Your patient newsletters act as an important vehicle to communicate with your target audience. Whether sent to existing or prospective patients, these publications are effective for introducing new service lines, announcing hospital improvements, and providing information about common conditions and treatment options.
The key word here is "patient." If you're tempted to deploy these same newsletters to your physicians, put that strategy on pause.
The Problem With Sending Patient Newsletters to Medical Staff
Using the same publications for both patients and physicians is a lot like putting a square peg in a round hole. You'd never send a physician-tailored newsletter to your patient base, so why would the opposite be acceptable?
Physicians have needs unique to their profession. Learning about new referral opportunities within the health system or becoming educated on an emerging therapy are the types of details healthcare professionals are focused on—information pertinent to their specialties and that which helps them do their jobs better.
It’s essential to handle physician messages as separate from your patient publications
Plus, don't forget how busy doctors are. When you send emails to your physicians that were developed for patients, you condition them to ignore your messages (and probably annoy them in the process). They're more likely to delete your emails in the future without even reading them, effectively closing the door on this communication channel.
Tailoring Messages for Physicians’ Needs
The reality is that in today’s highly competitive landscape, physician communication has taken on more importance than ever before. This makes it essential to handle physician messages as separate from your patient publications. Your language and messages need to be carefully crafted to resonate with healthcare professionals and to help them do their job better.
Here are 5 strategies to improve your physician communications and strengthen your relationships in the process:
- Understand your audience. Different healthcare professionals have different priorities, depending on whether they are a primary care physician, nurse practitioner, or surgeon. It’s important to understand their level of expertise so you can determine how best to tailor your information for their needs.
- Help them do their job better. The most effective health care marketers recognize that physicians have multiple priorities competing for their limited attention. This makes it essential to provide clear information that will benefit them on a daily basis. Whether you talk about new treatment options, explain how a new policy will help improve efficiency, get them up to speed on clinical improvement efforts, or offer suggestions for increasing patient satisfaction scores, sharing these highlights in an easy-to-read digital format will save time for your busy physicians. It will also provide them with resources to do their job better.
- Sell your system. Introduce some of your key specialists, surgical techniques, and success rates within your network so that physicians will feel comfortable referring patients within your system.
- Commit to professional development. Spotlight continuing medical education (CME) offerings, trainings, and informational sessions that physicians and other medical professionals can use to stay up-to-date in the field.
- Create a two-way street. When you have an effective method to communicate key information to physicians, you should also provide a way for them to respond. This enables them to share feedback and to help shape your efforts moving forward.
The Benefits of Successful Physician Communication
Digital newsletters sent to a high-quality physician database should sell recipients on why they should refer their patients to your system
Remember that the most effective physician communication efforts take a personalized approach to developing content, as well as tailoring information for the specific needs and interests of recipients. Digital newsletters sent to a high-quality physician database should sell recipients on why they should refer their patients to your system. Establishing the benefits your health system offers up front can go a long way in attracting—and retaining—business.