One of the primary reasons patients go online is to research physicians prior to trusting them with their healthcare needs. Patients may hear about a particular specialist or want to learn more about the credentials of a certain provider. This is a great opportunity to welcome a patient to your healthcare website and make a friendly introduction. What you do here can make a big impact.
To move beyond just a name and a photo, it is best to add a physician bio that will attract patient interest. Consider these ten tips to connect patients with providers in a meaningful way.
1. Consider how many bios you will need
Do you have 20 providers or 200? Consider breaking the project down into specialties or organizing the task in such a way it feels more doable.
2. Decide on a deadline
Figure out when you would like to have these biographies completed. Physicians are often busy and you may need a realistic timeline to see this project through.
3. Find a format and approach that works for you
It is wise to decide character length, tone, and preferred style before you venture out to collect information. Will your practice reflect a more friendly, casual bio or do you want to appear professional and researched? Be sure to decide on first person “I specialize in…” or third person, “Dr. Smith specializes in…” as this can change your approach.
4. Persuade providers
In order to get physicians on board, you may need to recruit a handful of physician leaders to champion the effort and help persuade others to complete the task of updating biographies. Providers often respond to their peers and may not have a personal relationship with you as a marketing or web expert. You can introduce the idea in a team meeting or other physician-led environment.
5. Decide what questions to ask
Straightforward, easy to answer questions on your questionnaire will give you a better chance of a good response. If questions are too open-ended or personal, some may feel like they need to think about them before answering. This can create a bottleneck in your process and slow down the project.
Consider the following questions:
- Tell me about yourself. What are your areas of focus and what do you specialize in?
- Why do you enjoy what you do?
- Tell us about your educational background and certifications
- How long have you been practicing?
- How would your patients describe you?
- What are your greatest strengths as a physician?
- What separates you and your practice from others in your market?
- What’s been the most rewarding part about being a (name of specialty)?
- What publications have you authored?
- Are you involved in research, and if so, for what?
- What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not helping patients?
Sub-specializing in a certain condition/treatment:
- How long have you been treating the condition?
- How many patients do you help with that condition every month/year?
- What is your approach?
- Is there anything you do that is unique in relation to the treatment/procedure?
6. Create a questionnaire and collect responses in an engaging way
If you have many providers to collect bios from, you may want to consider setting up an online questionnaire. That will allow providers to easily complete the survey when it’s convenient.
If you are trying to update biographies, make it fun or interesting. An online survey tool can be completed on a smartphone and can be easily tracked or imported. Emails can be lost and cumbersome. Phone calls can be time-intensive and archaic. Make sure any method you use is professional, well-branded, and user-friendly.
7. Motivate or entice
If you are worried about gathering a large number of responses from physicians, consider giving them an incentive or motivating them in another way to complete the survey or questionnaire.
8. Find the windows of opportunity
In order to have physicians update their bio, you may need to find the window of time when they are in the right head space to answer and respond to your questions. Consider putting a QR code in the breakroom or in a place where doctors may have a free minute. If they are checking an email at home, they may be less likely to complete “extra work” outside of the office.
9. Collect responses and rework
Every physician’s response will be different. It is then the team’s task to rework the responses into a useable format. Be sure to keep them all similar in length regardless of how short or long the physician responses were. This will give you a streamlined feel that is easy for patients to read and engage with.
10. Update regularly
Outdated biographies and photographs online can be costly to your image as an organization. Be sure to stay away from stagnant numbers like “Dr. Smith has 10 grandchildren,” for example, if his family is still expanding, or “Dr. Smith has lived in the area for 22 years.” It is better instead to say, “more than 20 years” or other phrases that will not be outdated anytime soon. As you update your biographies, your organization will be dynamic and engaging.
After following these ten tips, your physician biographies will attract patient interest. As you work to engage with potential patients your biographies can be a gateway into your website, your organization, and the overall care journey.
Need help getting started?
Practis can help get you on the right path. Contact us today.