An article in Forbes magazine recently suggested that spas could serve as an inspiration to physicians when it comes to retooling their practices and marketing their services. I realize that can be an unsettling thought for many physicians, but before you simply dismiss the concept, take some time to consider the following.
For quite a while now plastic surgeons, dermatologists and cosmetic dentists have followed that basic spa model. The reason those healthcare practitioners needed to become more business and marketing savvy is that insurance seldom covers cosmetic procedures. Those practitioners had no choice. To thrive and attract patients who were willing to pay out of pocket for their services and procedures, they needed to view and present their practices in a new way, offer new services and learn the basics of marketing and PR in order to successfully position themselves.
For years now spas realized that by selling health, preventative care, and focusing on wellness as opposed to sickness, they could build a large client base and readily get consumers to part with their hard earned cash. Yes they pamper, the lesson to be gleaned here is that they made health, wellness and self-care a necessity to their clients. They put the focus squarely on preventative care. Meaning the majority of people who come to them are healthy and want to try and insure they stay that way. By introducing programs that focuses on wellness and preventative care, the number of potential patients (who are used to paying out of pocket for these type of services) can increase exponentially.
Most hospitals have already made the shift. Savvy hospital administrators that we’ve worked with read the writing on the wall and years ago began exploring different ways that health care professionals can reach out to patients. They packaged and presented themselves in a whole new way. Many hospitals have created wellness centers that offer a myriad approaches and disciplines from acupuncture and bodywork, to nutritional and fitness programs. Others have introduced spa like services and created environments that welcome the public. An emphasis on hospital PR and marketing has become a necessity.
Once these changes are implemented, introducing the new services and educating the public is every bit as important as the changes that are being implemented. This is not a case where “if you build it, they will come.” Once a medical practice, medical center or hospital offers these new programs and focuses on preventive health and life improvement, it’s imperative that they promote and market these new approaches. It’s important to reach out to and educate the public or the time, effort and redesign could be for naught.
This is not to say that physicians, medical centers and hospitals should turn themselves into wellness spas. That is not what is being proposed, but there are ways to offer new services, broaden the bulls-eye and attract and welcome a much larger patient base. .By not only treating sick patients, but also attracting those who want to stay healthy, be nurtured and focus on preventative care, medical practices can be modernized. Offering services, procedures and programs that the public is seeking is simply smart business.
By using this approach, physicians not only offer services to patients who are sick, but to those who want to stay healthy, feel better and reduce their stress factor. And, down the line, if insurers, physicians and hospitals can work together and figure out a business model that focuses on wellness preventive health, the health care system as a whole could get a much needed shot in the arm.
Medical PR | Savvy Healthcare PR