Creative ways to increase patient volume

Table of Contents

What is patient volume?

The most vital part of a practice’s growth is the number of patients it can bring in. A constant flow of patients will help ensure that your practice keeps running smoothly.

Patient volume refers to the number of patients who avail medical care/services at a healthcare facility over a period of time.

It includes new patients, existing patients, outpatient visits, inpatient admissions, and emergency visits. It is important for healthcare practitioners/facilities to monitor patient volume in order to manage resources efficiently while also maintaining appropriate staffing levels.

It serves as a key indicator of the level of activity and utilization within healthcare facilities, providing insights into the demand for healthcare services and the overall health of a healthcare organization

Patient volume numbers in the healthcare industry reflect the total count of patients seeking medical attention, treatments, consultations, or hospital admissions within a specific timeframe. These numbers can vary widely based on factors such as the size and location of the healthcare facility, the population density of the area it serves, the specialty of care provided, and seasonal variations.

It is also useful for analyzing future trends and measuring overall productivity. Suffice to say, one needs to know how to increase patient volume in their practice. 

We will be discussing 17 creative ways to increase patient volume. These 17 ways fall under these 4 categories:

  1. Marketing – So that more and more patients get to know about your practice and you generate more leads. 
  2. Reputation – If you are positioned as a trustworthy practice and have a good reputation people will be confident coming to you.
  3. Patient experience – a good patient experience will ensure that patients keep coming back to your practice
  4. Missed opportunities – identifying channels where patients tried to reach out to you but weren’t able to get through, can prove as a goldmine.

Let’s look into these methods in detail.

17 creative ways to increase patient volume

a) Marketing to increase patient volume

1. Create a website and optimize it

 A website is a digital window to your practice. Any patient who searches for your practice online will first land on your website. Suffice it to say, you should have a well-built website. The website should be easy for the patient to navigate and also aesthetically pleasing. You can use the help of a web design agency or a website builder (if you want to do it on your own) to make the website of your choice.

It’s also important to optimize the website to ensure an optimal experience. These are some of the things you need to check off to optimize your website.

a) Add relevant medical keywords

b) Add sufficient content pages using medical keywords with high-quality  information

c) Add attractive visuals

d) Optimize for website speed, security, and mobile use.

e) Add relevant social media profiles

2. Optimize for local SEO

Most of your patient volume numbers will come from patients who reside near your practice. Therefore it’s important that you target these patients through local SEO. Optimizing for local SEO will ensure that when a potential patient searches keywords like “healthcare practice near me” or “ {{specific}} practice near me” your practice is on top of the search results. With increased visibility patients might end up choosing your practice over others.

A few things you should do to optimize for local SEO are:
a) Claim and optimize your google my business listing

b) Optimize for website for local search by using local keywords such as the name of the city or neighborhood in the website’s title tags, meta description, header tags, and content.

c) Get listed in local directories

d) Generate more reviews

e) Share updates on social media

3. Run paid advertisements on Google Ads and Facebook ads

Organic efforts take some time to come to fruition and instant results can mostly be expected from paid advertisements. This is because ads have the ability to give immediate visibility.

Popular advertisement platforms such as Google and Facebook are a great way to get new patients. Paid ads help you target the exact type of persona based on their behavior, demographic, interest, and locations.

Therefore an important factor to consider while running ads on any platform is estimating the usage and behavior of your target audience on that platform. For the healthcare industry specifically, Google ads, Facebook ads, and even Instagram ads can be a great way to reach relevant audiences.

Some things to keep in mind while curating your ads are:
a) Set clear goals: If your goal is increasing patient volume at your practice, your goals can include the number of appointments scheduled through paid ads.

b) Choose the right platform: Analyse the platform that your targeted audience uses the most and run ads accordingly.

c) Create compelling ad copies: The page where the audience lands after the ad search should be optimized. It should be easy for the patient to navigate and have a clear CTA. The landing page should be optimized for conversion.

d) Keep monitoring the ad performance: You can keep monitoring the performance of the ads and assess if any tweaks in ad copy are needed to obtain better results

4. Use social media channels

Presence on social media channels is a great way to establish a connection with your patients or potential patients. You can use social media in the following ways:

a) You can use social media platforms to create brand awareness about your healthcare practice.

b) By regularly posting engaging and informative content, you can increase visibility and attract potential patients to your practice.

c) You can also use social media platforms as a communication channel for your patients. If patients ask for educational resources or have any queries (not medical) you can share them easily.

d) You can position yourself as a formidable force in the industry by sharing your expertise on social media channels. This will help increase trust and credibility.

e) Social media platforms also serve as great review platform, as patients can easily leave reviews under posts as comments. 

