Lauren Yanow is a staff writer at Ragan Communications.
A QR code does just what it promises—it initiates a quick response.
Used by companies from all fields, these codes are providing hospitals a new way to reach out to health care consumers.
There are dozens of ways to incorporate QR codes into a marketing plan. Generated with sites such as this one, QR codes are virtually free and easily made. They can be posted on everything from print advertisements to brochures. Some hospitals are also placing them on pedestrian billboards in high commuter areas.
Here are some of the ways to start integrating QR codes into your marketing strategy.
Link to your hospital's website
This is the simplest approach, yet it is still effective. A code can be generated to send the consumer straight to the hospital's website. Middle Tennessee Medical Center used this method when trying to increase awareness for the opening of a new facility. Print advertisements were created for the awareness campaign featuring a QR code, leading to a mobile site with information about its new facility.
Promote your YouTube channel
We recently reported that hospitals are developing YouTube channels. A great way to share these videos is to make a QR code that will send the consumer directly to your hospital's YouTube channel.
Share your hospital's app
If your hospital has an app, this is a great way to encourage health care consumers to download it. St. Luke's Hospital in Iowa has a QR code featured on its website. When scanned, it leads to the hospital's app. The app has features directions to the facility and the option to research illnesses.
Create something unique
HCA's TriStar Health System in Nashville recently launched a program to share estimated ER wait times on its website. It used a QR code to direct consumers to a mobile-friendly page that lists average wait times. If the consumer chooses to bookmark the page, they can access the wait times at their convenience.
How is your hospital using QR codes?