15 Radiology Marketing Ideas to Help You Launch Your Diagnostics Facility Into the Stratosphere

When you’re starting up a new diagnostics imaging facility, you have to be prepared to hit the ground running. Construction and staffing are just the beginning of the beginning. You then have to book appointments and start bringing in patients and revenue. That MRI won’t pay for itself.

Well, maybe it will, but not without your help.

If you’re in this situation, you should already be thinking about your marketing strategies. There’s a reason why the above article, which you might have read already, overlaps with this one and mentions starting on your marketing long before construction is complete. There’s no way that you’ll begin bringing in income, much less enough to break even in the first week if you don’t start your marketing push before the Grand Opening.

So, for your benefit, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen things to keep in mind for radiology marketing, specifically. Several of these will overlap or relate to one-another, so bear in mind that ignoring one tip may impact your efforts to follow another.

If you have any questions or would like some help with any aspect of your marketing approach, contact the diagnostic marketing experts.

Lay The Foundation for Your Diagnostic Imaging Marketing

We’ll start with four basic tips. These are our starting points, and everything else you do to market your diagnostic imaging services will build off of these.

1 – Website

You are pretty much required to have a website these days. If you don’t, you aren’t taken very seriously. And websites should be the first consideration you make for marketing, including the cost for developing your site in your initial investment runs.

The benefits of having a well-designed site are substantial. It anchors all of your marketing efforts, grants you additional traffic, and serves as a platform with which you can communicate or assist your patients at their convenience. These are all effects which can be major contributors to your continued success.

When designing your site, you need to ensure it meets three key criteria:

  • It works on all browsers and devices (especially mobile phones!)
  • It is designed for users to easily find what they are looking for
  • It clearly represents your company and services

Not all website building services are equal. Sure, a quick one pager you put together on Wix over the weekend could count as a website, but for a healthcare business like a radiology imaging center, you’ll need something much more robust and professional.

WordPress sites are the best option for most businesses, healthcare or otherwise due to their versatility, security, and ability to be updated.

If you are looking for a team to build your website, be sure to use one that specializes in diagnostic imaging websites, or at the very least healthcare businesses. Otherwise you’re going to either end up with a confusing and overly-complex site, which is difficult to navigate. Worse, you could end up doing a lot of the work yourself (which is a bad idea since we’re guessing you’re not a UX designer).

On your website, you should consider including as many of the following as possible:

  • Your contact information
  • What health insurance you accept
  • Information about your staff and expertise
  • Patient Portal
  • Physician Portal
  • Online patient forms
  • Online payment option
  • “Call Now” Button for smartphone users
  • Pricing information
  • Exam information
  • Equipment information
  • Calendar of events and facility closing dates
  • Customized landing pages
  • An image rotator
  • Links to your social media pages

Again, this website will be a core element to your marketing efforts. Most marketing today is done digitally because most consumers are online. So no matter what your overall strategy is, your website is going to be the backbone of all of your digital marketing efforts. If you’re going to go all-out on any individual element of your marketing plan, this should be the one to dote on.

2 – Social Marketing

In a word: Facebook. Facebook isn’t the only platform that can be useful here. There are also potential uses for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram if you hire a savvy social media specialist. However, Facebook remains the top dog for most diagnostic imaging centers. As popular as the anti-social media train has gotten, Facebook’s broad utilization numbers continue to swell, reaching 79% usage rates in America in 2018.

With these numbers, Facebook provides direct reach into your community and potential patient-base.

If you don’t have a Facebook page set up, or don’t know how to set one up, there are multiple guides on how to set up a proper business page. There are just five key points you need to incorporate to ensure maximum effectiveness:

  1. A clearly branded profile picture and cover photo (i.e. matches the logo on your website)
  2. A call-to-action (CTA) button (typically to call you)
  3. Post regularly (once a week at the minimum)
  4. A member of staff needs to be tasked with reputation management, which means that responses to comments and feedback is their primary task.
  5. Keep your “About” info up-to-date

There are other elements you can work in, such as targeted Facebook ads and analytics tools to measure the success of those ads, but those are all secondary. Make sure the page is up and running and reliable first.

