Insights on Healthcare Marketing

A Refresher: Nine Ways to Enhance Customer Service

While the ideas listed below are nothing new, in our time-crunched world, they too often go ignored.  

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Eight Tips to Enhance Patient Communication

1. Build a Web site that represents your practice in a patient-useful manner. 

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Build Your Roadmap

If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t know how to get there.  Sounds simple enough, but all too often, I have seen healthcare organizations journey into marketing without their map:  a well-thought-out strategic plan. 

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Do Your Homework

Just like you would never walk into a job interview without researching your prospective employer or perform a surgery without reviewing the chart, don’t jump into healthcare marketing without first doing a little homework. Find out who your target audiences are, what they want and how they perceive your practice.   Look Inside.

  1. Evaluate your own data.  Who are your patients?  Where do they live?  How did they hear about you?  Who is referring to you most/least?  What are their specialties?  Where are they located?
  2. Survey your patients and referral sources to determine what they think about your practice.  What do they like most?  What do they want to see changed?

Look Outside.

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The Matrix — “Or” vs. “And”

You’re opening a new office or your practice is adding a new physician or you have added a rapid track for urgent care.  So how do you best communicate this to your patients and referral sources?  Do you send a letter? Or do you run an ad?  Or do you put an announcement on the home page of your Web site? Or do you set aside some time to make personal visits or community presentations?  Life sure would be easy if there was a single, surefire strategy for success or if we had the time and money to do everything thing we want.  However, as we all know too well, we live in a complex world without an “easy button.”  And of course budgets are always tight and so is time.  What works?  The matrix.

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The Gap

Your brand is your promise to deliver a healthcare experience for your patients that is specific and unique to your practice.  You’re essentially making a promise no one else can make.  This requires that you recognize several things: 

  1. What patients want -- both in the functional delivery of care and their emotional relationships with your practice.
  2. An honest evaluation of what you currently provide.
  3. An accurate understanding of what your competitors offer. 

Compare and contrast these three, and the spaces in between are what we marketers call “the gap.” And this gap = your opportunities to build and strengthen your brand.

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First Impressions

From a well-tailored suit to a confident smile to a firm handshake, we all know the power of making a good first impression. And your practice is no different. In today’s competitive medical marketplace, patient choices and expectations are higher than ever before.  

  • Who are the first people your patients see or talk to in your practice?  How well do they represent your brand?
  • What does your current marketing say about you?
  • How do you stand out from the crowd?
  • How do you connect with new patients?  And better yet, what do they say to their friends and family after they leave your office?

Impact.  Are you making a powerful one?

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Smart Patients and the End of the Marcus Welby Era

In their book, YOU The Smart Patient, Michael F. Rozien, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., write about the “Marcus Welby era … when physicians were seen as supreme authorities.”  Those days are over, they believe, and I find this to be true as well. Sure, some of the older generation still see physicians as all-knowing, and they are willing to tolerate a non-service oriented practice.  However, our booming younger population comes with an entirely different mentality.  These “Smart Patients” or pro-sumers come to their appointments armed with information they’ve gathered from the Internet (some accurate, some not), and they demand answers and service like never before.

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Five Tips on Using a Web Site to Market Your Practice

By now, most medical practices realize the necessity of a Web site. Without one, you simply do not exist to a large segment of the population.  Here are a few tips on how to make the most of this marketing tool: 

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Why is Healthcare Marketing More Important Now Than Ever?

The idea of medical marketing was an almost novel concept 25 years ago.  Fast forward.  Now, instead of a bold move on the part of a medical practice, marketing has become virtually a necessity to establish and maintain a successful practice.  Here’s why:

  1. Consumers play a greater, more assertive role in decision-making.
  2. Medical excellence and patient service continue to be a focal point of competition.
  3. Technology has made huge inroads into patient care and expectations.
  4. The Baby Boomer Population – need I say more?
  5. The shift in healthcare benefits from employers to individuals.

 Have you embraced marketing in your organization?

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