These days, healthcare patients are more empowered than ever. Increased competition in the marketplace, new industry standards that are centered on patient satisfaction, and the wealth of online resources available mean that a patient today is in the driving seat like never before.
These factors make the patient experience more important than ever, and the key to improving that experience is effective physician engagement.
These hacks will help you convince your doctors to become engaged in marketing and help grow your organization’s profitability.
Agree on a Shared Purpose
Marketers are typically focused on the business aspects of a healthcare institution, while non-owner physicians are often only interested in the care provided. This can lead to frequent disagreements about workload, cost of treatment, and the growth required to counter patient attrition.
One way to engage your team of physicians is to highlight the potential for improved patient care, and the need for education, empathy and compassion. If you can get your medical team to agree to a shared purpose that isn’t focused on profit, you’ll be halfway to getting them on board.
Focus on the Stakes for Patients
Most doctors are all about patient care, so focus on their stake in any proposed changes to the way you market or perform your services. Use data to show how improved patient experiences commensurate with marketing claims can translate into better efficiencies and patient outcomes.
Value statements such as the Mayo Clinic’s “The needs of the patient come first” and one Seattle-based group’s “Transform healthcare by working together” are marketing strategies, but they also focus physicians’ attention on patient benefits.
Reframe Values and Beliefs
It’s important for a healthcare organization to include physicians in the decision-making process, if you want them engaged and committed to growth. Reframe their values and beliefs by involving them in the process.
For example, isolating certain medical conditions as focuses for marketing campaigns. Require them to validate the claims used in your marketing campaigns before finalization. Help them realize that marketing not only enables growth, but improves community visibility, increases awareness, and offers a platform for patient education and support.
Educate Physicians on the Digital Environment
Your physicians are more likely to engage successfully with marketing activities (and your audience) if they understand the nuances of the digital environment. Medical information is very sensitive. Advertisers need to work carefully to avoid problems with HIPAA, particularly during times of healthcare reform.
Physicians may not appreciate language sensitivity; they can be rigid in their use of the “correct” terminology as strictly defined. Using words like “drugs,” “prescriptions,” and similar terms can trigger an automatic disapproval in search, which practically guarantees your marketing content will be unavailable to the people for whom it was created.
To learn more about healthcare marketing and physician engagement, call Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.
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