Networking for Healthcare Providers
Whether you are a new healthcare provider in town or have been practicing in the same area for over a decade, networking is critical for the growth and success of your practice. The toughest part about networking for healthcare providers is knowing where to get started.
Thankfully, in everywhere from rural communities and suburban towns to sprawling metropolises, networking is easier now than any other time in history. Not only do tools like the web and social media give us the unique capabilities of connecting with special interest groups, a friend or a colleague at any time, there are also tons of new ways that you can network in person and your community that you may not realize.
Here are seven ways that you can start growing your network as a healthcare provider.
1. Utilize social media
Social media is a treasure trove for networking and getting involved in your community. Whether you meet a new patient prospect in person and want to follow up with them on social media or join community groups or local special interest groups on Facebook, social media gives healthcare providers a way to stay hyper-connected to their communities and individuals in it.
2. Work locum tenens
Locum tenens work is another great way to build your recognition and grow your professional network. Reach out to other facilities and care providers in your community and extend the offer to fill in for them when they know they are going to be out of the office. Locum tenens positions provide many other advantages as well.
3. Attend community events
What better way to meet people and expand your network than to have fun in your community? Doing something simple like attending a concert, festival, fair or art gallery are all great ways to expand your network while making memories and enjoying yourself.
4. Participate in local charity
Volunteering and charity work are other excellent ways to build your professional network. It also works to your benefit to show your community that you not only care about the health of your patients but for the betterment of your community or humanity as a whole. Jump on your computer or smartphone and run a few searches for upcoming charity events. Contact them by email or phone to find out how you can get involved.
5. Contribute to local media
Getting plugged into the media in your area is one of the best ways to build your recognition, credibility and network quickly. Get in touch with your local newspaper, magazine publishers and local news websites to see if you can contribute to their publication on a weekly or monthly basis. If you are comfortable going on television or video, let them know you are available to go on air or online so that you can address patient FAQs and provide health tips for the community.
6. Join professional organizations
Building your network amongst physicians, PAs and nurse practitioners in your area can be a gateway to all kinds of opportunities in your practice and community. Getting to know the specialists and general or family practice professionals in your area is an effective way to build your referral network and grow your business.
7. Take unique opportunities
One of the best ways to help build your network is to practice getting outside of your comfort zone by meeting new people as regularly as you can. Anytime that you are out and about in your community can be a great time to strike up a conversation with someone new and expand your personal and professional network.
Waiting in line at the post office, DMV and even for your table at a local restaurant are all great opportunities for starting a conversation. You would be surprised how having a 15-minute conversation with someone new daily can help you build your network in record time.
Whether you own your own practice or are a part of a large healthcare group, networking is an invaluable asset for growing your practice and your business. The internet and social media provide fast, effective and powerful ways to build your network in record time. With that, keep in mind that you may have opportunities every day when you are out in the community where you can start new conversations, make new contacts and meet new friends. Any person you meet in your community could be a new patient and a unique opportunity to expand your network.