September 7th, 2010
Many of us, myself included, are often too busy to remember to make appointments with our healthcare providers on a regular basis. I do love getting those reminder postcards in the mail, though, since that is often my cue to call! But with all of technology – smart phones, cell phones, etc. – I wonder how many physician and dental offices use these mediums to communicate with patients?
One of my coworkers goes to a local dentist who regularly sends text messages to patients, including appointment reminders, satisfaction surveys, and Happy Birthday messages. The office recently sent her a Happy Birthday message for her husband, too, which served as a convenient reminder to her that she needed to make appointments for her family. Of course, the dental office phone number was right in the message, making it easy to find.
Your patients may or may not appreciate the friendly reminders, but it would certainly be worth finding out. It could be an easy way to differentiate yourself from competing offices.
August 24th, 2010
For the past year or so, it has been difficult to not hear all of the discussions around Healthcare and Healthcare Reform. It is not always easy to understand, and patients just want to know what it means for them.
I’m no different. I am one of those patients who trusts my doctors, and rarely questions them as long as I get an answer. But I also like to be aware of my options and what is available, and given the changes occurring in our health system, I believe there are many others who just want to understand their options, too.
What types of options do you offer to complement your patients’ traditional course of care? Offering treatments and services complementary to the traditional methods gives your patients input in their care, making your relationship more meaningful and positive.
If you offer complementary services, take a look at the recently published 4imprint newsletter outlining how you can communicate these care options to your patients.
June 30th, 2010
I spend a lot of time in the doctor’s office, since I will soon be adding to my family (baby # 2!). At a recent appointment, I was thinking about how pleased I am with our physicians. I had options when I chose our family doctors, and I made the right decisions for my family. Just as I do research when purchasing a TV, refrigerator, or vehicle, I was able to do research before deciding which doctor to see.
If I am doing research, so are other patients. So where are we getting this information?
Since almost 75% of the United States population uses the internet, it seems reasonable that this is a key source of information. There are a number of government websites, such as AHRQ website, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Medline Plus, that provide insight for patients on what questions to ask and how to check the quality of a doctor. Patients can also check the websites or social media sites of a particular organization to understand what they offer.
In my case, I also talked to family, friends, and coworkers for their input on particular physicians. Real-life examples and experiences can have a huge impact on the decisions we make when it comes to healthcare. Some of this may even be communicated through Facebook, Twitter, and even traditional email, where word travels quickly.
Do you know what patients are saying? For ways you can appeal to potential patients check out 4imprint’s Healthcare newsletter.
October 28th, 2009
We’ve all attended open houses for schools, neighborhood gatherings, and family events, but have you ever thought of holding an open house at your healthcare facility to network or offer new specialties to patients?
- Set up a meet & greet for staff to get to know new and existing patients. Staff will have the opportunity to meet with patients on a personal level to get to know them better, understand their concerns, and learn about their families. When greeted by name at the next appointment, both staff and patients will feel appreciated.
- Introduce the opening of a new location to the community. Invite local media to the open house, as well as new and potential patients. It’s a great opportunity to talk about the benefits of the new location, and make patients aware of your presence.
- Recruit new staff. Invite prospective job candidates in to meet your staff currently in you organization. They can get to know what positions and opportunities are available, and understand more about your business and plan.
Open houses provide many public relations opportunities for your healthcare facility, and provide an ideal occasion for you, your staff, and patients to network in a more casual setting.
For more information on planning an open house, take a look at 4imprint’s Healthcare Newsletter.
July 22nd, 2009
One of the fastest growing trends in medicine is not a specific treatment, but an approach to care. The existence of medical spas is on the rise, and offer patients relaxation during procedures which can be nerve-racking. Dermatologic and cosmetic treatments are the most common types performed at medical spas, but there are many other specialties that are beginning to use the medical spa strategy. Patients dealing with dialysis, cancer, and even fertility issues can find comfort and care in a spa setting. There are even spas popping up in hospitals, in an effort to provide overall health and wellness to patients.
For some ideas on making your practice more spa-like, check out 4imprint’s latest Healthcare newsletter.
July 13th, 2009
There was a great article published on hospitalreviewmagazine.com, describing ways that hospitals can increase profitability, especially in times of significant competition and poor economic conditions.
Some fairly straightforward ideas include reducing costs (vendor management, brainstorming cost savings ideas with physicians) and maximizing efficiency (space, rooms, OR’s). Other ideas include partnering with local physicians, recruiting new staff, and offering unique and profitable services.
The article offers up some practical ideas that make it worth reading.
Hospital Review Magazine – Best Practices for Increasing Hospital Profitability