5 Smart ways to acquire new patients

New patients are looking online for GPs, Specialists, Surgeons, & Allied health professionals. They might have a set of criteria to guide their search, like location, medical aid coverage, &/or availability. But the biggest deciding factor for whether they book an appointment at your practice is your online reputation. For South African private medical practices looking to thrive in today’s digital age, establishing & enhancing your online footprint is a strategic move. 

Here are five smart & simple ways to boost your digital presence & connect with patients on their preferred platform:

  1. Optimise your website for local search
    As a busy professional, the last thing on your mind is probably your practice website. However, your website is often the first interaction patients have with your practice. You want the information to be accurate & to encourage visitors to book an appointment. Task your staff or service provider to optimise your website for local search.
    TIP: Ensure your website manager is using relevant keywords, updates your contact information, & that your bio & content showcase your services prominently. If you don’t have a website (but even if you do!) ensure that practice information is consistent across all listings from Google to online directories & appointment booking platforms, such as RecoMed.


  1. Leverage social media platforms & directories
    South Africans are active on social media, making it a powerful tool for getting the attention of new patients. Establish a presence on platforms like Facebook, X, &/or Instagram. Share health tips, community events, & updates about your practice. Informative content that addresses common health concerns & preventive care measures is more likely to be shared, building trust in your expertise.
    TIP: It’s a great idea to encourage patient reviews on your social media platforms to build trust & credibility. Remember though that social media is a two-way street, so actively respond to comments & messages posted online.


  1. Implement Remote Healthcare Services
    Telehealth is becoming increasingly popular as healthcare delivery evolves with patients’ need for ease & convenience. Investigate implementing telemedicine services into your practice for more convenient options to access healthcare.
    TIP: Highlight telehealth services on your website & social media platforms. Patients will appreciate knowing that they have the option of consulting with healthcare professionals from anywhere.


  1. Utilise Online Appointment Scheduling
    New patients are much more inclined to book an appointment online than to call your practice. Integrate a user-friendly online appointment booking platform on your website. Not only can your patients make appointments at a time that suits them but it reduces the routine admin on your staff, allowing them to focus on delivering a great patient experience.
    TIP: Get in touch with Healthbridge to find out more about how to integrate, RecoMed, an online appointment booking platform that helps new patients find your practice.


  1. Invest in billing technology
    Inefficient billing systems or problems with payments can impact your patient reviews & put new patients off. A smart billing system will automate billing processes so that it goes smoothly, & you are paid for your services. Implement technology that automates patient benefit checks at the time of making the appointment, submits claims, & generates invoices at the time of service.
    TIP: Choose a system that allows you to quickly & easily send SMS payment & appointment reminders to reduce no-shows & the time it takes for patients to settle their invoice.

A strong digital presence is a gateway to expanding your reach & attracting new patients to your private medical practice. Keep in mind that the digital journey is ongoing so regularly assess & refine your digital strategies to stay responsive to your patient’s needs. 

For more ways to digitise your practice for business growth, contact Healthbridge at sales@healthbridge.co.za. They are the technology partner of choice for over 7,000 medical professionals, helping them to run their best practice.