Today health systems are using email marketing to connect with physicians in any number of ways. Strategic campaigns can be developed to support service line growth, engage potential referrers, and build physician loyalty. Email is also an effective tool for communicating with in-system medical staff.
Because email is flexible, fast, and highly targeted, the possibilities for physician outreach are endless. Here are 8 lesser-known situations for which email is ideal.
- Communicating emergency protocols. In a medical emergency, you need to ensure that your staff receives accurate information as soon as it becomes available. For instance, during the Ebola crisis, hospitals had to prepare all staff members – even those who wouldn’t normally expect to treat an acute illness—to recognize potential cases and implement quarantine protocols.
- Switching to new drugs or devices. When new and improved medical products become available, you want your entire staff to begin using them ASAP. But old habits die hard. Some nurses and doctors may need multiple reminders to, for example, get rid of any remaining powdered latex gloves and use nitrile instead.
- Maintaining a consistent patient experience. Large, geographically dispersed health systems may struggle to create a consistent, high-quality patient experience. Yet this is essential to establishing a strong brand. Frequent email communication with physicians, nurses, NP/PAs, and allied health professionals reinforces shared values and patient protocols.
- Facilitating relationships with urgent care centers. Consumers love the convenience of urgent care centers. As a result, many health systems are establishing reciprocal referral relationships. Email provides an efficient channel for ongoing communication on everything from what services are available in different locations to the actual process for making referrals.
- Supporting physician liaisons. Using information in your email database, you can identify who physician liaisons need to speak with, for example, primary care physicians who consistently refer cases to surgeons outside your network. You can then use email to set the stage for a liaison visit or to follow-up after.
- Educating new partners on your services. As health systems continue to buy up small practices, fully integrating new physicians is essential. Many of these entrepreneurial doctors are uncomfortable navigating large health systems. Email allows you to familiarize them with your services, brand, and history. It’s also an efficient way to communicate administrative or procedural changes.
- Sharing good news with potential referrers. Whether your hospital was named a US News & World Report “Best Hospital” or you recently acquired a da Vinci® Surgical System, it’s important to share this news with your most promising referrers. When you communicate via email, you can segment your audience precisely and consistently deliver news that is meaningful to individual doctors.
- Soliciting feedback. Email marketing allows you to slice and dice your physician database so you can provide relevant content in a timely manner. A/B testing then lets you evaluate the success of your campaigns. But email also offers an efficient way to collect direct feedback from physicians. Asking for input–whether on the content of your messages, in-person interactions, or any aspect of your hospital operations—demonstrates your commitment to building stronger hospital-physician relationships.
Our list of physician email marketing opportunities is always growing, and we’ll be back with more ideas soon.