3 – Lead Magnets

Technically, consideration for lead magnets should be included with the website build. You want to have this functionality incorporated at the base level, if possible. If, for some reason, it’s too late or this sort of incorporation isn’t an option, services like Sumo can help you cover that need with a variety of popups and CTA bars

If you aren’t familiar with the term, “leads” are contacts, and magnets attract; thus, a ‘lead magnet’ is something which naturally attracts people and convinces them to provide their contact info – namely, an email address. This will be a vital step towards automating your diagnostics imaging marketing plan.

In a nutshell, your lead magnets, for radiology marketing, will generally look something like:

  1. You write a blog article about “What to expect during an MRI”
  2. You create a PDF checklist that tells “Everything you need to know to prepare for an MRI exam”
  3. You put a lead magnet on your article that pops up or is shown in a sidebar asking readers to enter their email to receive the free checklist.
  4. When someone enters their email, they are sent the checklist as a file (usually a PDF) and they are added to your email marketing list.

4 – Google Places

This one is crucial to not overlook! Many business owners, in numerous industries, neglect to think about setting up a proper business profile for Google Maps. This can make all the difference for your patients when they’re trying to figure out where they want to get their testing done or when they’re trying to figure out how to get to your facility for their appointment.

The best thing about Google Places is that searches done on the Maps app have a focus on local. This means that you’re only competing against other radiologists and diagnostics imaging providers when somebody searches for “MRI” or “CT Scan”.

And, even then, only when those providers include those keywords for their business.

Setting up a business profile is not difficult, either. It’s a three-step procedure:

  1. Set up a Google My Business account
  2. Verify your business
  3. Fill out information about your business

Just make certain to use crisp, high-quality images for your listing and keep your information up-to-date.

Building Up Your Medical Imaging Marketing Scheme

Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to start building onto them.

5 – Corral Your Providers

This is the most important thing to do in this section of the list. It’s the one thing that isn’t, strictly speaking, building off of something you’ve already done. However, this is also something that is strictly its own beast, and a crucial element of any diagnostics practice’s radiology marketing strategy.

If you have any experience with healthcare, you likely understand that, as important as all of the other things are for your long-term success, referrals from various physicians will provide the most reliable source of patients in the first few months. And they will continue to provide a solid, foundational baseline for your practice in the long run – if you keep them happy. Remember that the referring physicians and their staff are working hard every day, too. Make their jobs easy, and they will continue to refer to you.

Also, keep in mind that the majority of your referrals will come from only about 20% of providers. If you have not planned to track referrals, change those plans; if you’re already operational and not doing this, then change that procedure. You will want to put in a little extra effort to keep your top 20% especially happy. Just keep anti-trust laws in mind as you’re dropping them little tokens of appreciation.

6 – Use a Blog to Draw Additional Organic Traffic

The internet is just where people flock to for information nowadays. That’s the entire point of it. Ergo, if you can position yourself as a local authority on your specialty, people in your area who look for information related to your specialty will not only want to check in with you about other inquiries they may have relating to CAT Scans or Fluoroscopies, but when they or a loved one need one of these diagnostic imaging services performed, guess who is going to be the first one they think of…

No, not Bob Dole, silly! You!

Side note, WordPress sites are the king of blogs and SEO, which we’ll talk about next.

A blog should be an essential element of your website, and can be used to place lead magnets, as well. It can also be used to attract more visitors to your website when you make use of…

7 – Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is the practice of fine-tuning your website so that it ranks well on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Of course, Google is the big one, and if you can get your home page or your blog article to rank in the top three results for the right keywords, then you’ll find that your website is, essentially, a super-powered patient finder. Properly done SEO can make a supermassive difference in Digital Marketing efforts for Imaging Centers.

SEO is not easy, though, and Google is fine-tuning its algorithm all the time. Still, there is a process that consistently works if you know how to work through it:

  1. Brainstorm keywords that you think people would search for when they should be finding you.
  2. Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to see which of those keywords are being searched the most and how difficult it is to rank for each one
  3. Pick out your best keywords. These are the ones that are relevant to you, have the highest search volume, and have the lowest competition
  4. Use those keywords in the text on your website and blog
  5. Repeat these steps for each page and article on your site

Note that you’ll want to use different keywords with each blog post. You don’t want to try to get an article about Thyroid Scans ranking for MRIs (it wouldn’t work, anyhow, as Google’s algorithm has gotten good enough that it would notice something weird).

PRO-TIP: When you’re deciding on your keywords, reference Item #9 on this list! Include words in at least some of your keywords that focus on your local area.

