June 2004 Bulletin

Practice demographics help patients find you

By Mary Ann Porucznik

Every day, about 1,000 patients visit the AAOS Web site to use the “Find an Orthopaedist” feature. In addition, patients frequently call the AAOS offices asking for the name of an orthopaedic surgeon, often specifically requesting an orthopaedist who specializes in a specific treatment area such as “pediatrics” or “shoulder.”

Patients understand the importance of seeing a specialist, even within a specialty field such as orthopaedic surgery. Recent studies indicate that both patients and referring physicians benefit from surgeons who perform a high volume of certain procedures. In joint replacement procedures, for example, high-volume surgeons are more likely to have lower revision rates and fewer perioperative complications.

The “Practice Demographics” feature of the AAOS member profile helps connect patients with orthopaedists who provide specific services. It’s a simple, quick and effective way to target the patient audience you want.

“Using the Practice Demographics feature benefits AAOS members in several ways,” says A. Herbert Alexander, MD, chair of the AAOS Internet Communications committee. “It helps define your practice to both referring physicians and patients, helps reduce calls from patients that you’d simply refer to someone else and enables you to focus on the things you do best. It also helps you develop an appropriate patient mix for your practice.”

Demographic specialties

You can include three types of practice demographic specialties in your member profile: age, anatomic areas and treatment. Age specialties include adult or pediatric. Anatomic specialties include: arm, elbow, foot and ankle, hand and wrist, hip, knee, low back, neck, shoulder, and spine. Treatment specialties include: arthritis, arthroscopic surgery, deformity, joint replacement, metabolic bone disease, osteoporosis, pain, sports medicine, trauma/fractures and tumor/oncology.

To add practice demographics to your profile, simply log onto the “My Profile” section of the AAOS Web site, and choose the “Enter Your Practice Demographics” module.

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