The health care field has been flagging for several years now. What can a healthcare facility do to turn things around? The solution, according to guest blogger, Tyson Downs of Titan Web Agency, is digital marketing.Across the nation, hospitals and healthcare facilities have been feeling the impact of lower profits. This loss in revenue has forced many facilities to reduce their staff. There have been layoffs and even the removal of essential services.
When the healthcare industry is hurting, the public has the potential to face a reduction in the quality of services they receive. Luckily, there are ways to reverse this downward revenue trend. But first, we’ll need to look at the reasons for this decline.What are the primary reasons for this decline in profits in the healthcare industry? As with any industry, there are a lot of factors at play. Though, you can narrow them down to the following three issues:
- Increased competition
- Decline in health care spending
- Increased focus on value-based care
An Issue of Supply and DemandThere has been a dramatic decline in health care spending. During the first quarter of 2014, healthcare spending dropped by 1.4%. This was much lower than the estimates of a 9.9% increase expected by government statisticians.
The decline in health care spending has been linked to a sharp drop in inpatient treatment. Fewer patients are staying at hospitals for extended periods. They are getting treated for their condition and then immediately leaving the hospital.Part of the reason for this reduction in inpatient treatment is due to the increased focus on value-based care. Hospitals and healthcare professionals are doing a better job at treating their patients. They are offering a higher level of care. This cuts down on the duration of the patient’s hospital stay. With fewer inpatient treatments and a drop in health care spending, there is an issue with supply and demand. The medical community is supplying superior service, which results in less of a demand for these services.
Increased Healthcare Exchange Competition
The current state of the healthcare industry can also be tied to an increased level of competition. The health care exchange has provided the general public with more options for receiving coverage. This allows a larger number of insurance providers, hospitals, and private practice physicians to compete.When a patient chooses an insurance plan, they are also choosing the hospital that they will visit. They are selecting the physicians that they will see. And, they are deciding which pharmacies they will get their prescriptions from. Once their decision is made and the paperwork is filled out, they are someone’s customer for at least the next 12 months. Everyone is competing for these patients and because of this, many health care facilities get left behind.
What Can a Healthcare Facility Do to Turn Things Around?While the issue of supply and demand is beneficial for patients, it has led to a decline in revenue. A further complication comes from the increased competition between healthcare facilities. What can a medical practice do to reverse this trend? Of course, the solution is digital marketing. Through the use of search engine optimization, social media activity, and various forms of digital marketing, a health care facility will find it easier to compete in today’s health care market. Here are three of the biggest benefits that a hospital or healthcare facility can expect from quality digital marketing:
- Deal with the added competition
- Reach a larger portion of the public
- Build trust and loyalty within the community
Deal with the Added Competition
With digital marketing, a business can handle their competition. It is hard to compete when a business does not appear on the first page of search results.As part of any SEO strategy, the goal is to increase search engine rankings. By looking at the most important SEO metrics, a digital marketing expert can begin improving the rankings of any business. When a patient wants to find local healthcare services, they will turn to the internet for answers. If a physician wants to attract more patients and compete with other offices in the area, they will need to climb the search engine rankings. Through proper keyword research, on-site SEO, and off-site SEO, digital marketing can allow the competition to narrow.
Reach a Large Portion of the PublicDigital marketing covers a wide range of services that are intended to help a business increase their online exposure. Using a superior healthcare marketing strategy, a medical practice can reach a larger audience. This is done through a combination of SEO, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, social media campaigns, and email marketing.
Build Trust and Loyalty Within the Community
There are two steps to building trust and loyalty. A business needs to provide customers with informative content and respond to inquiries. Social media can be used to tackle both of these tasks.Posting helpful, informative information and useful tips will build trust. This shows patients that someone is looking out for their best interests. Social media marketing also gives businesses a simple method for engaging with patients. They can respond to any questions or comments. This can lead to increased loyalty from existing patients. Social media can be used to build rapport with patients. For a hospital, physician’s office, or any other business involved in healthcare, these steps can go a long way towards keeping patients coming back.
Make Sure Your Clients Can Reach Their CustomersThe healthcare industry has been dealing with a downward trend for several years. For many businesses in the healthcare sector, the solution to declining revenue is digital marketing. If you offer digital marketing services, then you need to make sure that your clients are able to reach their potential customers. You can use these points, along with other sales tips for SEO resellers, to help explain to your clients the importance of investing in online marketing and SEO services. For those of you that own or operate a business in the healthcare sector – it is time to take advantage of everything that internet has to offer. Make the internet work for you and use it to gain more patients.
About the author:
Tyson Downs is a proud dad to 5 kids. A Small Business Owner. A baseball coach. A bodybuilder. A teacher. A learner. Tyson is the owner of Titan Web Agency, an online marketing company for healthcare professionals based in Salt Lake City, UT. Views, claims and opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the guest author.