5. Engage in referral marketing with other doctors

People seek credible sources for finalizing services according to their needs. Aside from friends and family, doctors also hold immense power in their opinions. Doctor referrals accounted for over 63 million referrals in 2016.

It is a good idea to acquaint yourself with other medical professionals.  Meet up with them over healthcare conferences or maintain a connection with them over social media platforms. Positive relationships with other medical practitioners can encourage them to send suitable referrals along your way.

6. Be proactive with patient recall/reactivation

Patient recall is the process of encouraging patients to come in for their routine check-up. Recall intervals can vary from patient to patient depending on their treatment, but generally speaking recall intervals are 6-12 months. So ideally after every 6-12 months, patients should be coming in for a routine check-up.

Most often than not, patients don’t come up for check ups by themselves. They need to be reminded that a check up is due. Patient recall also ensures better health outcomes for the patients. Regular check ups can help providers catch diseases earlier and provide appropriate care. 

Automating the recall process can help you ensure that all patients who are due for a check up are reminded about the same. Retaining existing patients can make up to 80% of your revenue, surely this is a channel for increasing patient volume that you shouldn’t miss.

b) Improving reputation to increase patient volume

7. Establish and claim your business listings

Patients search for practice listings and reviews online before they finalize a doctor. It’s necessary that you maintain an online presence on these listing platforms to give the patients what they are searching for. Some of the popular listing platforms are, Google My Business, Healthgrades, ZocDoc, Vitals, Doximity, BetterDoctor etc. An up-to-date profile on these platforms with patient reviews elicits a strong sense of credibility. Some of the ways in which you can optimize your listings to evoke a sense of trust and credibility are: 

a) Provide the correct Address and Phone Number

b) Posting recent pictures of your business (include outdoor and indoor pictures both)

c) Constantly adding relevant posts (eg, details about an upcoming event)

d) Add your business’s website to the listing

e) Mention “hours-open”

f) Provide space for visitors to ask a question

g) Add all business social media profiles

h) Generate enough reviews from customers

8. Collect and respond to reviews

Reviews play a very important role in the customer’s perception of a business. According to a study by BrightLocal, 93% of consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of a business. Therefore, collecting reviews should be at the top of your priority list to ascertain good reputation scores.

Another important factor is responding to existing reviews. When patients see that you have taken out the time to respond to reviews, they will see your practice as one that truly cares about their patient’s experience. How you respond to reviews sets the tone of your practice’s ethics and values. Whether the review is negative or positive, your response should be amicable and well thought out. However. if you’ve fallen privy to fake reviews, you should take proactive steps.

You can use a software like Emitrr to automate the entire process to collect more reviews. All you need to do is upload a list of contacts and create a review request text/email. Once you have this in place you can automate the process. You can decide what time you want to send the message and how many follow up messages to send. Check out this video to learn how to use reviews and reputation management capabilities on Emitrr.

9. Establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry

A thought leader is one who is an expert in their field. They possess extensive knowledge and experience in their field. Establishing yourself as a thought leader will help you improve your credibility. If you are able to come up with novel ideas for complex problems you should make this information public. You can do this by writing about your field of expertise on blogs, guest starring on relevant podcasts/shows, writing newspaper articles, etc. As more and more people start to recognize you by your field, your trust and credibility will increase. More and more patients will choose to get their care needs met through a trustworthy source, thus helping improve patient volume.

c) Improving patient experience to increase patient volume

10. Improve the quality of care

The factor that has the maximum impact on patient experience is quality of care. If you consistently provide good quality care to your patients, they are sure to come back to your practice. A reputable healthcare facility providing quality care will keep attracting patients and is a sure-shot way of improving patient volume.

11. Make the patient intake process smooth

Patient intake is the process of onboarding a patient at a practice. It includes steps such as collecting the patient intake form from the patient and verifying their insurance details. If you are still stuck using the old paper pen method for collecting patient information, you might inadvertently be creating a bad patient experience.