If you don’t want to spend much effort on this, there is another option (see #8), though the most effective method is to use a combination of these tools.

8 – Pay-Per-Click Ads

Also known as PPC, services like Google Adwords can provide a ‘shortcut’ if you’re willing to just pay for the ads. However, the shortcut isn’t necessarily simple. There is a learning curve to it, and you still need to decide on specific keywords which your ads will appear on.

Regardless of whether you choose to run PPC by itself or use it to bolster your SEO efforts, it can be a very handy tool. And if you plan to make use of it, we recommend starting with this handy guide to ensure that you get off on the right foot.

Time For A Full-Scale Rollout of Your Diagnostic Imaging Marketing Strategy

The building is done. The following three tips are all things to put into place as policy during launch and after – as things are really getting started.

9 – Keep Your Marketing Focus Local

Your marketing dollars are precious. If you’re doing it right, your cost per acquisition of each patient should be a small fraction of the profit that the patient brings your business.  If you try to throw money at an urban center a hundred miles away – how many potential patients are you going to convince to drive one hundred miles to come to your facility when there are likely three or more to choose from within twenty miles of their home? Even if you get one or two, the hundreds or thousands of dollars you spent to get those one or two actually create a deficit which you then need to fill with more efficiently-found patients.

As your patients come in, track what zip codes they’re from so that you can know exactly where your patient-base is. Then, focus your marketing in that area and begin treating them like your neighbors. Afterall, they likely are your neighbors. Talk to them, get to know them. Often, you can get some insights from them about things that will help your marketing efforts.

You can also utilize these six common opportunities to maximize your efforts:

  1. Connect your RIS system to a HIPAA Compliant Visual Analytics Tool where you can create customized reports.
  2. Create a map report that shows the zip code or address of each of your patients.
  3. Find the specific neighborhoods, schools, and businesses in these areas.
  4. For your target neighborhoods, answer questions on local Private Facebook Neighborhood Groups
  5. Sponsor after-school events for the top school or schools in the area.
  6. Run Facebook ads to the businesses in the specified locations.

10 – Use Your Generated Leads For Automated Marketing

Automated emails can be a blessing when utilized properly. This doesn’t mean that you’re trying to spam your patients or annoy them. Quite the opposite: one of the first automated emails that you can set up is a follow-up for each appointment, giving patients a chance to provide feedback (the importance of which we’ll discuss in a moment).

You can also use value-based emails, sending out promotions that recipients can use for themselves or give to loved ones who may need your services. Think ‘specials’ like women’s month means a discount, or free box of chocolates or roses for the ladies coming in for their mammograms.

These can be especially valuable for you – not only do you get business, but you might also endear yourself to a large portion of your patient base if you use this tool in the right way.

Then, there are the content-focused emails for leads who opted in based on previous content. When you publish a brilliant new blog article (not every article, but perhaps the best one every week), you can notify your audience of that article, drawing a fresh round of clicks, keeping your audience attentive and educating them on important elements of radiology. Speaking of which…

11 – The Benefits of Educating Your Patients

Most of your patients won’t be returning as patients – because they won’t need to. Very few people need an MRI more than once per lifetime, much less multiple times in a decade.

But they’ll probably know somebody else who needs one eventually.

Because of this, educating them on various aspects of radiology, how different tests work, etc, can help them to help somebody else down the line. And when they think of that knowledge, they’ll think of who they learned it from.

Lastly, you can also send an automatic educational email when appointments are booked. These emails can include links to articles or videos which explain the procedure which the appointment was just booked for. This can provide value and comfort to the patient, who is now not only better prepared for their visit, but also, reassured about their choice to book with you.

Your Radiology Marketing Strategies Should Be Cyclical

Even if you don’t expect to see most patients more than once, there are still things you can do to ensure that each patient leaves happy and thus makes it easier and cheaper to attract the next one. These are all great long-term policy tools to use.

12 – Show Your Personality

People don’t trust robots. Robots are decidedly lacking in charisma (generally speaking). Some can be absolutely adorable and lovable – such as the ones that are programmed to show a little personality.

Your patients will feel more at home with a professional staff who is willing to, well, be human with them. Most patients will be nervous. Your staff can ease that.

