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The Big 5: What Physical Therapy Patients Want

Psst. We’ve got the scoop on what your potential patients want. Here’s the five things they’re looking for when choosing a physical therapist. Keep these in your back pocket and use them to grow your practice, increase your revenue and stay ahead of the curve.

1. A patient-centric approach

Patients want to be involved in their care and included in every step of the decision-making process. So, no matter how well-versed you are in evidence-based techniques, it’s critical to take the individual patient into account. Their values, preferences, lifestyle—even opinions—matter. Show you value them by listening and creating a truly customized approach to their care. If you don’t, someone else will.

2. Innovation

Patients are savvy shoppers when it comes to their wellness and often research therapies before therapists. If you aren’t up to date on the latest innovations, you simply won’t make the cut. It’s a competitive market, so pay attention to what your peers offer and stay in the know about industry advancements.

From cold lasers to transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) units, ever-advancing healthcare technology requires frequent upgrades to your practice. It’s also smart to consider investing in additional certifications for alternative methods—like dry needling, active release, and therapeutic taping to stay on top of your game.

3. Digital engagement

In the United States, more than half of all patients are accessing their electronic health records via the Internet. And, when it comes to wearing or being willing to wear technology that tracks lifestyle or vital signs (think Fitbit or Apple Watch) three quarters of us already wears or would wear them.

Think about it—if patients now want to be more involved in their own care, they’re going to want to be in the know about their physical fitness, movement and general wellness. They’re also going to expect easy access to their records and online programs. And where do you think they’re turning for recommendations, referrals and advice? Right. Online reviews. More that 90% of patients make an appointment with a specific therapist based on what they read on review sites.

This is a great opportunity for you as a practice owner. Go digital. Bolster your online presence. Ask and even incentivize your patients to post positive reviews for you. It can make a world of difference when acquiring new patients.

4. Fair Pricing for Exceptional Service

Cheaper isn’t always better. That’s why so many of us are willing to spend $6 on a specialty espresso drink when we’ve got a perfectly good box of K-Cups at home. Think hard about your pricing and don’t just go low to stand out from the competition. People are willing to pay more for fantastic service and that’s what you should always be striving to provide. Be fair in pricing, not cheap. That said, negotiating prices based on circumstance is a great way show you care about each individual and their current financial situation.

5. Specialization

More than 24,000 of your fellow physical therapists have gotten certified as clinical specialists through the American Physical Therapy Association. Where does that leave you? While you could take it with a grain of salt and hold firm to the fact that a specialization isn’t always required to treat specific conditions…we suggest otherwise. Specialized therapists can treat a broader spectrum of patients and are therefore more marketable. If you’re not willing to evolve and grow, you just may find yourself at the back of the pack.

And there you have it. The five things your next patient is looking for. Work these into your practice and be sure to win business exceed expectations and stay on the cutting edge of your industry.

If you want to improve your practice, but don’t have the cash flow to make it happen right now, Bankers Healthcare Group offers fast, easy concierge loans specifically for physical therapists and other healthcare professionals. Whether you want state-of-the-art equipment, a user-friendly digital platform or to continue your education, BHG has a solution for you.

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