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The advantages of a medical practice open house

January 7, 2011

When selling a piece of real estate, an open house is a popular sales strategy to generate buzz about a property. According to Medical Office Today, an open house can also be a great way for medical managers and physicians to market their practices.

Whether the practice is a new speciality or an established office looking to grow its patient base, “an open house can spread the word and draw in both potential patients and referring physicians,” writes Carrie Rossenfeld for the website.

Just as an open house allows potential home buyers to examine every detail of a property before deciding to purchase it, an open house at a medical practice can help educate the community and allows prospective patients to investigate their options before committing to a doctor.

Face-to-face interaction with new patients and referral physicians in the surrounding community are priceless. An open house also affords physicians the opportunity to showcase their state-of-the-art technologies like electronic health records software or educate community members about a particular health issue.

The first step to conducting an open house is promoting it, according to Rossenfeld. Promotion will ensure that as many people as possible attend. Physicians and their staff can start by mailing out invitations to existing patients and nearby medical practices a few weeks before the event is planned. The invites don’t have to be fancy – a simple postcard will do. Email invites can also be sent out at this same time.

A successful open house must offer a draw of some sort to attract guests, according to Meritage Healthcare Strategies. A well-known speaker, health screening or a great giveaway will encourage attendance, as long as those perks are communicated on invitations and advertisements.

Rossenfeld advises new practices to wait a few weeks before hosting an open house to allow time to get settled and comfortable in the office.

All open houses are best during the midweek, she writes, such as a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Late afternoon events, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., are best for other physicians, as this is just before they head home for the day.

Practices should encourage all physicians and staff such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners and administrative professionals to attend the open house because “they’re usually the ones who talk to the patients about where to go and answer all their questions,” Robert Russo, M.D., told Medical Office Today. “They need to become familiar with what you do and will bring your name up to patients.”

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