Though experts in their field, hospitals and health care professionals are facing new challenges brought on by the shifting industry landscape. Economic and governmental changes have increased the level of difficulty in health care marketing, and facilities are working harder to bring in new patients than ever before.
Jeff Goldsmith, founder, Healthfutures.net said it best, “For many hospitals, Internet strategy has meant: creating a hospital Web page, renting and repackaging content from a small number of depressingly shallow, commercial databases, publishing the hospital’s brochures, facility pictures and medical staff directories on it, and, for the venturesome, bringing pictures of newborn children to the e-mail inboxes of new families.”
These tactics aren’t particularly bad (and many organizations are using this strategy) but “the highest and best use of the Internet is not to ‘market’ the hospital, but to make the use of the hospital easier and more transparent to consumers,” Goldsmith says.
In a recent study posted on Becker’s Hospital Review, even the highest rated health care facilities and hospitals are lacking these top 5 elements for patient ease-of-use:
- A Mobile Patient Website
- Online rehabilitation and aftercare information
- Pre-registration to reduce patient wait time
- Online bill pay
- Post-prescription refill request
These convenience factors make it easier for customers to do business with the hospital, and because people always take the path of less resistance, it’s imperative for hospitals and health care facilities to offer patient accessibility through their websites.
Additionally, generic content does little to position your hospital as a resource or transparent facility. Instead of sharing canned content, make the information you share relevant to your patients and potential patients – offer a packaged programs with quality content that’s unique to your organization’s brand. And share your expertise by leveraging your doctors, nurses, nutritionalist and therapists. This type of content marketing targets audiences with messages that have value outside of a purchasing need. It offers an effective way to connect with your audience, and gives value to your content.
If you’re a healthcare marketing professional, you may also enjoy this free resource: