5 reasons potential patients choose your providers over you (and how to fix that)

By Jamie Frew on Jun 16, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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Importance of staying competitive in today’s healthcare market

Mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry used to be about joining services to provide patients with more rounded care options. Now, it’s about survival. Healthcare providers, particularly those who wish to stay independent, are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat. Rather than focusing on the nature of healthcare competition, you need to divert your attention to what you can do about it. Constant improvements are the only way to keep competitors at bay, and many of these improvements are highly achievable. Staying competitive is unfortunately no longer a choice in the healthcare industry; if you want your business to be profitable, you have to step up to the competition. We have developed a guide outlining why your competitors might be taking your patients, and how you can respond to this. Whilst it can feel exhausting, remember that competition incentivizes you to continuously improve your practice: an extremely important aspect of healthcare.

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How should you respond to healthcare competition?

The most important aspect of responding to healthcare competition is being aware of your competitors. If you don’t know who they are or what they offer, you won’t be able to compete with them. Next, it is important to focus on the services that your clinic provides. You are more likely to achieve your goals if you elevate the things that you are good at, as quality is always more important than quantity. Ultimately, responses to healthcare competition depend on two things; where you are located, and how much competition you have. These factors are almost always interrelated and there are three common scenarios:

  1. Rural: If your healthcare practice is located in a rural area, the chances are you won’t have that much competition. Patients likely have very few options when it comes to healthcare providers, so your business will have a steady clientele.
  2. Small-scale metro:  Smaller metro areas are currently experiencing increased rates of mergers. If you choose to remain independent, you may find yourself competing against these large incorporations. Sometimes, the only way for healthcare businesses in these situations to stay afloat is through a merger.
  3. Large-scale metro: Large-scale metro areas are almost always dominated by massive healthcare institutions. Managing competition in these areas takes a lot of effort, but with the right tools and perseverance, operating a successful business is possible.  
Patient portal feedback

5 Reasons your potential patients choose your competitors over you, and tips to fix it

Rather than wasting your energy on trying to avoid competition, it is wise to accept the inevitability of competitors and use your resources to grow your business. We understand that this is easier said than done, so we have compiled some of the potential reasons that patients don’t choose you as their healthcare provider, and how you can change this. 

Reason #1: Your potential patients cannot find you online

  • With technology advancements basically ruling every aspect of modern-day life, having an online presence is a necessary part of finding new patients. When patients are looking for potential healthcare providers, the first place they will search is the internet. 
  • Without a website, there is a very high probability that numerous potential patients don’t even know about your company. Ideally, you want your business to be showing up in the top five options of search results. 
  • However, having a website is only the first step in curating your online presence. Your site should be high-performing and designed to work efficiently on computers and mobile devices. A good website can generate interest and point patients in your direction. 

Reason #2: Poor online reputation management

  • As is common practice when finding a new place to eat, drink or shop, online reviews play a massive role in attracting potential clientele. Reviews are an integral part of a client assessing your practice, so it is in your best interest to manage these reviews.
  • Firstly, you should be responding to all negative feedback. Good follow-up demonstrates to new patients that you care about their experience, and you can use the feedback to make improvements to your services. 
  • Secondly, one of the most effective ways to secure a good online reputation is by directly asking for feedback. Sending out surveys to patients following appointments will allow you to form an accurate understanding of the patient experience at your clinic.  

Reason #3: Not providing adequate patient convenience (Write about patient portal)

  • Patients often lead extremely busy lives, and they are always looking out for healthcare providers that can offer them convenient solutions. Implementing patient portal software is one of the best ways to guarantee patients' convenience.
  • They usually include appointment scheduling systems, and access to medical records and invoice information. Online features include the ability to book appointments online and pay for services, streamlining processes that can otherwise be time-consuming for patients. 
  • Patient portal technology is a guaranteed way to optimize patient experience at your practice and give them greater flexibility. 

Reason #4: You make it difficult to schedule an appointment.

  • After a patient finds a healthcare provider they are satisfied with, they will attempt to book an appointment. If your practice requires the patient to phone the office and it is out of hours, they will most likely find a provider that makes this process easier. 
  • Appointment scheduling software for healthcare providers allows patients to book online at any time of the day, eliminating the need to go into the office or talk to anyone on the phone.

Reason #5: Lack of multichannel marketing in healthcare

  • Multichannel marketing allows your clients to have a seamless experience with your business. It is common for healthcare businesses to use a variety of different technologies, including social media, websites, chat-boxes and features of telehealth. 
  • By integrating these, you ensure that your clients can easily navigate the different features of your business and seamlessly access the healthcare they require.  


Competition in the healthcare industry is inevitable, so it’s important you start focusing on the ways you can remain profitable for your healthcare practice. A lot of the reasons why your competitors may be taking potential clients is related to the technology utilized by your practice. A seamless customer experience is massively impacted by the patient’s ability to access services online. One of the most important ways to guarantee patient access is by implementing a secure patient portal, from which they can view their medical records, book appointments and make online payments.

In relation to selecting an optimal patient portal, Carepatron offers a HIPAA-compliant platform that is integrated with various telehealth software features, all designed to elevate your business. With features including medical billing and coding, clinical note storage, secure video conferencing, messaging and calling, as well as appointment scheduling - Carepatron is guaranteed to bring clients to your practice!

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