You can also show that human factor online. On your Facebook page, your blog, or your website, you can include any of the following elements:

  • Patient testimonials with or without pictures
  • Employee of The Month notifications
  • Pictures of office parties
  • Testimonials from referring providers
  • A diagnostics center walkthrough, showing all the rooms with all the modalities. You can just do this on your iPhone or Android, it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.

These items make you more approachable, more real. It’s not unprofessional to be human.

13 – Stay Visible

Another thing you can do is to keep yourself involved in your community and in the minds of your patients. There are a few simple, easy-to-use tools for this:

  • Surveys allow you to get feedback about your practice (more on this in a moment).
  • The educational emails that we have already discussed, but which really shouldn’t be forgotten, can help to provide long-term value for your patients.
  • Patient referrals can also give your previous patients additional value, as well as the new patients you’re gaining. Allow them to refer their friends who could also benefit from your services, and give them both something of value in return – a gift card or a chance to win a Big Green Egg, for example. The savings in advertising dollars means you’re not losing anything here.

14 – Seek out feedback!

Not every patient is going to leave happy. There’s nothing you can do about that. However, you can have most patients leave happy. The steps for this are actually pretty straightforward:

1 – Allow every patient a chance to provide anonymous feedback

2 – Do not assume that a patient who leaves seemingly ‘neutral’ is a positive; they could be seething, yet too uncomfortable to say anything

3 – Once you have consistent feedback coming in, find the common denominators and make corrections.

4 – Gather more feedback, find more consistent issues, repeat

As long as you’re actively addressing issues, then you should be reaping the reputational benefits online. All you need to do is ensure that enough people are posting reviews, as a higher review count leads readers to trust those providers more – they’ve been more thoroughly tried and tested, after all.

15 – Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Finally, figure out what makes your team, your entire business, work. What are patients loving? What advantages do you have over your competition?

Figure those things out and leverage them.

Then, as #14 emphasized, ensure that you know where you are underperforming and fix those areas. If you can do these things, you will quickly become a powerhouse.

Good Radiology Marketing Strategies Can Make All The Difference

The modern healthcare market is anything but certain. Patients are uneasy and have understandable concerns about where and how they spend their precious healthcare dollars. But if you work hard to come up with a cohesive, smart strategy for marketing your medical imaging practice, you shouldn’t have any trouble becoming a successful provider of diagnostics expertise in your area, especially if you make good use of these fifteen radiology marketing tips.

We wish you the best of luck!
If you have any questions or would like some help with any aspect of your marketing approach, contact the diagnostic marketing experts.

How to Start a Diagnostic Center

If you’re considering starting a diagnostic imaging center yourself, you’ll want to first consider IF you should begin working toward opening an imaging center, HOW TO BEGIN your process for planning out this mammoth endeavor, and WHAT IT WILL TAKE in the end to get the center up and running and, most importantly, profitable.

So. How do you open a diagnostic center? There’s more to it than many people realize. The first step is determining whether you should consider opening a center of your own. The most valuable thing you can do at the beginning is always research and asking the right questions. Here are some of the most important things you’ll need to know to be successful.

See How Diagnostics Marketing Can Boost Your Revenue

The Total Cost Of Starting An Imaging Center

Everything starts with money. No matter where you stand on a variety of issues – political, religious, humanitarian – the first consideration for everything is money.

Healthcare is no different. The monetary cost of a diagnostics center can be described as ‘outrageous’ or ‘obscene’ without even drawing within sight of the concept of hyperbole. Understand that, at least for many people, whatever numbers you have in your head are likely not anywhere near what your final cost will be.

To determine your overall price tag, you’ll have to look at all of the specific costs to get started. It’s best to set up a price sheet with a minimum and maximum that you think you’ll encounter for each item so you have a clear range.

In this article we will focus on the initial items to get you going, but keep in mind ongoing costs like marketing, overhead, and maintenance. And don’t forget about the small items that add up like software costs, waiting room furniture, and staff meetings just to name a few.

What Type Of Diagnostics Are You Focused On?

The term ‘Diagnostic Center’ could mean a variety of things. There are two main groupings (which are not mutually exclusive):

1 – Clinical Pathology – These are labs that do things like bloodwork, urinalysis, and handle other bodily fluid testing, etc. There are very few efforts to start new businesses focusing on this element of diagnostics, as a handful of other companies have already managed to expand into national competition, and it’s cheap enough that many mid-sized primary physicians have labs onsite.