One of the most tedious processes for the patient is filling in the patient intake form, and waiting for it to get submitted and verified. You can easily improve this process by shifting it online. Allowing patients to fill out patient intake forms from the comfort of their homes can significantly help smoothen the intake process. When the intake process is smooth, patients won’t hesitate turning up to your practice.

12. Allow easy scheduling options

Patient experience starts right when the patient tries to schedule an appointment at your practice. If the process of scheduling an appointment is tiresome, patients might abandon the effort altogether and look for another practice with easier scheduling options. In order to avoid this situation and retain patients, you should provide patients with easy appointment scheduling options. Some ways in which you can make the appointment scheduling process easier for the patients are:

a) Adding a clear appointment booking CTA on your website.

b) Make your business phone number visible in all the places where your practice is mentioned.

c) Provide a text message scheduling option to improve engagement. 

13. Improve doctor-patient communication

The time that the patient spends with the doctor makes up a very important part of the patient experience process. Effective doctor-patient communication will help deliver quality care, and establish a strong therapeutic relationship hence ensuring positive health outcomes. In short, if the patient has a good experience with their doctor, they will keep returning to them for continued care. Therefore you must take some proactive steps to improve doctor patient communication.

14. Improve patient engagement

The more you engage with your patients and the more they engage with you, the better will be their experience. If patients have a free medium to communicate and engage with your practice, it will help improve engagement. Better patient engagement means patients will keep returning to your practice. Some of the ways in which you can improve patient engagement are:

a) Asking the patient’s preferred channel of communication

b) Sending appointment reminders, updates, and medical news through their preferred channel

d) Looking into missed opportunities to increase patient volume

15. Send appointment reminders

Missed appointments are a sure indicator of reduced patient volume. Many times patients schedule appointments and fail to turn up. As a practice owner you need to take proactive measures to curb patient no shows.. The number one solution for missed appointments is sending appointment reminders.

Few things that you need to keep in mind while sending appointment reminders are:

a) Keep the message crisp and to the point, mention the date and time of the appointment
b) Set the cadence for reminders. Decide how many reminders you want to send leading up to the day of the appointment.
c) Include appointment confirmation CTA in the message body. If the patient is unable to make it on the scheduled day you can give that slot to some other patient who would be available.


16. Look into missed calls

You will be surprised to know that as much as 34 percent of calls are missed by practices monthly. These missed calls are missed opportunities to increase patient volume in your practice. If your current method of dealing with missed calls involves letting the call go to voicemail, or calling back when you are available, you must know that these aren’t enough.

Voicemails won’t really serve any purpose if the nature of the patient’s call was urgent. Calling the patient back based on your availabilty doesn’t ensure that the patient too will be available at the said time. Then, what method should you use to engage these missed opportunities? The answer is text messaging.

Converting missed calls to texts can be a great way to engage these patients. As soon as the call is missed, a follow up text can be sent. When this text is sent, it creates a channel of communication with the patient where the patient’s queries can be addressed. This feature is offered by Emitrr. Check out how to use missed calls to text

17. Re-engage website drop-offs

Your practice’s website is a channel that many potential patients use to browse services, and also schedule an appointment if needed. These leads are very important since they are pre-cleared for intent. They are looking at the website because they have a need for your services and are looking to find a provider. Therefore it becomes absolutely imperative to capture their information.

One popular way used by many healthcare websites is the use of WebChat. Through this medium, patients can engage in a conversation with the healthcare practice and have their needs met. However, there is a possibility that these potential patients drop off. The reason could be due to an internet issue or, just a lack of interest.

In such cases engaging with them on another channel can help re-engage them. One feature that can help you is Webchat to Text. With Webchat to Text, any lead that is dropped off on the web is immediately engaged through a text message. Once successfully engaged these potential patients can be converted into patients, thus improving the patient volume. Learn more about how you can use Webchat to Text with Emitrr here


Patient volume numbers demand your attention, as it is what helps a practice run smoothly. The success of your practice depends on the flow of patients coming into your practice. Luckily there are many methods that can be implemented to ensure that a decent patient volume is maintained.

Broadly you should focus on: marketing methods to get more patients, improving practice reputation to ascertain to new patients that your practice is trustworthy, improving the patient experience to keep old patients coming back, and analyzing missed opportunities to tap the pool of potential patients who might just get left out. By curating a plan that includes all four methods you will surely be able to improve patient volume!

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