Hospital marketers: Cure ‘I need a brochure’ syndrome
The prescription for success is as easy as 1-2-3.
It’s a common scenario that plays out in health care marketing departments across the country. The belief that a monumental problem can be solved by
introducing a single tactical element—a brochure, a billboard, a radio campaign—you name it. This sounds a lot like the patient who asks for a
prescription without being seen by the doctor.
Here are some steps to consider before taking this all-too-familiar order.
Develop a diagnosis
Before you begin rocking back and forth in the fetal position (again), do what doctors do—ask questions to help you reach a diagnosis and review the
Is growing the hangnail clinic part of the hospital’s strategic plan?
What is the hangnail clinic’s time-to-next appointment? If it’s a staggering six months out, your hospital should consider hiring additional staff to
support patient volumes. If it’s less than two weeks, you may be able to make a case for additional promotion.
Are patients satisfied? A brochure can’t fix a bad patient experience. In fact, it might even make it worse. Review the hangnail clinic’s patient
satisfaction scores to make sure they’re aligned with your hospital’s patient experience goals.
Recommend a treatment
After determining what you’re trying to achieve and how you want to achieve it, you can recommend a treatment.
Growing the hangnail clinic appears to be part of the hospital’s strategic plan. The time-to-next appointment is less than two weeks. Patient satisfaction
scores are blowing the roof off the hospital. Now what?
Determine measureable objectives and consider developing a marketing/communications plan for the hangnail clinic. This may include a brochure. It may not.
It’s up to you as the marketing professional to recommend the most effective strategies and tactics.
Schedule a follow-up appointment
So, what if things aren’t looking so good for the hangnail clinic? Would a doctor prescribe an anti-depressant to someone who isn’t depressed? Work with
your internal client to help understand how your marketing department makes decisions and promise to schedule a follow-up appointment in six months.
Stephanie Hungerford is health care account supervisor at Core Creative.
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