Using Web Technology for Patient Referrals

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project Study, 72 percent of Internet users have gone online in the past year specifically for health-related information. With the potential of that number going up, it’s important for healthcare providers to be using the Internet, particularly their website for leads and referrals.

Using the web to get patient referralsThe first step to recruiting new patients online is to define your goals and marketing budget in advance. Are you looking to build brand awareness or want to showcase a new procedure in your facility? These goals should help determine how to get qualified leads to your website and as a result, more patients into your healthcare facility.

Here are some ways to use the web to turn new patients into long-term, loyal patients:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – According to Google, 77 percent of patients used a search engine before booking a health-related appointment. SEO are strategies, techniques and tactics to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in search engine’s like Google, Bing or Yahoo. There are many factors that go into properly optimizing a website, but in general, if your website isn’t search engine friendly, there is a good chance patients won’t find you.

Healthcare Databases – More and more niche health-oriented social websites are popping up allowing people to recommend healthcare professionals and book appointments. ZocDoc and Vitals are good examples. Make sure your facility has a profile page on each of these platforms with detailed, accurate information to ensure patients searching for services you offer can find you with ease.

Social Media and Content Marketing – Social media and creating great content can be extremely beneficial in spreading news and information about your services and facility. This type of marketing can also lead to recommendations from friends and family quickly as they are the most trusted sources for referrals. Social media is also a faster marketing channel than direct mail and telemarketing. A word of caution, marketers need to be mindful of HIPAA and privacy laws when posting health information on social media sites.

There is a lot of competition out there and getting in front of your target audience can take time. For more information on marketing startegies to help you grow your online traffic, contact Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit www.waxcom.com

Posted in Interactive | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mastering During Difficult Situations with Patients

Working in the healthcare community isn’t always easy. Many times healthcare professionals have to communicate difficult news to patients and their loved ones.

dealing with difficult situations in healthcareAs demands on healthcare providers increase, compassion becomes more difficult to sustain. But new training promises to help healthcare providers meet those challenges. Drexel University College of Medicine is developing an online medical education program called WebPatientEncounter.com to help healthcare professionals learn practices and assess complex clinical skillsfor example bad news delivery, smoking cessation counseling, or organ donation counseling, using simulated interactions with patients and their families.

Besides assisting physicians and other healthcare professionals with structured feedback on performance as well as video examples of best practices, the program is also designed to help hospitals boost patient satisfaction scores, which impacts Medicare reimbursement.

Using simulators in medical training isn’t new. In fact, many IT companies are taking similar approaches in developing tools to improve patient and physician communication.

For more information on how new technology is improving healthcare as well as proven case studies, contact Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.

Posted in Interactive | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What Makes A Healthcare Website Shine?

Hospital or healthcare websites aren’t always the easiest for customers to work with. Just look at the issues with Healthcare.gov. Many times, people simply don’t understand the language in them.

website shiningHere are a few common problems with hospital or healthcare websites and ways to fix them:

Problem: Confusion

Many hospital and healthcare websites don’t give clear direction to patient-specific content.

Solution: Get to the point.

Web users are inpatient, and inclined to click away if they don’t see what they are looking for right away. Web copy should be simpler and shorter than print copy, as well as more direct, specific, and conversational – all at the same time.

Problem: Downloadable medical forms

Many hospital and healthcare websites put medical forms online so that people can print and fill them out ahead of time, which in theory should make the experience quicker when they arrive at the facility, but that’s not always the case. Medical forms are usually very hard to understand.

Solution: Create easy to understand medical forms

Create medical forms people can understand. Include the essential information you need and omit some of the more complicated questions. Also, include a live chat or FAQ page nearby in case a customer does have questions.

Problem: Too much content

If you publish too much content, your site begins to be cluttered and you begin to ask more time of your users to invest in sifting through it all to find the right answer.

Solution: Design user-friendly pages

Design readable Web pages with sharp, crisp print, and not too much of it, so it is easy to scan. If there are pictures or illustrations make sure they support and enhance the content.

It’s important to keep your website up-to-date, so that your customers can rely on it for current information and important news. Make sure to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers’ needs, so you can continue to serve them well.

For more information and to get a consultation on how to make your hospital or healthcare website more user-friendly, contact Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.

 

Posted in Interactive, SEO | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of LinkedIn Showcase Pages

LinkedIn, the powerful business social media network unveiled their latest feature Showcase Pages last week. This new feature allows companies to highlight different aspects of their business. One of the biggest advantages of this feature is that it lets companies share content to a more focused and interested audience.

For a hospital or a healthcare facility, Showcase Pages have a lot of potential. For example, a facility can create a page for each specialty it offers. For instance, a cancer research program can have a page and so can the pediatrics department. This allows users to follow departments they’re interested in. If you have one or more products, services or brands that need to be marketed and presented separate from your overall company, Showcase Pages can be an important part of that strategy.

Company page administrators can now create a showcase page by clicking on the “edit” button in their manage window and selecting “Create a Showcase Page.” Once created, you can begin sharing content from your page. You will also be able to monitor the performance of each Showcase Page through LinkedIn’s analytic tools.

LinkedIn is really making social networking more personal. For a company it may mean more work but it’s also more targeted, which can help generate more leads for your medical business.

For assistance in creating specific showcase pages for your healthcare facility, contact Wax Custom Communications today 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Government Using Social Media to Track Health Behaviors

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest biomedical library is now collecting information from social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook with the hope of using that data to study changes in health behavior.

What makes the NLM effective and valuable is its ability to evaluate and adjust how its databases and other resources are used. Social media will now become another component that will help with that.

By examining tweets and comments, NLM will be able to gain insights that can be used as teaching tools and change-agents for health-relevant behavior. They will also be able to compare data between social media sites and other health-related websites such as WedMD and the MayoClinic.

A big data revolution is under way in healthcare and whether you like it or not, social media can have more impact than you think. Social media is becoming an important piece of the big data puzzle and will likely help change the healthcare landscape.

For more information and to learn about other successful cases studies on healthcare social media partnerships, contact Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment