Attract new patients by connecting with them on a personal level and providing healthcare solutions for their specific needs, whether you run a hospital, private practice, or any other patient-centric healthcare business.
Creating patient personas take connecting with patients to a new level. With patient personas, you aren’t just providing healthcare solutions to your target audience. You fully understand this audience, you know exactly what they need, and you know just how to give it to them.
A patient persona is a fictional representation of your ideal patient. However, it’s more than just a hypothetical person. Personas are based on real data from interviews with real patients. This data includes demographics (i.e age, gender, geographic location, education, etc.) and patient habits and traits like online behavior, personal histories, motivations, and concerns.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR PATIENT PERSONA(S)
As you grow your medical practice, you’ll likely end up with more than one patient persona, especially if you offer a variety of medical services. But first, you want to begin with the most important service that you’ll be marketing to help engage your target patients. For example, you may run a women’s health center. You may want to first focus on reproductive health or even contraception, which often go hand in hand.
STEP 1: GOALS
To attract new patients, determine that target patients’ goal. What do they hope to accomplish? What healthcare solutions do they seek? Using the women’s health center as an example, your target audience may want to prevent pregnancy or they may want to maintain their reproductive health so that they can have a healthy pregnancy in the future.
STEP 2: DEMOGRAPHICS
Gather demographic data on your ideal patients. This includes basic details like age, race, gender, location, education level, marital status, socioeconomic status, etc. Imagine running a dental practice that makes most of its revenue from dental implants and other dental cosmetic surgeries. You learn that your target market is highly educated, lives in suburban areas, and comes from an affluent background.
STEP 3: VALUES
Learn what your target patient’s values are and what they want to gain from your healthcare services. Say you’re a primary care physician and many of your target patients lead busy lives. They value their time and want to make appointments in advance. They also value easy ways to schedule appointments as well as clear opportunities to reschedule these appointments if conflicts arise.
STEP 4: CHALLENGES AND PAIN POINTS
Know what your target patient is struggling with. Do they suffer from diabetes? Are they battling cancer? Do they lack the funding to receive quality healthcare? Knowing these pain points can help you create a persona that resonates with potential patients and understands what they need to solve their problems.
STEP 5: SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Identify the ways your target patient absorbs information. Do they read long-form content? Or do they read their information and news in small chunks? Are they heavy social media users? Asking these questions can get you on the right track to understanding and getting to know your target patient’s behaviors and habits when it comes to absorbing content.
STEP 6: OBJECTIONS
Learn the possible barriers your target patient may encounter when trying to receive your healthcare solutions. If you’re located downtown, your target patient might have difficulty finding available parking spaces. If you only accept a few types of insurance, many of your target patients won’t be able to afford your healthcare services. Perhaps you don’t have any available specialists for certain patients’ rare illnesses.
AN EXAMPLE OF A PATIENT PERSONA
John, 67 years old, is a retired miner who lives in Forestville, Minnesota. He suffers from a host of illnesses including pneumoconiosis (black lung) and silicosis. His primary doctor referred him to a lung specialist (pulmonologist) for treatment. His current pulmonologist has him on a variety of medications that give him many side effects. John values his family and still wants to be around for his wife and two daughters.
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