Looking Ahead: How to Build your Patient Pipeline in 2022

Oct 12, 2021 | Addison Amorosi - Doximity Client Success Manager

The last two years of the pandemic have brought a lot of unexpected changes. We halted elective procedures and experienced unprecedented levels of clinician burnout. We saw a rise in telehealth usage, marketing budgets cut, and experienced increased time at home with family and friends.


As we rapidly approach a new year and a new set of challenges we’re also brought rewards. As a Client Success Manager at Doximity, I’ve been particularly interested in working with hospital partners on diversifying their marketing efforts to drive revenue. Specifically through building volume with digital marketing tactics. 


The keyword here is diversify.


One thing the pandemic has taught us is to never rely on one patient source. So how does a hospital that is focused on building patient volume expand reach, and at the same time, implement a consistent patient journey? 


Below are two key tactics many of our hospital partners are implementing across their systems.


Tactic #1: Direct-to-consumer campaigns

Let’s start with direct-to-consumer campaigns by talking about connecting with patients. With over 10 million unique visits on U.S. News & World Report and Doximity each month, 77% of visitors are searching for specialty care. Common search terms such as “Best Cardiologist in Houston” or “Best colon & rectal surgeon in the Dayton area” result in 95% of MDs receiving at least one new patient opportunity.


Patient Connect, featured on U.S. News & World Report, captures the highest-value consumers seeking a new healthcare provider during the critical decision-making process. It drives these potential patients directly to a hospital’s existing scheduling system. By deploying Patient Connect, hospital partners ensure that their physicians are at the top of consumer search results. This means, for example, if you’re looking to build volume in cardiology and oncology, your Doximity team will work with you to develop a strategic plan outlining which providers to feature, optimization tactics, and monthly reporting to evaluate if any changes need to be made to increase conversion.


Patient Connect Monthly Performance


Additionally, to further gauge the value of your patient acquisition program, your team at Doximity provides benchmarks for the value you would expect a single patient to bring your hospital after one and six months of new patient visits.


See how direct-to-consumer marketing has helped a highly-ranked cancer center in the Northeast gain new patients.


Tactic #2: Physician-to-physician campaigns 

Running in tandem with your direct-to-consumer campaigns, best practice is supplementing those efforts with physician-to-physician patient acquisition campaigns. 


Here’s a scenario:

You’re looking to patient build volume but have a small budget. Not a problem. Let’s start small by laying one building block and keep building based on the successes we see across year one. If you have a smaller budget, narrow down your priority service lines and pick a handful of zip codes that you want to penetrate. For example, let’s say your team has an initiative to boost volume in cardiology and oncology and you’ve narrowed your geographic area down to 25 key zip codes. From there, your team at Doximity will analyze referral patterns and your TAM to formulate a patient acquisition campaign strategy. 


Your multifaceted campaign strategy will consist of larger reach specialty-specific DocNews® campaigns supplemented with hyper-focused 1:1 Colleague Connect® campaigns deployed to an engaged cohort of physicians. 


City of Hope is just one such example. 


In summary, the key is to diversify your marketing efforts in order to make a lasting impact. The good news here is diversification is becoming more manageable and streamlined with an influx of hospitals and health systems implementing sophisticated CRMs. By regularly imputing data— such as leads, engagement metrics, and conversion rates— more meaningful data will be at your fingertips. The more data, the more informed decisions marketers can make, and the unfamiliar will become familiar. With marketing being part art, part science, I think Brian Greene says it best: Sometimes attaining the deepest familiarity with a question is our best substitute for actually having the answer.”