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The Best Healthcare Marketing Starts with Improving Your Product Offering

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

doctor and woman use tabletYou and your staff know exactly why patients should choose your practice or hospital. You’ve probably got a great team and impressive expertise. And you truly care about the needs of your patients. But is this enough to keep patients coming back?

Lately, other healthcare organizations have been improving their products and services in ways that go above and beyond the standard set decades ago. We'd typically recommend targeted healthcare marketing to compete in the changing world of healthcare—but marketing means little if you don't have an attractive product offering.

In today's guide, we'll share with you how many practices and hospitals have overhauled their business models. But in many cases, even a few smaller changes can make a major difference in how patients perceive your brand.

Healthcare Is Changing Faster Than Ever

"Healthcare consumerism" is not a new term to this blog or to the large majority of our readers. Retail healthcare settings like CVS and Walmart are gaining popularity, especially as they continue to provide access to services desirable to consumers, including telehealth.

It might seem tough to compete in a world where big names cater to the healthcare consumer and where we're often seeing rollups of 100+ practices in a variety of specialties. But many health systems, hospitals, and independent practices have found ways to compete. It takes strategic marketing to reach the modern healthcare consumer. But more than that, it takes a fantastic product offering.

New Models of Care

Of course, the options available for new business models in healthcare vary significantly based on specialty. But as an overview, these are the new models of care gaining significant traction in healthcare today:

  • Concierge medicine
  • Direct primary care
  • Telehealth/telemedicine

These models and services are not limited by practice size either. We've seen two-doctor practices introduce successful telehealth models—and we've seen hospitals and large health systems introduce direct primary care as an alternative to traditional options.

In fact, the direct primary care model—which offers a more affordable alternative to concierge medicine with an emphasis on individualized attention—has seen a sharp increase in interest. A decade ago there were only 21 DPC practices in the country. Today, there are over 1,000.

Again, these models may not be available to every type of practice or every situation, but there are many instances where just a few small changes to how you deliver care can make all the difference.

Small Changes that Mean a Lot

If it's been years since you've restructured the way you run your practice or hospital, it's worth examining your systems and services and considering a change. Small changes to the way you deliver care mean a lot to your patients. Just look at this practice that reduced wait times to under 2 minutes.

Thanks to evolving retail models of healthcare, patients have shifting views on what constitutes a good healthcare experience—like low wait times, easy scheduling, and greater access to doctors. So what can you do to create a healthcare "product" patients will love?

  • Look into new technologies, systems, and processes to speed along wait times.
  • Update your website with easy-to-use navigation and online scheduling.
  • Offer ongoing training for your front desk staff.
  • Add telehealth, even in a small way. If you're unable to offer this as a primary service, consider something like Spruce to allow patients to text or follow up with doctors directly if they have any urgent issues or questions.
  • Collect patient feedback via a review management system. Be open to changes when patients note their frustrations with your office or hospital.

Great Healthcare Marketing Relies on a Fantastic Product

As a healthcare marketing agency, we see firsthand that marketing is key to setting your organization apart from the competition. But that means little if patients don't find what they're looking for from your practice or hospital.

If you're not staying ahead of the competition, you're falling behind. It's important to invest in traditional media to build brand recognition and digital advertising to make the phones ring.

It's just as important to have a product that sets your business apart.

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