Patients perceive healthcare professionals who hand out business cards to be better communicators, have greater medical expertise and provide a higher quality of care than those who don’t. But as the healthcare industry undergoes a digital transformation, so must traditional paper business cards.
Digital business cards (DBCs) offer a more secure, interactive and eco-friendly option for professionals to exchange information with patients, colleagues and new contacts. And the solution is growing in popularity — with the DBC market expected to reach $3.1 billion by 2027. These five benefits of DBCs help healthcare professionals enhance the patient experience and maximize marketing efforts.
Simplifies the appointment scheduling process
A simplified appointment scheduling process closes care gaps preventing patients from receiving necessary care. At least 80% of patients prefer a physician who offers online scheduling, which allows patients to book appointments at any time — from anywhere. This convenience eliminates the need for patients to make phone calls during business hours, reducing potential wait times and improving accessibility.
Healthcare professionals can implement DBCs to improve the online scheduling process. DBCs can include links or logos that direct patients to a provider’s preferred scheduling service, such as Calendly, with a single click or tap.
Creates a direct communication channel with patients
Patient outcomes rely on successful communication. Healthcare providers often provide paper business cards to facilitate direct patient-doctor contact — an approach with a significant downside. Patients or their caregivers must manually enter contact information into their mobile devices, increasing the possibility of human error.
Due to their real-time interactivity, DBCs establish an instant two-way communication channel between healthcare providers and patients. After saving a DBC to their mobile devices, patients simply click a contact detail — whether an email address or phone number — to access their provider. Patients don’t have to scramble to find a (potentially lost) paper card while dealing with urgent medical needs.
Provides valuable information to patients
Two-thirds of patients leave a physician’s office and realize they’ve forgotten to ask questions related to their care, and many turn to the internet to find the information they need. Most Americans search for health-related information online, which can lead to inaccurate treatment and self-diagnosis.
To keep patients informed post-visit, healthcare professionals can offer educational materials to patients through a DBC. Nearly 95% of patients said they’d tap into free educational content if given the chance. To help their patients, providers can add as many resources, URLs and social handles as necessary to a DBC (unlike traditional business cards, which restrict information sharing to compact cardstock).
Builds social proof
Three-quarters of patients search the web to research providers, demonstrating the importance of an online presence and social proof. Healthcare professionals can build social proof through clinic Google reviews, social media engagement and peer endorsements.
DBCs help professionals consolidate those social proofs — along with any content showcasing expertise — allowing patients to access everything in one place. For example, providers can add links to their practice’s Google Business profile, testimonial page or case studies involving their services. DBCs also help gather social proof by encouraging patients to leave reviews or engage with a healthcare professional’s social media pages.
Digitizes the handshake
Conferences provide a platform for healthcare professionals to network with colleagues and learn about the latest advancements in their field. Most attendees hand out physical business cards, but unfortunately, most of those cards wind up destined in the trash (or lost) before recipients contact the cardholder. Nearly 90% of business cards get thrown out within a week.
DBCs help healthcare professionals make a great first impression with their industry peers by bridging the gap between in-person interactions and online connections. Professionals typically share their DBC using simple, editable QR codes. The recipient scans the code to access and save contact information on their smartphone.
Thanks to trackable DBC solutions, which provide scan metrics like card scans received, unique visitors reached and the number of times recipients saved contact details, professionals can measure the success of their marketing efforts post-conference.
The importance of building connections with patients and others in healthcare cannot be overstated. Good patient outcomes rely on successful communication. Professional collaboration also delivers better patient outcomes. Relationship-building increases rapport and trust between patients and their medical teams.
Digital business cards are revolutionizing healthcare delivery. Healthcare professionals should ride the digital transformation wave and adopt DBCs to maximize these relationships and grow their practices.
Sharat Potharaju is the co-founder and CEO of Beaconstac, responsible for crafting the overall strategy and execution. Sharat is dedicated to achieving Beaconstac’s vision to enable digital connection with every physical object and place on the planet. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Sharat spent a few years working in investment banking at Merrill Lynch in New York. Sharat holds a master’s degree in engineering management from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.