Prescribing Success: Promoting Student Sign-up

Many GP practices struggle to attract new students to register with their practice. Here are some suggestions on how to increase your student registration rate.

Importance

Many students find it an inconvenience to register with a new GP whilst at University. As healthy young adults, disease prevention can be the last thing on their mind during Freshers. As a profession, we need to regularly remind our younger patients of the importance of being registered to a GP to keep track of routine health checks for conditions such as asthma and depression. To have easy access to flu jabs and acne reviews. Even more importantly we need to encourage students to use their GP for contraception and mental health support. There are several ways we think we can attract this younger audience to stay involved in their health:

Online Services

Offering an online service will support students to book & cancel appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view health records. Making the process a lot simpler and more manageable. Many university students use GP services for contraception and STI tests, which can be an embarrassing subject for many of them. An online service allows students to book appointments without having to speak with a receptionist about the reason for booking and allows them to access results online especially whilst they are busy getting to lectures and working into the night in the library.

Social Media Presence

Students don’t just use social media to interact with friends, they also use it as a way to connect with businesses. This makes it a great platform for promoting your GP practice and the services you can offer them. Twitter is usually the best form of interaction as it provides quick snippets of information that can grab their attention and lead them to your website.

Freshers Fairs

I am sure you are familiar with the infamous fresher’s flu. Many students contract a cold or flu at the beginning of the year, and some may need access to a doctor. So, making yourself known to the students early on in the year is vital and attending a Freshers Fair is a great way of doing so. Many local businesses attend the event with free goodies to encourage a connection with the students and promote their business directly to them. Getting students to sign up earlier on in the year also means you have appropriate resource allocation for the year.

It would be excellent if GP services can disrupt the traditional doctor-patient role and go out to the community to educate and promote the correct utilization of healthcare services.