A MedScape survey conducted last year asked more than 8,500 doctors across 25-plus specialties for their opinion of where they would want to be treated—or where they'd send a family member for treatment—for a complex or difficult condition. The resulting insights are helpful for understanding what physicians look for in health systems when referring their own patients.
At the top of the list was having medically-respected physician expertise (42%). Access to leading technology (10%), and low error rates (7%) also were important. Other anecdotal factors surveyed physicians relayed were "on the cutting edge of new treatments and technology," "good leadership; it improves quality of care at a specific hospital," and "best outcomes, usually due to a high number of cases seen in that hospital."
At this point you might be waving your hands frantically and saying, “We have all of those!” The question is, are you communicating your value to physicians? Most hospital marketers would say yes, so here’s a follow-up question: How are you getting your message across?
Email: Your Direct Conduit to Docs
Digital has staked its claim in marketing. Tactics like social media, website, and blog presences all fall under a digital approach. While each of these methods are effective in their own way, the most powerful digital means to capture physicians’ attention is email. It’s your direct conduit to individual docs, and its effectiveness is compounded by the fact that email is physicians’ preferred mode of engagement.
But, it’s not enough to concoct an email marketing campaign that says, “We’re the best. Pick us!” You need to design unique campaigns that will target the most influential referrers, both in-system and out-of-network.
The most powerful digital means to capture physicians’ attention is email.
Email Lists: What’s Under the Hood?
If email as an approach is the vehicle for communication, what goes into making it—the quality of the engine, safety equipment, durability—represents the caliber of your email list.
- No offshore scraping of addresses: prohibits sneaky “aftermarket” components.
- Ensures compliance to every inbox: gets you safely where you want to go.
- Provides assurance of contacting the right doc at her preferred email address: only clear titles!
- Over 99 percent deliverability: accident-free arrival at your destination.
- Updated every 24 hours: regular maintenance to keep the email engine running smoothly.
A list of such quality also contains physician-specific information, such as geographic location, area of specialty, case mix, procedure codes, and referral activity. This data preps you for successful connections with individual physicians and specialists, because you can speak to them in a manner exclusive to their current referral patterns or future referring potential.
Keep in mind, “buyer beware.” A fast-talking data salesman might promise all the bells and whistles, but until you really look under the hood and kick all the tires, you won’t know if you’re getting hornswoggled.
Court Your Own Docs
Remember the values most important to physicians when entrusting care? Those points of consideration are also inclusive of a doc’s “home” hospital. If a physician doesn’t believe in—or isn’t aware of—the technological capacity or leadership qualities of her own health system, viable in-network referrals might walk out the door and never look back.
For in-network communications, a system-wide “go team” newsletter won’t cut it. And, while most health systems keep an in-house staffing list, those databases often lack proper maintenance or are mere skeletons compared to what a third-party physician list provides.
So, why would you neglect the opportunities for physician-level segmentation, targeting, and meaningful messaging when they are literally right at your fingertips? When you invest in the best physician email list available, you open the door to physicians referring in and prevent those who refer out from letting patients wander.