Pick a venue
The office may be your best bet, but open houses can also be held at a patient’s home, your own home, a restaurant or hotel. Madhavi Patt, MD, of Patt Internal Medicine in Lone Tree, Colorado, held an open house at a long-term patient’s home who offered to host when she opened her practice. It was very successful. “I think it’s because the invitations went out, and like six degrees of separation, people trusted who the information is coming from,” Says Patt. It’s like having the ultimate patient recommendation.
In case you missed it: Do quality measures disillusion young doctors?
Russak has held open houses at the office and hotels and says, “We have a patient who is a classical guitarist and he comes and plays, and then we cater it with some inexpensive hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks.”
“It doesn’t matter where it’s held just that people are encouraged and recommended to attend,” says Patt.
Make a presentation
During your brief (five- to seven-minute maximum) presentation, engage with the audience you invited and talk about why you’re holding the open house and what you have to offer. “Keeping it short is good because lots of questions arise from it,” says Patt. Afterward, be prepared to mix and mingle with guests one-on-one. Removing the “white coat factor” and engaging with potential patients is the point of your open house.
Did you see this? 5 ways physicians can avoid retirement failure
Create an event you’d attend
Hold it on a Wednesday or Thursday evening not to interfere with weekend plans and think creatively if they’ll be a theme or special food. Use caution whether to serve alcohol. Russak served it at one but said he thought it made the wrong impression and wouldn’t do so again. Plus, people can over-imbibe. Keep the whole thing to an hour and a half or two hours.