Unlike years ago, today’s healthcare consumers are much more savvy and are playing an increasingly active role in the selection of their healthcare providers, including specialists. Hospitals need to be proactive in relationship building with their patients. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for hospitals to reach out directly to patients is through a free public seminar series. This will build your hospital’s reputation as the “go to” hospital for the specialties where you excel. You even have a built-in and motivated speaker’s bureau…your medical staff!
A Seminar Series Will:
- Bring more potential patients to your hospital
- Solidify relationships with existing patients
- Establish your hospital as the expert in presented specialties
- Provide on-going community benefits and goodwill
- Distinguish your hospital from the competition
- Create superior marketing exposure for a small investment
- Support growing/new specialties
At FirstTracks, we have been partnering with our local community hospital for several years to offer an annual seminar series. Because the hospital has a medically-based wellness center with a large staff, we rotate between a wellness seminar and a more general medical seminar each month. The seminars address the needs of both the community and the hospital.
6 Steps to Seminar Success:
- Create a seminar development committee.
- Determine topics, schedule and location. Tailor topics to seasons and your community.
- Coach your presenters: short and clear, 45 minutes for the presentation and 15 minutes for questions and answers.
- Get the word out (advertising, web, public relations, email, flyers, social media networks, etc.).
- Pre-test all presentation tools.
- Gather feedback.
Choosing Seminar Topics:
Select and balance appropriate seminar topics by focusing on your community and the services your hospital would like to promote. Is there a large elderly population? Is there an influx of young families? Is there a need for a particular diagnostic service and a new piece of equipment that requires support?
Seminar Topic Examples:
- Joint replacement
- Living with diabetes
- Nutritional health
- Women’s healthcare issues
- Living with Alzheimer’s disease
- Tobacco cessation
A focused marketing plan will help ensure participation. Plan ahead and know your potential audience. Make sure you include as many tactics as possible including brochures, hospital newsletter announcements, local press articles, website events calendar, social media, links to related websites, posters and signage. Spread the message far and wide throughout the hospital, physician’s offices and the surrounding communities.
A Success Story:
At a recent joint replacement seminar conducted by our local orthopedic group, the seminar attendees were clearly interested in the topic but had questions and were unsure of what to expect from such a procedure. After the clear and thoughtful presentation, virtually all of the undecided attendees decided to schedule initial meetings with the orthopedic department.
The Bottom Line:
If you implement an effective seminar series, you can establish your hospital as the authority in your areas of expertise. The series can provide you with valuable new patients and more business from existing patients. Best of all… it will make them feel good about your medical staff and hospital. If you are looking for help with ideas or just getting a program like this off the ground, the team at FirstTracks and help you out for sure! Fill out our simple work request form or give us a call at 603-924-1978 so we can discuss your project goals and objectives.