Use the US News and World Report to Turn Your Physicians into Your Biggest Advocates
By: Christopher Lee, President HealthLink Dimensions
It’s that time of year again. Not the obvious – holiday parties, New Year’s resolutions, and football playoffs.
We mean the US News and World Report “[Best Hospitals]” and “[Best Children’s Hospitals]” rankings.
In early 2020, physicians from around the country will send their feedback and commentary to US News and World Report. That input will impact where patients choose to go for treatment, as well as where top talent will want to work. Surprisingly few hospitals work to manage this process. That’s a mistake.
Exceptional service and quality of care are no longer sufficient to drive success. For example, here in Atlanta, where my company is based, one hospital dominates the market for labor and delivery. Many other hospitals provide similar care with personalized attention and superior sub-specialty services that the system with the big reputation cannot match. And yet, these offerings get lost in the noise when it comes to the “Best” listings.
Here’s a little-known secret that you can use to improve your organization’s rankings. Even better, you already have some, even most, of the tools to make it work. Managed correctly, marketing directly to physicians can turn them into powerful advocates on your behalf.
That’s right – the doctors in your geographical area can, and should, be your best advocates. Every physician who can direct patients to your facilities should know what you have to offer. Your on-staff and in-network doctors, in particular, need to understand that high rankings are important to everyone’s bottom line. It’s an obvious win-win.
What doctors need is a little nudge from you to make it happen. In return, you raise your rankings and lay the foundation for ongoing communications with top healthcare professionals across the rest of the year.
Conceptually, it’s a simple three-step process. Start with accurate and timely provider data. Doctors change practices, contact information and locations far more often than you think, and inaccurate or out-of-date information will always work against you.
Next, plan on email – but don’t stop there. Based on a recent survey we conducted, healthcare marketers plan to spend more on email in 2020 than they did in 2019 – even though they also consider email to be less and less effective over time. If you’re going to reach area physicians when they’re most likely to say good things about you, you need a more strategic approach that supplements email with:
- Direct mail
- Outbound call center
Finally, manage responses actively across these media. Note what works and what doesn’t, by geography, age, gender, and specialty. This information gives you the ability to refine your messaging and build conversations with area physicians over time.
Now you know how, where, and when to deliver the right message to your physician base. Armed with these insights, you can use these same strategies and tactics to speak directly to healthcare provider talent throughout the coming year.
Want to know more?
We want to make sure your organization receives the exposure – and the increased revenue – it deserves when patients and caregivers make their healthcare and employment decisions in 2020. That’s why we’ve created a physician marketing services package and a best practices guide. To learn more about our services package, click here. To download our best practices guide, please complete the form to the right.
Christopher Lee (Chris) is the President at HealthLink Dimensions, a position he rose to due to his wealth of knowledge of the healthcare industry, business strategy, expertise in marketing, and accomplishments as an executive leader. Chris is an expert at disrupting markets and processes with innovative products and technologies. His contributions to company growth and delivering accountable results make him an invaluable member of the HealthLink executive team.