Delivering on Your Brand Promise: One OB/GYN's Marketing Journey
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Nationally, 20,000 OB/GYN providers help nearly 4 million expecting moms deliver their babies every year. Another 70 million patients visit their OB/GYN for annual visits and other medical needs. How do OB/GYN practices attract new patients and keep the ones they have? It starts with understanding your audience and practice marketing needs.
FEATURING GARDEN STATE OB/GYN
Garden State OB/GYN has a strong reputation and loyal patient base. The 16-provider practice is located in Voorhees, NJ and is under the umbrella of the Regional Women’s Health Group comprised of 170 providers among 30 practices. Their practice administrator, Lisa Smith, knows that practices can’t rely just on their legacy and strong reputation to market to new patients. With more than 30 years of healthcare experience, Smith knows how important the patient experience is and the value of living up to a brand promise.
And she shares that knowledge and passion with her team of providers and staff.
“Our POS statements are very easy to understand. I think they look more professional than our old statements and with the return envelopes we are seeing a faster turnaround on patient payments. We are taking fewer calls from patients with questions about their bill and I have more time to focus on accounts/receivable tasks at our practice.”
Knowing Garden State had a strong practice, Smith knew there were improvements and enhancements to add a more personalized feel. So where did she start? With the basics of her brand -- her logo and colors. She recognized they needed to tweak their brand and collateral for a softer, more feminine, classic feel.
Smith met with John Burkholder, a Regional Territory Manager with POS Professional Office Services. The two brainstormed some ideas and strategies to promote the practice and provide a more personalized special experience for patients. Ideas flowed and one by one the projects began.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
The first task was to create a new look and new practice brochure that speaks directly to patients. The brochure is elegant and simple and explains services for the OB and GYN patient. Patients clearly see the values of Quality, Compassion and Comfort. Women of all ages are addressed and value-added services like same day appointments and extended hours are highlighted.
Smith saw a unique patient packet POS had done for another practice and wanted something similar to help patients stay organized and informed. The new patient packet welcomes patients to the practice and includes an appointment reminder, business card, directions to the practice, privacy and financial policy, and patient registration forms. The packet has been well received by patients and has helped create efficiencies with the front desk staff.
“John (POS) brings me ideas, creative design and quality products to help our practice continue to be one of the premier OB/GYN practices in the area."
Smith encourages her team to put themselves in the patient’s shoes and ask ‘what would I want as a patient’? That simple question has resulted in some improved patient communications and ongoing enhancements to the practice to create a more homey feel.
When I walk in do I feel welcome and at ease? Smith makes sure every new patient receives a warm welcome to the practice, and information about the practice, providers, services and policies to ensure patients are informed and comfortable.
TREATMENT AND PATIENT EDUCATION
The personalized communication continues beyond the waiting room and into the exam room. Smith believes in the rule of 6 -- a person needs to hear or see something at least six times to retain it. For example, when promoting the new patient portal, patients may receive a brochure, see something on the practice website, social media, registration forms and so on. You can’t communicate enough.
Patients receive printed collateral to help educate them on procedures, screenings, prevention and more. Common topics include pregnancy, HPV vaccinations, birth control options, hormone therapies, weight loss, heavy menstrual bleeding, urinary incontinence, and menopause.
And that patient education goes beyond the typical topics. The practice recognized that many pregnant patients and those wanting to get pregnant needed to be educated about the Zika virus that was rampant abroad last year. Again, they contacted POS to help them create a brochure.
And expecting moms can go online and to the bookstore for dozens of books on pregnancy, but Garden State wanted to do something special for the patients. And they wanted the information to come from their practice. OB patients receive a customized pregnancy book to remember the special milestones and stay informed throughout their whole pregnancy. It covers nutrition, safe medications, postpartum, commonly asked questions and much more.
MAKING THE MOMENT SPECIAL
To make the moment of seeing your baby for the first time even more memorable, Garden State worked with POS to design an ultrasound framed card.
GROW WITH REFERRALS
Garden State wants to extend its marketing outreach and services in the community. Starting next year, they will be working with referring practices like fertility clinics, dentists, and pediatricians. Partnering practices will be receiving a Garden State OB/GYN referral folder that features provider bio cards, OB and GYN services and financial and insurance information.
According to Smith, you have to be willing to change, to always improve and deliver the best quality a patient wants.