Part 3: How Technology Is Helping Addiction Treatment Providers Reach New Patients
This is the third article in our series on how technology is changing the ways addiction recovery centers engage alumni, track compliance, and increase referrals. In the first two articles we discussed how technology has influenced alumni communication and compliance tracking. In our final article we’ll be exploring new ways technology has changed the way providers get referrals.
If someone is seeking treatment for themselves or if a family member is searching on behalf of a loved one, how do they discover your website? As a provider you want to save lives, but standing out online is hard to do. A quick review of Google Keyword Planner shows you the significant cost associated with addiction related search terms. When someone who is seeking treatment or more information lands on your website what is the experience like? Having a mobile first experience, live chat, and accessible content and information help to answer questions and leads to a call to your facility.
- Mobile Web – Is your website responsive and if so, how is that experience on mobile? Remember to test your site and work to improve the experience. Users land on your site looking to access information so they can get help for themselves or others. Focus on creating an experience where they can learn more about your services and easily guide them to treatment when they’ve made that commitment.
- Live Chat – Having the ability to ask questions from behind the keyboard is a first step for many seeking treatment. If your site offers a live chat feature, don’t create barriers to access it and make sure someone on your team is assigned to manage it. If you can’t commit to staffing that feature, don’t offer it. If someone is looking for more information and the chat is consistently unavailable, they may become frustrated.
- Content Marketing – Content helps to inform and educate your audience. In many cases, those seeking treatment land on your site because of any article you created. Producing high-value content is challenging, but it pays off in establishing your brand as a thought leader and shows those seeking treatment that your facility can help them.
- Social Media – By maintaining an updated social media presence you’re elevating your facility. When someone is looking to learn more about your program or see pictures of your facility, social media sites a top resource for them. If your social accounts show content weeks or months old, the impression of your brand is negative. Remember to post relevant content regularly.
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A close Alumni network supported by technology can also lead to referrals. Are you regularly emailing your alumni to share upcoming events and recovery content? By keeping your facility top of mind, your alumni are more likely to make that referral. Other tools like CaredFor provide more direct ways for your alumni to make referrals. We discussed the CaredFor platform in our first article.
The CaredFor platform is licensed by addiction recovery providers and used by their alumni and those supporting their alumni. Within the app, providers can create invite-only groups for their alumni. These groups provide a private online community to share stories, strategies, and tips. The app allows the provider to create discussions, share content, and promote upcoming events. Through the app, alumni are able to easily make referrals for someone they know who’s seeking treatment. The platform is HIPAA compliant, making it an even clearer choice than promoting a private Facebook group for alumni.
Using innovation to improve outcomes and increase referrals
Technology is rapidly innovating, which can make it difficult for providers to stay current. Leverage industry publications and conferences to learn about how technology is changing your market. Look for ways to partner with innovative companies which support your mission. In many cases these providers are will to offer reduced pricing for early adopters.