How do patients choose a plastic surgeon? Ask a friend, online review sites, web search, board certifications and insurance lists are a few ways that people search for a doctor. While everyone has different preferences when it comes to a doctor’s gender, bedside manner, etc., everyone wants a highly skilled plastic surgeon. Yet, so many people fall into a trap because they don’t know how to choose a doctor. Here are four tips on how you can help patients choose wisely.
Patients know why to choose a Board Certified doctor
While you and your staff know the importance of Board Certified, many patients don’t know. Even fewer potential patients understand Board certification if they aren’t familiar with plastic surgery procedures. Explain that board certification is attained by an exam that test skills, knowledge, ability, medical judgment, performance and practice standards. Displaying or discussing your Board certification is more than a marketing tactic. It’s about saving people from making poor choices that can have negative consequences on their appearance, health and life.
Patients understand choosing the right doctor isn’t a price-based decision
Many reputable doctors offer specials that make cosmetic surgery and/or procedures more affordable. Specials are great for the practice and patients. But, when the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Bottom basement pricing (cheap) often comes with fewer skills, which can result in future revision surgery. What’s more is that it will probably cost more in the long run due to revision surgeries. Help your patients understand how to check credentials and certifications as they choose a plastic surgeon. Their life may depend on it.
Patients realize the importance of accredited surgery centers
Plastic surgery should take place in a hospital setting or an accredited outpatient surgery center. Accreditation is important because the facility must meet national standards for safety, equipment, personnel and surgeon credentials. This ongoing review and reporting process helps maintain strict controls for the centers. This is one of the cornerstones as patients choose a plastic surgeon. Describe the significance of having an accredited surgery center in terms that your patients can understand — what’s in it for them!
Patients should investigate discipline by authorities
It happens time and again—someone posing as a plastic surgeon is arrested due to poor or fatal surgery results. The Federation of State Medical Board (www.fsmb.org) will provide a full profile of the doctor in addition to any disciplinary actions. Describe this report and where to get it if a patient is researching to choose a plastic surgeon. You may save a life.
We’ve blogged previously about online reputation and referral marketing. Those tactics, along with a solid website, are still paramount to being found. Transparency is important for patients who research more thoroughly, and pointing them in the right direction helps you.
Don’t just turn the other way or hang up when a potential or current patient says they want to comparison shop. Help them understand the key issues and credentials to check. The more transparent you are, the more patients you’ll find coming through you door because you’ve taken time to explain the importance of board certification, accredited surgery centers and how to investigate. Help patients choose a plastic surgeon
If you and/or your staff experience closing issues, ask PUMC about patient closing techniques. Our experts have years of staff training experience, and they can improve your closing percentage quickly.