Tea Buzz



Improve the way you communicate

Posted February 2, 2015

I recently visited my neighborhood Walgreens to pick up my prescription for the “cold” I was suffering from. As I walked through the doors I got a phone call. I didn’t recognize the number, and instead of ignoring the call I answered it only to hear an automated voice excitedly stating, “Your prescription is ready at Walgreens!” Wow, what timing! Coincidence or strategic engagement? I was so blown away, I asked the pharmacist…he confirmed, it was just coincidence. But it got me thinking…what if?

What if healthcare organizations and hospitals could communicate in a way that was relevant to our needs, health risks, and lifestyles on a One to One basis? Think about it for a moment and the positive impact it would have on individual behaviors, habits, even create powerful interactions.

A lot of us shop online, bank online, pay bills online, book travel online, have smart phones, social media access, etc. And there are those of us that don’t. Of the 7 billion people in the world, 4.8 billion own a mobile device, and only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the last 2 years. Don’t just take my word for it…Google it.

How is this enormous amount of data generation possible? Because our activities, our lifestyles, purchase habits, our experiences are being tracked through mediums such as: Credit Card purchases, Tweets, blog posts, web searches, Facebook likes and dislikes, even how often we play, pause, or fast forward our favorite shows on Netflix. And all of this data has defined our own unique individual digital footprint.

But let’s go a step further. What about healthcare? What if we could apply real health risk prediction and demographic models to the digital footprint of online users to create individualized communication? Could we better educate the public and our patients? Would they listen?

The answer is yes.

The data accessibility and ability is here, and only a few healthcare organizations are utilizing the tools to effectively educate, acquire and help patients. Just a few examples: Scheduling online appointments, SMS text appointment reminders, relevant health risk and annual health assessment emails, custom audience Facebook messaging, individualized communication and education. These few healthcare organizations are ahead of the curve and the positive impact is astounding. Strategically acquiring new patients, more effective communication, and better outcomes. But it’s not enough.

Digital transformation is happening all around us. We see it every day, and everywhere we go. Even in healthcare, with EMRs and (finally) the access to medical records online through patient portals. What good does a patient portal do if no one knows it’s available?

How does healthcare marketing digitally transform? Simply put: By taking advantage of the available technology and relevantly communicating when, how, and where the audience desires.   

While digitizing patient surveys should be a priority, surveys alone shouldn’t be the top priority. And forget about traditional CRM, that’s not seeing the forest for the trees. Organizations, if they want to be competitive, not just in healthcare, in competing for the attention of consumers and patients, have to look big picture.  Begin by using data, mapping, analytics, health specific segmentation predictive models, direct to communication platforms, relevant calls to action for strategic growth.(These all in one tools are available). Old school revenue growth thinking=because of our location/brand/reputation patients will automatically walk through our doors OR by only acquiring new physician clinics/facilities equals new revenue.

The right new patients + the right current patients using additional service lines + managing and keeping physician referrals inside the system + new physicians = Next Level New Age Strategic Revenue Growth

If healthcare organizations don’t begin to digitally improve how they communicate and interact with us, their traditional marketing methods will remain noisy and ineffective…and we the consumer will tune it out or simply press ignore.