2 – Radiology or Medical Imaging Centers – This article will focus on Imaging Centers, as these tend to involve the more costly equipment. Imaging can involve a variety of modalities which produce images of the body, such as CT, MRIs, PET scans, and others. These centers are more expensive, but are also one of the fastest growing segments of the industry. Lastly, while there are nearly a dozen modalities to consider, it is perfectly acceptable to plan your business around just one or two. In fact, for most business owners find that starting with one or two modalities and growing over time is the best strategy. If you want to open and operate an MRI Center, then that could be perfectly viable. The cost of starting an imaging center will vary with your specific business plan.

Where Is The Best Place To Start A Diagnostics Center?

The first rule of real estate and one of the major determining factors of the success of every business are the same: location, location, location!

This doesn’t just mean exactly where you are in a city, either. The first thing you should do, even before you begin looking for funding, is to determine what niche your business will fill. How many hospitals are there within ten miles? Twenty? What are the populations of the cities and towns in your area? Are there any other freestanding or independently owned diagnostics centers? Where are they located? What modalities do they offer?

Answer these questions, and you’ll be on your way to mapping out the beginnings of your overall plan. Later, you’ll need to determine an exact physical location. For now, you need to know where you want to look.

Location Should Be Considered In A Number Of Ways

It’s important to think beyond the city, or neighborhood to start your business. Make sure to think about the smaller things like whether the exact location is convenient as far as traffic patterns and accessibility from major roadways.

If your potential patients cannot find your building or would have to drive for longer than would be comfortable, then they’re going to become somebody else’s potential patients. Healthcare providers tend to cluster near hospitals and other healthcare providers for a few reasons:

  • Specialist facilities like being near hospitals because it means that any referrals from the hospital are going to be able to reach their practice easily.
  • Other providers use the rationalization that if they are within a few blocks of rival practices, then there is no discussion to be had about which provider has the more convenient location, which removes one criteria from consideration when trying to poach patients. Setting up shop in a different area comes with a risk of being inconvenient to your targeted patient-base.

For convenience, selecting a site close to major thoroughfares is most often preferable. Depending on which modalities and machines you utilize, though, you may not want to be sitting next to extremely busy roads. You’re already going to have to modify whatever building you decide to use.

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to take parking and public transit into account when selecting your building!

Is An Office Park A Good Location For A Diagnostics Imaging Center?

Diagnostics imaging utilizes powerful magnets, radioactive chemicals, and bursts of radiation. The equipment is loud and takes up a lot of space. Therefore, if at all possible, you want to set up your Imaging Center in a freestanding building, and not as part of a complex (whether something akin to a shopping center or a multi-story building makes no difference). If you do end up having to set up in a complex, you’ll need to take a few precautions to avoid upsetting the neighbors, which could mean slightly higher price tags during your initial renovations.

What Specifications Do Diagnostics Centers Need To Follow?

Diagnostics equipment has very particular requirements, so you will need to renovate any building you use, even if it used to be a diagnostics imaging center. These renovations will include meeting building codes or regulations regarding healthcare, imaging centers, and specific types of machines. MRIs, for example, require shielding. Other machines also have specific requirements for the construction or layout of the rooms they occupy, so make certain to be thorough in your research.

Pro-tip: Machine-specific requirements also mean that you need to have selected and purchased your machines before renovations begin in earnest. Timing will be crucial here, as you will want to try to coordinate delivery of your new or used MRI or CT Scanner with the progress of the renovations. Walls will likely need to be removed to get them into the building, so good timing can save you a few thousand dollars in the process.

How Much Does an MRI Machine Cost?

If you’re wondering how much an MRI machine costs, you’re most likely looking at between $150,000 and $500,000. However, there are options under $150,000 and buying a used or refurbished machine is often a big money saver. Alternatively, the most advanced models cost upwards of $1 million. Obviously, there is a huge range of prices based on the machine. Your MRI machine is a big decision and will be one of your biggest expenses when running an MRI center or multi-modality center.

MRI Shielding

That’s why it’s important to make sure your MRI room is up to standard.

You must have the proper MRI shielding to ensure that your MRI is working optimally. Without it, you will notice noise and artifacts in the images you take, which can result in unclear images, and unnecessary rescans.

The MRI is Bulky

You’ll want to make certain you have ample room for the machine, because it is huge. MRIs are comprised of three nested components that provide structural support, internal Radio Frequency shielding, and of course various other crucial components.

