It’s been over a year of virtual events, and we could not have been more excited to get back to on-site industry conferences! It’s the best time to connect with some new and familiar faces, hear some of the challenges and successes of medical practices, and learn the latest industry trends. Here are some key takeaways from conferences so far this year:
1. Communication Continues to Change
We’ve always promoted the power of digital. Each year our Medical Marketing Outlook underscores the movement to a digital, mobile-first world that has been a consistent pattern for a number of years. We’ve also seen prospects and patients are not necessarily shifting away from certain communication methods. Rather, they prefer to have several convenient options for interacting with your practice. A perfect example of this is the increased usage of web contact forms, but simultaneously an increased conversion percentage from inbound phone calls. In short: digital hasn’t been killing the human connection. Consumers just want it all.
Now add to this – COVID-19, which has also had a significant and (so far) lasting impact on how we communicate. QR codes were a trend in 2002! Many thought we would never see them again. They now seem to be a preferred alternative to printed materials. Credit cards have become increasingly “tap to pay”. And while on-site events are coming back, many still want the option to also attend virtually.
This means your practice has to live in the world that caters to it all.
2. Patient Demand for Elective Medical Services is at a High
It was a resounding message from speaking events to physicians to practice staff: practice volume is up. And OptiCall has seen the same increase in inbound calls to and web leads to our medical contact center. Earlier this year, we reported an uptick of 18% in volume and that momentum is holding. It seems while there is still uncertainty with COVID, prospects are feeling more comfortable to move forward with their lives given the vaccine roll-out, stimulus checks, and practices continuing to adhere to the latest guidelines. We don’t see any sign of this stopping.
3. Staff is Harder to Find (and Keep)
Shifting communication styles coupled with increased demand in services is putting continued pressure on medical practices to keep up. A perfect storm is brewing when you factor in practices are having a hard time finding and retaining experienced staff. Many offices were forced to make cuts, and some are still hesitant to bring staff back full time. Training new employees also becomes a challenge when you’re just trying to keep pace and manage day-to-day operations.
It’s a critical time when practices need to start making decisions on whether it makes sense to focus on adding more overhead with hiring and training employees, or have greater flexibility, and efficiency with outsourcing. The questions to ask are:
- How has your current staff been handling re-opening?
- Do you find they are overwhelmed on a day-to-day basis?
- Are critical mistakes happening on an ongoing basis due to not enough training or juggling too many tasks?
- Do you find hiring even one more person may be too costly?
If you’re answer is yes to any of these, outsourcing your functions could be the right next step. Whether it’s just for a few months until things settle down, or a permanent solution, you have the flexibility without the financial commitment.
OptiCall is here to help you stay ahead of the curve – keeping up with demand, and ensuring your practice is effectively managing all inbound phone and web leads. Learn more about our First Contact phone handling or Capture inbound web response program, or to see which program is right for you, request a free practice assessment.