Healthcare marketers don’t need a newsletter article to know that we work in an industry that is constantly changing. Part of that has been the evolving nature of healthcare – innovative surgical procedures to explain, better machines to tout, modernization of buildings and rooms to promote. Part of that has been shifting patient demographics and changes in how consumers shop for healthcare. Part of that has been the explosion of new channels to deliver messages – not just a website, but online marketing to make sure health seekers find that site, plus a host of social media outlets to master.
And regulatory changes are the most recent influence on how healthcare will be marketed and delivered.
With each shift in direction, it is tempting – but highly stressful and unproductive – to start afresh in your marketing approach. At Geonetric, we believe a better approach is to build on your success – in fact, that was the theme of our annual client eHealth Symposium. So how do we help our clients do that?
- Start by celebrating your successes. It’s easy to get so focused on what you still want or need to accomplish that you overlook all that you have done. Make sure to take the time to give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments. At our client Symposium, we started with a short, energetic video that highlighted the successes of the past year – those of our company as well as those of our clients.
- Find time to look for what’s on the horizon. Do you have time built into your busy schedule to look forward and understand what’s coming? If not, you run the risk of putting yourself and your team in a very reactive mode. We started our very packed Symposium agenda with our CEO and eHealth Evangelist putting HITECH, ARRA, ACO, PCMH, and meaningful use into meaningful context.
- Learn from others who are doing it right. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time. Sometimes it’s OK to watch what others are doing and adapt it to your specific situation, audience or market. It’s always a Symposium highlight for our client community to network and share success stories with each other.
- Make a plan and write it down. It’s true what they say about goals – if you don’t write them down and have a plan, they’re just wishes. At our Symposium, we shared our product roadmap with clients so they know what exciting new features and functionality will be added to VitalSite – and their sites – each quarter in 2011. While the buzz is all around how we’re adapting to reform and improving our Patient Portal, we aren’t forgetting the need to continue our focus on patients and user experience.
- Partner with a like-minded vendor. You can’t do it all. Especially when it comes to the technology components. Make sure you’re working with someone that will help your hospital be ready for Stage 1 of the meaningful use criteria without losing sight of the evolving requirements for subsequent stages. Our clients are excited about our Patient Portal and the ways we help them meet their goals.
Your jobs as healthcare marketers will always continue to evolve – and you have the opportunity to grow as well, as long as you manage through the change. The key is to remember to build on the successes you’ve already made and look at the coming changes as opportunities. Marketers always want the opportunity to be more strategic – all this change is giving you the chance!