This is yet another reason to ensure you have ample space not only for the machine to reside and get in the building in the first place, but also for your staff and patients to be able to move around comfortably in the MRI room.

Do You Need a Metal Detector at Your MRI Center?

Certain items (metallic ones) have a tendency to be attracted by magnetic fields. This could spell disaster for a rather expensive machine and in some case the people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many facilities go so far as to include a foyer by the entrance of the MRI room, specifically to have a convenient place to keep a metal detector.

Whether or not you want to implement a metal detector is up to you, but it is important to make this decision as early on as possible to incorporate it into your plans, or create procedures to otherwise avoid metal from being brought into the wrong areas.

Pro-tip: You’ll want to keep your MRI in an interior room or as far from moving traffic as you can get it. Well designed shielding helps, but vehicular traffic can interfere with the images because of the metal in the cars.

Design Your Building Layout With The Noise Of The Mri In Mind

Yes, it’s noisy. If you are in a complex of some sort, with neighbors, you’re going to want to consider taking a few measures to soundproof the room, or at least cut down on the noise. You’ll also want to consider what rooms are adjacent to the MRI room internally so that no sound-sensitive areas end up nearby.

CT Scan and X-Ray Room Requirements

Rooms containing CT Scanners and X-rays will also require specific shielding, except the shielding is meant to protect the people outside the room. Lead-lining the room will prevent any excess radiation leakage. This process is expensive, but necessary.

Some machines may also utilize various chemicals, which you will need to store before use and dispose of after. Again, this means that you need to decide which machines you plan to utilize before finalizing your renovation plans. Newer machines will generally require fewer special considerations and be less “hazardous”, but be thorough in your research so that you know exactly what each machine needs and what impact this will have on your construction and design plans.

Building an Imaging Center Requires Knowledge, Experience, and Expertise

In other words, consult with specialists who have done this before. Cutting corners may reduce your upfront cost to start, but the cost will be greater down the line, and may even impact your profitability, especially considering the intricate and layered considerations for the requirements of the machines, the layout of the center, patient expectations, and more. So, for the layout, especially, you will want to consult with a professional who has experience specifically with setting up and starting new imaging centers. The needs of the MRI room, by itself, make this worth the cost of seeking out somebody with a more established portfolio.

An expert should also be capable of helping you to decide the best layout, from the locations of the entrance and waiting rooms, all the way down to the width of the hallways and the best locations for restrooms.

Imaging Center Building Approval Process

Once your plans are finished and you’re ready to break ground, it’s time to hit the brakes. And put it in park.

Your plans need approval. First, you’ll need to show the final plans to your stakeholders. They’ve given you the money, so you have to show them what you’re doing with it. Then, Local, State, and possibly even Federal agencies will need to sign off on the plans.

The Code-checkers from your city or your county will go over the design with a fine-toothed comb. Even with the help of a qualified consultant, there will likely be things that you missed. Some obscure regulation, or a safety regulation that seems unimportant in the midst of design (but can actually be critical), will be brought to your attention, and you’ll have to make a few changes.

So, how many exits are there? Where are they? Where are you placing fire extinguishers? Did you remember to plan out the sprinkler system? No? How are you going to work that into the MRI room?

But you will also have to educate the authorities on the requirements of your machines. You will need to explain the whys and wherefores. It will be difficult, and it might be frustrating. Just remember, they’re just doing their jobs and trying to ensure the safety of your patients, and your plans will be improved by this approval process.

Time to Build!

Now, it’s time to break ground! But you’ll need somebody to oversee the project. You have two options for this.

Contractor vs Foreman

This comes down to whether you want to hire a contractor or not. If you want to try and save a little money, you can act as your own contractor, but you still need an expert on site. So if you choose not to hire a contractor, then you need to hire a foreman. You need somebody who knows construction and can coordinate the efforts of the workers on site. A good foreman can save you a lot of money and keep your renovations on time and on budget.

There are a few things to keep in mind, either way:

  • This is an expensive process, and you’re already paying a lot, but mistakes will cost you more. For this reason, you need to visit the site every day. You will personally want to oversee as much as you can.
  • You’re paying a lot for workers who know how to build – let them build. You and your contractor or foreman should know the design and the sticking points, and other than that, your concern should be in ensuring that no corners are cut. There are instances where you can be too hands-on.
  • Set a timeline and work to maintain it. Be conservative in your initial estimates. It’s easier to take a day off if you get ahead than it is to catch up if you fall behind. And, this cannot be stressed enough since you want to time the work that’s being done with the delivery of your machines.

