The Importance of Hospital Marketing
When health-related issues arise, people understand the importance of choosing a hospital they can trust with their health or the health of their child or loved one. To keep your hospital at the top of their mind when they need it, hospital marketing is critical. In many European countries, practitioners are the key target group for hospital marketing as they act as gatekeepers by referring patients to hospitals.
Without marketing, hospitals may lose current patients, new patients and even referrals. People new to the area who could be potential patients may not know the hospital exists and referring physicians and other health professionals may stop passing referrals if the hospital has ceased communications.
The importance of hospital marketing is discussed here:
The importance of current patients, colleagues and physicians
Current patients, colleagues and physicians at the hospital are an important and valuable hospital marketing tool. Through word of mouth other people they connect with, including friends, family and co-workers, will form an opinion of the hospital. Hospitals need to recognise the importance of maintaining positive relationships with current contacts as they have a major role in recommending your hospital and boosting revenue.
Many hospitals do not make the best use of the social media tools available. Most hospitals use the platform to engage employees instead of patients. Hospitals can use social networks to facilitate disease reporting, educate hard-to-reach populations and help patients find support from others with the same medical condition. Posting on Facebook in times of crisis and being a socially engaged hospital can boost a hospital's public image.
Create a website
People are increasingly relying on the internet as a source of information. If a hospital does not have a website, for many that means the hospital does not exist. A website not only makes the hospital visible, it adds credibility in the minds of patients and health professionals. Online videos on the hospital website are an opportunity to convey emotion and to build image.
Distributing health information should be part of every hospital marketing plan. Hospital newsletters educate patients, establish credibility and prompt potential patients to contact the hospital. Electronic newsletters, emails and social media posts can deliver your message to thousands of people in seconds. They’re a simple and cost-effective way to reach your target without printing or mailing costs. You can communicate on a scheduled basis or whenever you need. These e-communications should link to your website where people can learn more about the hospital.
Co-operate with local media in print, online and in television with ‘feel-good’ stories so that the hospital receives positive and cost-free coverage about the quality and safety of their business.
With the rise in social media, print advertising is less effective. Billboards or posters need to be strategically placed for best impact. Brochures or rack cards may end up in the trash. Whether in print or online, it’s important to produce messages that inform, that people remember and that generate response.
Patient reminder systems
The importance of patient reminder systems for patients and hospital cannot be underestimated. Software can streamline this process, creating an effective reminder system that gives patients confidence in the care, professionalism and efficiency of the hospital.