One of the first questions that people ask at restaurants, coffee shops, and retailers is whether the business has free WiFi. It’s almost second nature for customers to want WiFi when they enter a space to reduce their use data while still surfing the web.
While healthcare providers, doctors offices, and hospitals wouldn’t exactly put themselves in the same space as a coffee shop or retailer, they can still benefit from offering free customer WiFi.
Here are a few reasons why you can grow your practice and connect with patients by offering WiFi as a complimentary service.
Patients Are Happier and More Comfortable While Waiting
According to a survey by Small Biz Trends, customers who had access to complimentary WiFi spent 62% more time in stores or restaurants. While doctors and other healthcare providers might not want patients to stay longer than necessary (therefore increasing overall waiting times), this statistic is actually a plus for practitioners who feel pressured by crowded waiting rooms.
If your visitors are distracted because of the Internet, they won't mind (or even notice) if they have to wait a few extra minutes before their appointment.
Adding WiFi to your office has the same benefits as adding magazines, digital signage, or a fish tank to your waiting room. It helps patients relax and decrease perceived wait time. Access to WiFi gives patients something to think about besides the procedure and recovery process, relieving anxiety and keeping them relaxed.
Healthcare Providers Can Create Informative Splash Pages
Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare providers typically promote certain procedures and opportunities in the name of public health. A patient might visit a dentist because of tooth pain and sign up for a routine cleaning while they’re there.
Offices are able to connect with patients via WiFi and share important information regarding their health and the services offered by the healthcare provider.
A few items these landing pages might promote include:
- Donating blood
- Getting a flu shot
- Booking a routine cancer screening
- Scheduling an annual check-up
- Monthly healthcare initiatives
Monitoring the success of these healthcare marketing landing pages is also fairly easy. Offices can offer incentives promoted on the landing page (like a teddy bear for kids who receive their flu shots) and count the number of redemptions or simply look for increases in patient actions because of the promotion. If a doctor administers 15% more flu shots for the year, then it proves the value of creating landing pages from the free WiFi.
Connect With Patients Through Social and Email Pushes
The landing pages for your customers to log into your WiFi aren’t the only options for marketing to patients.
WiFi also connections provide great opportunities to promote your social media channels and email or text alerts.
You can invite customers to connect with you socially or ask them to sign up as part of the registration process. From there, you can send messages throughout the year with information related to your practice. For example, a private general practitioner might promote seasonal health news like:
- Overcoming allergies in the Spring
- Preparing for back to school athletic health checks and vaccinations in the Summer
- Signing up for a flu shot in the Fall
- Scheduling an annual checkup before insurance benefits reset in the Winter
(Need help coming up with a content calendar for your office? Grab our free healthcare marketing editorial calendar template.)
Instead of patients visiting you once a year or only when they get sick, your marketing efforts can keep patients engaged throughout the year and keep them coming back to see you. Instead of constantly adding new patients, you’re able to engage with your current patients more than before.
Healthcare Providers Can Learn From Patient Information
One of the main benefits of using a secure WiFi solution is the analytics. Doctors can identify peak times throughout the day, month, and year to better staff nurses and prepare teams for large influxes of visitors.
Healthcare providers can also track important information like the amount of time patients spend on average seeking treatment to learn whether the office needs additional resources or is too slow processing people when they walk in.
Along with tracking time metrics, healthcare providers can also use WiFi to map the foot traffic of patients. They can learn where patients get lost in the hospital or doctor’s office and discover ways to improve wayfinding and make the office flow better. This reduces the burden of staff having to direct patients, while making the patient experience smoother and better.
Think of complimentary WiFi as a high-level view of your office. You can better understand the behavior of patients and staff and discover ways to make their experiences better.
HIPAA Compliance Is Easier Than You Think
One of the primary concerns most healthcare providers have with offering free WiFi is HIPAA compliance. By creating an open network, they worry about having delicate patient information exposed. Fortunately, it’s possible to offer complimentary WiFi while still protecting patient information.
One option is to set up a separate physical WiFi network for patients, so your guests never use the same network that their medical information is on. When these two elements are completely separated, there’s no risk of data breaches that could lead to costly fines. For a more affordable alternative, offices can offer segregated subnets that only employees have access to. WiFi access will live on one network, but the data will still be protected.
Healthcare providers who chose Spectrio WiFi solution will sign up for a service that is entirely compliant with the Digital Economy Bill.
The data we collect and share with your practice is secure, as is the connection. This gives healthcare offices the peace of mind they need when offering free WiFi to patients.
Bring Free WiFi to Your Healthcare Practice
The investment of costs for healthcare providers to set of complimentary WiFi is nominal compared to the potential benefits. Along with happier patients, medical practitioners can see an uptick in scheduling, smoother operations, and a better prepared staff. What seems like a fun perk to connect with patients occupied could be your top office solution.
If your office is ready to offer patients free WiFi or if you have questions about this new tool, set up a call with Spectrio today to review your options and discover what is best for your office.