What Does Hulu, iPad, and Product Placement mean to Patient Volume?

April 20, 2010

Ability to reach consumers and doctors is full of new and expanding possibilities while some of the old media methods are diminishing.

Hulu, the two year old online video hub, is now profitable. Meaning, people are going there to download or stream TV shows and movie content.

The iPad is going to stream shows from ABC, NBC, and CBS. So lots of free commercial free TV will be available there.

Product Placement is a hot media that places brands within the story. Studios are more likely to greenlight a project with sponsors than with an A-list star.

The New York Times is reporting that 90%+ of their revenue comes from the printed editions. Unfortunately for them now 90%+ of their readership comes from online editions.

Why Do You Care About These Random Facts?

The old ways of driving volume with traditional media are becoming less effective and less cost-effective every minute.

And the speed of change in media is only increasing. By 2014, the majority of us will get our entertainment and news content on our mobile device.

Why You Don’t Care

Because our main target is 55+. These are the people who are likely to need our high-contribution high-incidence CV, Ortho, and Cancer procedures. Except for OB maternity business, our targets are the last remaining stronghold of old media. We generally can still reach our older targets with older media.

What Do You Do Next?

  1. Don’t panic and do anything crazy. Our targets are older, so we can move in a focused and deliberate way toward the future. But…
  2. Accept Reality. Accept the fact that change is here
  3. Team Drill: In 10 minutes, list how many ways we could get a message across if we could not use TV, Radio, Newspaper, Print, Email, Outdoor, or Banner Ads on Local Websites. How many new ways of communicating can you come up with in 5 minutes (You’ll be surprised)
  4. Social Media: find out whatever you can about how to execute meaningful dialogs with you targets




Want To Build Sleep Center Volume- Look Under Your Own Roof

March 3, 2010

Quit wasting money on Sleep Center advertising- all the patients you need are in your hospital now.

A study just concluded that 60% of all inpatients have sleep apnea  or other sleep disorders that should be treated by CPAP or other therapies.

Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated. Several treatment options exist, and research into additional options continues.

How do you find them?

Set up a program of screening likely candidates: like every bariatric patient, any CV patient, many cases of memory loss (some misdiagnosed as age related dementia), 80% of any patient that has a primary diagnosis of diabetes, or any man over 50 with a BMI of 30 or greater just to name some.

Doing risk assessments of inpatients isn’t just good business, it is the right thing to do and can improve lives dramatically sometimes even save lives.


Understand Access Points Into the Hospital to Build Patient Volume

February 22, 2010

90% of patients came from physician referral in 1999. Today, it's far less.

Hospital marketers seem to think that if they do a great job with branding… Or if they have great advertising… or if they are a well-known and respected community partner patients will somehow get into the system. Frankly, that is crazy.

One of the key questions you must ask before you do any hospital marketing is how will this drive a patient to one of the access points into the system?

So what are the access points into the hospital?

  • Most patients come from physician referral. But it is dropping- maybe 90% came from referral in 1999, but by some calculations, that number is now 50% or less in 2010. Those with strong physician liaison programs and comprehensive employer and on-site programs are winning this game compared to their competition.
  • Emergency Department/Trauma: here is where the General Surgery and Orthopedic volume benefit most… but all kinds of profitable procedures come through the ED. The key is to not let it become a Primary Care facility.

Our tendency is to lump the rest into “self-referral,” but that is way too general. What are the self-referral sub-categories?

  • Second Opinion Patients: When a person gets a catastrophic diagnosis, they and/or their family immediately go to the internet to find the latest protocols and leading doctors to treat the problem. Those that are experiencing pain or repetitive use injuries, diagnose and educate themselves online. Hospitals that have a comprehensive digital strategy to highlight capabilities win this patient.
  • The Pre-episode/Asymptomatic Patients: Maybe 5% of the adult population has a serious undiagnosed cardiovascular issue.  Maybe as much as 7% has an undiagnosed  cancer. Maybe 5% of adults over 55 could benefit from an an orthopedic procedure.  Hospitals that have a program to engage these patients win: Online Screenings, Early Detection events, Wellness information, and Informational Seminars. They key here is to provide easy opportunities to make appointments after each contact, and to provide a structure to evaluate co-risks. Did you know, for instance, that 30% of all CV patients need an orthopedic procedure? Or almost 100% of Bariatric patients will fail a Peripheral Vascular Disease screening?  Or that 10% of all cancer patients have cardiovascular disease- mostly undiagnosed? You have to look for co-risks.