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Healthy Digital Growth For Medical Clinics In 2023: What Does It Look Like?

For medical clinics, measuring success is crucial, but it can be challenging to know which metrics to focus on. While growth is typically the answer, as we dive deeper into a 2023 filled with technological advancements, a looming recession and rapidly changing employee expectations, it is very clear that not all growth is created equal. As we’ve seen with many businesses, rapid growth in terms of just one aspect like patient numbers can lead to a quick downfall if your clinic is not prepared to meet the demand with practitioner numbers, service and facility availability and adequate staff preparation, for example. Therefore, it’s essential to identify the right growth metrics and how to drive healthy growth for your health clinic or medical practice – but what does this really look like?


Defining Healthy Growth for Medical Clinics

Patient growth is one of the most common metrics used today, however, merely assessing the total number of patients can be an empty metric, or a missed opportunity, if you don’t analyse further engagement beyond that first appointment – like re-booking rates, satisfaction metrics, and more.


Monthly new patient numbers can even be deceiving. Two clinics can have identical growth numbers in terms of new monthly patients, but one clinic may be losing a large number of patients through non-retention and no-shows, while gaining these new ones. In contrast, another clinic may be gaining patients at a slower rate, but having a much higher retention rate for both rebookings and attendance – perhaps even in word-of-mouth referrals. In this scenario, the clinic with the stronger retention rate has a healthier growth metric because it’s a more sustainable model.


This is why it’s so important for clinics to really know their numbers, so they can better define whether they’re growing – or healthily growing. 


What Healthy Growth Means for Digital Patient Acquisition

Looking at healthy growth in 2023 also means closely examining your true patient acquisition costs, in light of your retention and rebooking rates. For online advertising in healthcare like via Google Ads or social media marketing, which many clinics worldwide are currently investing heavily in, campaign success is often measured and defined based on the click-throughs, initial booking rates, and what the patient acquisition cost is versus the patient lifetime value. 


However, changes to online marketing costs through these platforms are causing patient acquisition costs to skyrocket, especially with a growing number of medical clinics competing for patients’ attention through keywords and search strategies online. Unfortunately, this means clinics are often spending more to acquire a patient than they make from the services they provide to that patient – and while many are happy to justify this cost by looking at the average lifetime patient value instead of the value of their initial appointment, many are still operating off an unrevised lifetime value that doesn’t enable them to have an accurate understanding of their true costs and profitability from digital marketing avenues.


In this case, healthy growth means once again taking the time to truly know your numbers – and then perhaps redefine what success or healthy growth looks like if needed, making important changes such as taking more time to nurture existing loyal patients, using more cost-effective strategies to boost rebooking rates and referrals.


Leveraging Data to Drive Healthy Growth

With all of this in mind, for clinics to effectively focus their attention on growing the number of loyal patients who have long-term, repeat value to the clinic, they need to be doing two things:

  1. Collecting the right data to make the right changes
  2. Leveraging digital technology to break barriers to bookings and rebookings for this group of loyal patients


Collecting the right data to make the right changes

From a digital marketing perspective, this includes having the data systems to identify and locate high-value patients, being able to forecast your existing patients’ behaviour using the data you gathered, and then using this information as a new predictive model to help you understand how you should best be investing your clinic’s marketing budget. This can be done either by partnering with the right digital agency, or by learning to do this in-house through your marketing or administration team. The key here is remembering that the strategies used previously really may not be so relevant now – and it’s time to adapt to meet the market and your metrics.


Leveraging digital technology to break barriers to bookings & rebookings for loyal patients

Finally, even when you’ve done everything right in gathering metrics, changing your processes and refining your ideal patient on your end – you need to consider the reality from the patient’s end – and whether today’s economic climate is affecting a person’s ability to access your health services and be that ideal repeat patient. It’s also important to consider what they want and consider an asset to a clinic – like having a greater range of payment options.


This is where partnering with a leading, innovative and person-centred company like HealthNow can be a great asset – as well as a great investment, with no upfront costs, only small pay-as-your-patients-pay fees. The HealthNow app and online platform support these goals by removing the financial accessibility barrier for new and existing patients, while providing an intuitive and patient-friendly interface that is easy to use. It offers buy now pay later payment options with no fees or interest for health consumers, provided the repayments (which can be spread over up to 12 weeks) are made on time. It also enables health consumers to leverage their employer aid payments to be spent at medical practices through the app, as well as providing a dedicated personal health savings portal.


For clinics, they are always paid on the day of a patient appointment by HealthNow, supporting the cash flow and business sustainability of healthcare clinics.

  • Get Paid Anywhere, Anytime: HealthNow offers seamless, contactless and fully secure payments regardless of whether you’re operating within a large clinic, a remote clinic, offering home visits or managing telehealth consultations.
  • Improve Your Bottom Line: Get paid in full on the same day for every product or service rendered, without exhausting your administrative time or repeatedly chasing payments.
  • Full Versatility: Patients choose the payment method that best reflects their circumstances on the day – whether that’s paying in full, or spreading the payments over up to twelve weeks.
  • Better Health For All: Accessing diagnostics and treatment earlier and without stressing about the immediate availability of funds promotes improved health outcomes for all.
  • Health Wallet & Employer Aid: Patients can utilise funds contributed by themselves, their families or their employers to pay for your services directly from their HealthNow wallet.


Get started with HealthNow for your clinic by signing up here.

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