Finding the Right Staff for a New Diagnostics Center

As expensive and crucial as your machines are, your staff is even more important. Your staff drives your success. They’re the face of your imaging center. They’re the expertise that makes the entire place run. With this hard fact in mind, you need to begin looking for hires while the building is still being built or renovated. The hiring process, as you know, takes time. And even once you’ve spent a month or two selecting the best candidates, they will still, typically, need two to four weeks before they can actually join your team onsite. Some will need to move, some will already have jobs. Ant then there’s training and formalities. Give yourself ample time. Use job boards, career fairs, and any other resources you can to get the word out.

Pro-tip: If you’re on a budget, look for recent grads with high potential for growth. If you’ve got a lot of money for staffing look for more experienced technicians and radiologists. If possible, hire an experienced Chief Radiologist who can help with the hiring of his or her subordinates.

The Cost To Build A Website For A Diagnostics Center

Websites don’t just happen. They take time and money. And while you can make the attempt to go ‘old-school’ and do without a site for a bit, the habits of consumers and patients in the modern market involve heavy utilization of electronic information. That means a website is going to be a crucial item and not having one spells almost certain doom.

In order to give yourself the best chance of success, you’ll want to try to have a website designed, built, and launched by the time of your first day in operation.

What does it cost to build a diagnostic center’s website? A custom site, on average, typically starts at around $10k, and is usually over 50 pages in size. In some cases this can be trimmed, depending on how detailed you want the site to be, how many locations you have, and how many features, such as online billpay, that you plan to implement.

You will want to begin by doing research on your options and getting quotes from web development companies that specialize in outpatient care centers. Some agencies offer pre-planned websites that are built just for imaging centers with customization options. Templated sites like these can save you a ton of money and get you a robust and professional website for around $2,000. Figure out what you need, what you want, and what you’re willing to pay for.

Running an Imaging Center and Maintaining Profitability

Since you’re looking to start an imaging center, you likely already know a little bit about managing people or operations or both. But even with this experience, you may be surprised by just how much time, attention, and effort running a new business takes. As the owner, you will need to personally keep an eye on the finances and be prepared to make difficult decisions to ensure long-term profitability – sometimes this might mean taking a short-term hit as you reinvest or refocus your existing profits. There will be times when costs must be cut, and these circumstances will require creativity and patience to navigate successfully.

Profitability Begins And Ends With Patient Satisfaction

If you have no patients coming through the door, then you have no profit. Patients are the lifeblood of any medical business. Always keep patient satisfaction front and center. In order to breed happiness, you must know what your patients think, what their experience is truly like. Most healthcare providers overestimate their quality of service. Patients who seem like they are content or even neutral visits are not always so. From the very start, you should have a plan for gathering patient feedback, learning how you can improve, and guiding your happy patients to Google or wherever else to leave positive reviews. These efforts will draw new patients and build a towering reputation for your facility that will keep your profits stable or climbing.

After You Start An Imaging Center, You Need To Market It

Once your new diagnostics center is up and running, the hard part begins. You have a new, beautiful and inviting facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a great staff. Your next big undertaking is marketing. But it doesn’t have to be a guessing game and it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg either. Digital marketing covers a wide range of services and offers a lot of valuable opportunities in diagnostics. If you’re on a tight budget, take a look at the options and make a priority order. Some of the most effective marketing strategies for radiology centers include:

  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pay Per Click Advertising
  • Content Marketing (Blog Articles)
  • Search Engine Optimization (Seo)
  • Reputation Management (Online Reviews)

Once you have  decided where and how to start your imaging center, you will need to set up a business strategy. You will need to study organizational and financial models, think outside the box, and prove to be an effective manager in order to make it all work. Even if your ultimate plan is to sell the business and move on, you still need to work for several years in order to make it an attractive purchase for an area hospital. It won’t happen quickly or easily. But with patience and hard work, this place than you’ve built can become a pillar of your community’s healthcare landscape and a cornerstone of your personal legacy.

See How Diagnostics Marketing Can Boost Your Revenue