In a recent article, we talked about the need for digital marketing for concierge medicine practices. So, can this apply to BHRT physicians as well?
Many health practitioners provide BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) due to increasing patient demand. Yet, alongside the desire to offer these alternatives to patients, some physicians worry about issues and controversies that surround older methods of HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
Nevertheless, even after some controversies with older methods of HRT, patients stay with their current BHRT providers because of:
- their perception of the benefits and effectiveness of BHRT
- The perceived better safety profile of BHRT
- Customization of BHRT application
- Personalized care
And like anyone in healthcare and the medical field, you want to build your brand and find qualified patients.
So, how can digital marketing strategies work for BHRT physicians? Yet at the same time avoid the web of controversies surrounding the BHRT market?
Tips for Careful Digital Marketing for BHRT Physicians
1. Avoid making false and misleading claims.
You don’t want to make false claims on your website that would trigger a warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
A study reviewed 100 websites that promoted or offered BHRT products and services. The authors concluded that “Claims made about BHRT on the internet are misleading and not consistent with current professional organizations’ recommendations. Understanding how BHRT may be promoted on the internet can help healthcare professionals when educating patients.”
2. Be a patient advocate and educate them.
As an advocate, you could provide a glossary of terms on your website. Medical terminologies can be confusing, so this would position you as an authority in your field.
Here are some terms to define:
“Bioidentical” does not mean “Natural.”
Explain to the patient that bioidentical means the hormone looks the same in molecular structure with the hormone produced in the body. Natural means the hormone comes from organic sources like plants or animals. However, these hormones do not look like the hormones produced in the body. As a result, they require some laboratory processing to make them bioidentical.
3. Fully disclose levels of evidence and alternatives.
Fully disclose the lack of existing clinical trials that provide substantial evidence of safety and efficacy. Most patients would have done their researches anyway. But discussing the availability of FDA-approved bioidentical products will cover you from potential conflicts.
You can also update your patients on what the FDA is doing to assure quality and safety of BHRT. In addition, let them know how you are helping these efforts through diligent monitoring and reporting of side effects.
Additionally, mention how the FDA has become stricter with quality assurance and safety of BHRT products. They’ve even issued warning letters to 23 facilities for product violations and unsanitary conditions. Thus, explain how your facility adheres to quality control and patient safety.
Plus, you could show your efforts at adhering to or nominating products for FDA-approved 503 bulk lists in compounding your products. Or, you could discuss how the public can nominate products to be included in the list. Furthermore, you can discuss the ongoing studies being done to establish evidence of the safety and effectiveness of BHRT through blogs.
4. Go by the symptoms of the patient and establish a trusting relationship.
One of the primary reasons why women choose CBHT over FDA-approved BHT was because of the perception of more tailored and personalized care they receive from their healthcare provider. Most were well-educated and professional women who were proactive in deciding their health options. They expressed distrust in the old system and how it had failed them in the past. They also viewed the pharmaceutical industry with much skepticism, as recent findings show that profits override patients. Hence, their tolerance for risk would increase and cause them to find alternatives. To get information quickly on these, most would do their research via the internet.
So given this trend, make sure your website is search-engine-optimized. Also, you can establish your authority in this field with regular web posts. This way they find you when they decide to pursue the BHRT route.
As a BHRT practitioner, you can enhance this doctor-patient relationship with your digital marketing strategies. Ensure that your staff and your patients have access to information about any side effects associated with CBHT through newsletters and blogs.
And finally, encourage them to report any effects for better safety monitoring and titration of doses. On your portal, you can create a patient log in that would enable them to email you or your staff and document their improvement. This can also allow them to view their test results like hormone levels.
We Can Help
Need more more ways to enhance patient experience and promote your brand using digital technology and marketing strategies? Schedule a free business growth call here to find out how we can help your practice’s marketing efforts. We can help promote your practice in 2020!
For more helpful insights on healthcare marketing, check out these recent posts.