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How Non-Traditional Patient-Recruitment Strategies Work

Katie Levitt


Whether you manage a large healthcare system or a single clinic office, one thing’s for certain—you always need to find and recruit new patients. Now comes the hard part—studies show that the average consumer is exposed to as many as 10,000 marketing messages a day.

So, how can your healthcare organization cut through the clutter and make an impression on potential patients? Read on for five epic, non-traditional patient-recruitment strategies.

1. Stop blending in

We hate to say it (but we’re going to say it), but so many healthcare marketing campaigns look and sound the same. “Insert head shot of doctor here,” etc. What can you do to make yours different? Pushing the creative envelope—and surprising and delighting potential patients with fresh messages—can majorly pay off. Just make sure you do it in brand-appropriate ways.

2. Partner with local companies

Local companies with large numbers of employees could be an excellent source of new patients and cases. Make a list of the dominant employers in your area, or check with local chamber or business-development groups. Then reach out to start the conversation(s), always focusing on how your practice or healthcare organization is uniquely capable of serving the specific needs of XYZ Company employees. The end result could be as simple as posters, flyers and recurring healthcare-related content for the company newsletter—or as large as a new clinic presence (with office hours) at their location(s). The possibilities are endless.

3. Contribute to local news outlets

Do any of your doctors like being in the spotlight? Local newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations are always looking for valuable content to help stand out from their competitors, too. Talk to the news director, and see if any opportunities exist to get your practice added as a recurring segment. But first, read these 5 Hospital and Clinic Tips for Pitching to Media Outlets.

4. Start a blog

We know what you’re thinking… “Blogging isn’t non-traditional.” But wait! Check your competitors' websites. Odds are they aren’t blogging, because it’s a time and resource commitment not many are prepared to make. But make no mistake—blogging adds fresh content to your site and can also work wonders for SEO (improving your search engine rankings when someone searches for a healthcare service in your area). You can also promote it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to engage with even more current and potential patients. Blogging looks very avant garde now, doesn’t it?

5. Encourage online reviews

Reviews are one of the most efficient ways for attracting new patients and growing your practice. Encourage your patients to share their feedback in online reviews. You can do this by sending a follow-up email thanking your patients for their visits and encouraging them to review you online. You can offer discounts or free services to motivate patients for posting online reviews for your practice. With the patient’s permission, you can also make reviews public by sharing them on your practice website. It will not only help in maintaining patient relationships, but will also get your name out there.

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