcome satisfied patients to leave positive reviews, as online reputation plays a significant role in attracting new patients. Another way to be known is to focus on community involvement. This includes participating in health fairs, sponsoring events, or organizing health-related workshops. By demonstrating a commitment to the community doctors can enhance their practice’s reputation. And another way to be know is with smart and relevant communications. Regularly maintaining clear and open communication with patients to ensure that they fully understand their medical conditions, treatment options, and any necessary lifestyle changes required. It’s also helpful to have communications about the practice, including new practitioners, services, policies and the like.

Be kind.

Going to a doctor can be stressful for many. Kindness can go a long way in helping a doctor stand out from his competitors. Be sure that your staff is friendly and knowledgeable.  A positive experience with receptionists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can greatly impact how patients perceive your practice.

Be consistent.

Make patient satisfaction and well-being your top priority. Develop a compassionate and caring approach to patient interactions all the time. Take the time to listen to your patients, address their concerns, and involve them in their treatment plans. Going the extra mile to ensure patient comfort and understanding can set your practice apart.