Build Craniotomy Volumes By Keeping And Finding Patients

March 1, 2010

Build neurosurgery volume by understanding that over 70% of patients decide where to get their cranial surgery done after extensive research and a second (or third) opinion.

More craniotomy patients reportedly travel for surgery than with any other procedure. Why? Because when you have a brain tumor, even though surgery must be done immediately in most cases, it is considered an elective procedure because the patient gets a few days to think about their options. During that time, they consult friends and family- but mostly the internet – do decide what to do.

Here is what you must to keep your patients from traveling and find others who are willing to travel to you:

  • Build a profile for your surgeons online. Be their publicist. Make them famous. Boast of their achievements and education and fellowships: get it out there on the internet.
  • Your docs must blog about issues related to a craniotomy. What to expect… Family involvement… Stories of other patients (with no HIPAA violations)… and whatever else you can think of. You may have to write the posts for them, but make sure the patient sees multiple posts per week from your surgeons.
  • Do both SEM (search engine marketing) and SEO (search engine optimization). Google is very smart. They will most always prioritize a doctor geographically close to where the search originated. They know that generally someone searching wants to find the best doctor in their home State or in a surrounding state. Google will help you if you try and help yourself.
  • Facilitate patients uploading their films to your website. Most patients get their films electronically and can quickly ask you for a  second opinion.
  • Your doctors must personally answer internet inquiries. Patients want to talk to the surgeon who will do the surgery. A quick phone consult reportedly has a 65% chance of getting the second opinion patient to come to the consulting institution.

With just a few adjustments your craniotomy volume can increase in weeks- not months or years – but in weeks.



Leverage Primary Stroke Center Certification to Increase Neurology Business

February 1, 2010

You can drive profitable Neurology business by simply leveraging the benefits of primary stroke center certification and mailing it to every employer and every consumer over 50 years old, within a radius of 75% of the distance to the nearest other Primary Stroke Center.

How do you let them know?

  • Create a one-page one-sided flier on the benefits of Primary Stroke Center Certification, point out the need to identify a stroke within the first 180 minutes.
  • Distribute the flyer to every employer and seniors and community center within a 75% of the distance of the nearest other Primary Stroke Center facility
  • Along with the flier, enclose a magnet with the big headline “Stroke: you only have 180 minutes or less. Act Now!” with the symptoms of stroke, the benefits of Primary Stroke Certification  and locations of your Emergency Departments
  • Pitch the broadcast and print media with engaging stories/examples of how disaster was averted by quickly getting the patient to a Primary Stroke Center- make survivors available for interview
  • The media particularly likes telemedicine stories about someone that was saved electronically by quick remote diagnosis and tPA dosage at one of your affiliated facilities
  • Do a custom URL (www.yourhospital/stroke) that outlines quick accessible information about symptoms and next steps
  • Make symptom and next step information mobile friendly. Then have your Health Promotions team teach how to access a stroke information website from a mobile phone. Seniors love these types of learning opportunities.


Three Fast Ways to Build General Surgery Volume

November 30, 2009

If you look at what brings the most bottom line Contribution Margin (or Profit) into your hospitals, it is probably General Surgery. More that Othro, Neuro, Cardio, or Cancer, good ole’ General Surgery brings in the most profit.

But General Surgery is almost never promoted like a service line. It never gets the love like the big sub-specialty procedures. But this Plain Jane is a big bottom line producer. So how do you drive in more of this business?

#1 Emergency Department Promotion

We will talk about all the ways to promote the right kind of ER traffic in another post. But this much is true, the money you spend on driving the community to the ER when they have abdominal pain or any other hard to explain symptoms pays off in spades.

#2 Promoting Minimally Invasive Surgery and Other Technologies

Everybody gets it: a scope through a tiny hole in my belly is much better that cutting me wide open. Studies show that people will drive past other hospitals to go to the one that promotes MIS or da Vinci surgical systems. I know it has been done a million times before, but TV news crews still show up like clockwork when you have a da Vinci peel a grape at one of your community day events.

#3 Hold Nice CME Events For Primary Care Docs

Those over-worked underpaid Primary Care docs do not have time for your lousy demo of a da Vinci or other MIS procedures- they have seen it before. But when you invite them to a genuinely interesting event, they will make time in the schedule to show.

What makes a nice event?

  • First of all, great meaningful information. If doc can really learn something, she will show
  • Secondly, your senior people must attend and be truly grateful and happy to see them. Nothing says love like C-suite participation
  • Bring in a celebrity to talk and meet-n-greet. A sports celebrity is great. Some current newsmaker is even better
  • Great food and drink