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6 Ways to Drive Patient Volume, Revenue

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, October 12, 2011

And while you're at it, spend wisely. Many health systems and hospitals make the mistake of promoting their "star" facilities or programs.

"It's a waste of money to promote something that is doing well," Luginbill said. "You can't begin to show ROI if something is already at capacity.

The better strategy is to focus on the programs that may need more help. These are likely to show bigger gains, too, if your campaign and tracking methods are effective.

2. Coordinate efforts vertically.

If you function like an air traffic controller with multiple campaigns to manage across your hospital, coordinating campaigns vertically will prevent any marketing messes. Think with the future in mind, in terms of what is coming down the pipeline. Timing is everything.

It is up to the communications department to be the hub of the hospital and know what emerging departments need promotion. Try keeping a calendar of campaigns that correspond to events happening at your organization. Having a calendar or a future plan will allow a communications team to be proactive instead of reactive in planning campaigns.

3. Target pre-episodic patients.

Does your hospital or health system have billboards centered on heart attacks? Chances are most (50%) people who have a heart attack didn't know they were going to have one – thus, your billboard didn't capture their attention. A better marketing approach is one that relates to the viewer's current condition or determines if they are at risk.

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