In this blog I will share my thoughts on why digital health interoperability is a must have for a modern health practice.
In private practice it’s easy to fall into the mindset that you’re a standalone business fighting it out in a competitive and noisy digital space (like google search) with an ever-increasing cost to promote and advertise.
So why are you doing this? Well…you have to find new clients, right?
Well yes, of course you do…but why are we spending so much time, money and effort on appealing to self-referrers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to suggest that you stop doing that…but it’s important to be thinking consciously about why we do anything repeatedly within our health practices.
I’ve been thinking about how much effort our subscribers are putting into finding new clients and I’ve come to believe that most private practice owners think they are just an independent business.
After all, it’s called “private” practice…we’ve got an ABN…we lodge our own tax returns, BAS etc…of course we’re a standalone business!
But here’s a thought…Whilst you are the owner or director of your healthcare practice, you’re unable to operate such a business without being or having AHPRA registered health practitioners providing the services.
And why is AHPRA issuing registrations? So as to promote public confidence in anyone calling themselves a health provider with a practitioner type listed under the Act.
This is an important context to remind ourselves of: we are simultaneously private practices as well as a part of the healthcare system in Australia.
So a health practice is in fact a stand alone business whilst simultaneously being an integral part of Australia’s healthcare system.
Or put another way, each private practice is potentially the first point of access for Australian’s seeking access to healthcare, OR, the second or third etc… across a continuum of healthcare being provided to your client by other healthcare providers.
You are in fact an integral part of Australia’s healthcare system.
With this in mind, it seems essential then that when you think about client acquisition, retention and engagement, all your planning should have a component that acts toward making it as easy as possible for the rest of the healthcare system to inter-operate with your practice.
If you have never thought this way, then I hope this article expands your mind to an incredible opportunity that modern health practices who embrace the digital health interoperability channels that are now built into coreplus.
Client acquisition made easy with interoperability
Whilst I can talk about digital health interoperability in a variety of aspects such as clinical governance, privacy, security and the fact that the Australian Digital Health Agency has set the standard to comply with in this area, in this article I’m going to instead focus specifically on new client acquisition as one of the main benefits as to why you should take up digital health interoperability today and make sure you’re part of a connected digital health care system.
Let’s go through several conventional ways that we make ourselves available for prospective clients to find and book our services.
Clients book appointments with us generally as follows:
1. Reception/ Front Desk: They walk into our clinics and make a booking with our receptionist
2. Inbound Call Handling: They call our advertised phone number/s and make a booking with our receptionist
3. Inbound/ Digital Marketing: They search advertising online or via other directories/ listings etc… to find practitioners in our field, do further research on our websites and either submit a contact form or call us.
4. Website Management: similar to above but based on making a book now capability available for online bookings via website or social media channels
For tutorial purposes, we will generally define a new client as an “acquisition”.
Therefore, to understand this key benefit of digital health interoperability in business terms we need to consider the cost of new client acquisition associated with the above methods.
In simple terms, the client acquisition costs could be defined as follows:
Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) =
And so, if:
Time period = Monthly, And
New Clients in time period = 10, And
The average monthly cost of operating the methods listed above are as follows: