Content management system (CMS) websites offer your physicians the ideal solution for a branded website with the added ability to manage the site’s content.
What is a CMS? A content management system uses software and a database to manage and organize website content. Sites may be developed from scratch or built from a variety of available templates and then customized. The greatest benefit is the software’s user-friendly interface, which allows content to be easily added and edited without learning HTML or other coding languages.
Why should you use a CMS?
- No technical expertise is required. Individuals with average knowledge of word processing can add content, videos, photos, pages and links directly into the professionally designed CMS template.
- It is ideal for a collaborative environment. Users may simultaneously add or edit content simply by logging in to the “backend” of the website, where the content is stored. A CMS is optimal for a hospital or large practice where multiple people will be assisting in the upload of content.
- Better ranking on SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the process of improving your site’s visibility on the web by optimizing it for search engines. Most CMS have plugins or features to assist with SEO. Updating your site frequently with relevant content will also make it more visible to search engines.
- You can make changes immediately. You can effortlessly update your site with no delay. The moment you publish content to your CMS, it appears on your live website. Keep the community up-to-date on your practice’s awards, press releases, classes, announcements and media content.
- It will save lots of money. A well-designed CMS practice website template can help hospital marketers maintain branding by making it easy to share the template design with affiliated practices, creating a cohesive look. This lowers costs, as modifications can be made without the need of outside vendors or web experts.
- Security. The site administrator can manage what content is editable by other users or approved “authors.” This provides your content more protection from many standard website attacks.
- Social media integration. Your website can be easily linked to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook, which allows practices to reach a broader audience of patients.
When you use an agency to set up and design your CMS template, you benefit by producing and establishing a branded look for your web presence, which can then be applied to affiliated practices. You will save time and money with the ability to easily add and edit your own content.
Examples of sites created using a CMS:
- Ovarian Cancer National Alliance – This organized and content-rich site was built using WordPress as a CMS. Check out this article on using WordPress to build your hospital website.
- Let’s Get Healthy For You! – This fun and clean design was also done using WordPress as a CMS.
- Baron Therapy – This creative and informative therapy services site was built using Joomla! as a CMS.
- Spine Health – Another content-heavy site, this one was built using Drupal as a CMS.
When marketing your community hospital’s services to gain referrals, focusing your efforts and educating the entire patient care team, not just physicians, can strengthen your effectiveness and boost referrals.
We spend much of our time marketing to consumers, but we all understand the importance of creating strong, lasting relationships with referring physicians. Depending on the level of referral, the physician may be the ultimate decision maker, but often times the decision isn’t made by the doctor alone.
Nurses and other members of the patient care team could have a lot of influence on suggesting options to a patient or family. They often have more patient interaction, which increases the importance of educating all care team members on your hospital’s services.
HealthLeaders’ marketing editor, Marianne Aiello, recently highlighted a campaign developed by Kindred Healthcare that targeted the entire patient care team. Kindred believes that physicians aren’t the only ones who influence where a patient goes for care, and discussed how they created a successful campaign.
Here are 3 Tips When Marketing to the Entire Patient Care Team:
- Reach out to all patient influencers. Anyone who interacts with a patient or their family members is worth reaching out to and educating about the services your organization offers.
- Communicate quality and data. When developing messaging to reach a certain group within the patient care team, it’s important to understand each audience and what is motivating their referral decisions. Data and quality outcomes are very important and influence all members of the patient care team in different ways, so communicating this data to key groups is critical.
- Get in front of the referrers. Chose the right marketing mediums to get your message in front of referrers. Kindred used a mix of consumer marketing channels and traditional referral methods. This included placing billboards around referring hospitals, running radio spots on NPR and placing ads in trade publications.
Educating the entire patient care team on your organization’s services will not only help boost your referrals, but will lead to a better patient experience. Keep this in mind and think beyond the physician alone when marketing your hospital’s referral services.
Read Marianne Aiello’s complete HealthLeaders Media article, Marketing Beyond Physicians.
To build patient volume, you need a successful physician sales strategy that builds relationships and boosts referrals.
In today’s competitive healthcare market, maintaining and increasing physician referrals is the lifeblood of your community hospital. Many hospitals focus on building relationships with their physicians through liaison activities, but could your hospital benefit from taking a stronger sales approach with your physicians?
I know what you are thinking: sales — really? The term sales isn’t our favorite word, but that is exactly what we are doing to consumers with every ad we place, TV spot we run and web page we build. Hospitals provide services instead of products, but they must sell their services to prosper like any other business.
In a recent article, Michael Krivicich, Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, shared these 10 Tips to Boost Physician Referrals:
- Use a common sales strategy across the board. Leaving people to their own methods can result in incorrect messaging and using poorly designed materials, which could have some significant legal repercussions for your organization. Your activities are about relationship selling and acting as the liaison for the physician to your organization. If you don’t have a method and training, chances are you will not be as effective as your competition.
- Use a database system to collect information and track your physician interactions.
- Create an interdisciplinary marketing and sales advisory committee to build better relationships and improve communications.
- Train your marketing department in the sale approach that your sales people are using.
- Let your marketing team go on sales calls and include them in major presentations to provide new insights and perspectives.
- No more than 10 slides per presentation. Cut out the fluff and focus exactly on what you need for physicians to take away from your presentation.
- Have your marketing department review materials the sales departments have created.
- Combine marketing and sales meetings.
- Establish joint marketing and sales goals.
- Constantly evaluate and revise.
Hospitals depend on physician referrals to thrive and grow, and this is increasingly important in today’s environment. The physician is your customer, and selling them on your hospital’s services is key. Think about these rules of thumb to help increase your referrals.
Read Michael Krivicich’s entire article, Selling to Physicians Through Integrated Marketing and Sales.