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January 29, 2018 Shownotes:

Patient-focused events are essential to healthcare marketing strategies. Why? They engage, connect, build trust and so much more. In the latest episode of The 19: Healthcare, we talk to a patient and a healthcare professional to determine just how big an impact healthcare events have on the local community.

The 19: Healthcare – Episode 6

Hospitals, Have You Hosted Your Patients Lately?

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Recorded Intro:

This is The 19. In 19 minutes or less, game changing Insights in Healthcare from Orange Label, the leading response marketing agency for established brands that are driven by a fearless entrepreneurial mindset.

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Host Intro:

Hi there, this is Alyse Stranberg, Account Strategist at Orange Label, and I’m today’s host of The 19: Healthcare. Today we’re talking about patient-oriented events and, in preparation for the episode, I decided to visit my local community hospital’s website to see if there were any upcoming events or seminars they were hosting and what the topics were. Although I expected to see a few events here and there, I was truly surprised to see an extensive catalog of community events covering a variety of topics.

The hospital’s website had a dedicated page for events that allowed me to search by category. From parenting to orthopedics, wellness to neurosciences. A total of 13 different categories to choose from. With any given category having 5 or more different types of classes.

Now based on these findings, it’s apparent that this hospital is investing a lot into their event and class strategy. They have really identified a need and are taking a stand to educate the local community.

My local hospital is one of many that chooses to invest in community events. Which really is not too surprising, considering that it provides an access point for the hospital staff, nurses and physicians to connect with their local community. And this connection is really important because, in the world of healthcare, patient relationships are key objective to a hospital’s overall marketing and branding efforts.

To further discuss the value and importance of patient-focused events and seminars I took this topic to the streets and decided to interview 2 very different individuals.

Interview 1:

I am a working mom.  I am 32 years old.  I work fulltime, and I have an 8 month old baby, named Olsen.  And I live in Orange County, California.

Interview 2:

So I’m 28 years old, I have been a registered nurse for five and a half years.  I graduated ahum, from Calabasas nursing school in 2012.  And I started in an RN residency program through local children’s hospitals.

Host:

These two individuals and the hospitals they are referring to will remain anonymous. Also, please note that these recordings may have slight variance in sound quality.

Ok. Let’s jump right in.

I want to start things off with our first participant, the mother in her early 30s. Here’s what she had to say about attending classes at her local hospital.

Interview 1:

Yes, I’ve attended a few hospital seminars and events and most of them were surrounding the birth of my son. When we were going through the process and meeting with my doctor and getting set up at the hospital.  I received a flyer ahum, with a lot of classes and information.  Some of the classes were free some of them were paid and ah, based on what we wanted to learn we picked a few and I think we attended three or four actually.

HOST:

She shared that she chose to focus on the free classes and the topics that sparked her interest based on the class title and descriptions.

Interview 1:

First time mom and the classes were about you know infant safety and CPR ah, some were about breast feeding, some were about how to diaper and how to do some basics.  And things I just had no idea what to do.  So they were really helpful to help me feel like I was prepared for when that baby would arrive.

HOST:

Feeling prepared. A Key benefit to attending a hospital event prior to her medical experience. And this feeling can ring true for every patient, no matter the medical procedure. People want to feel like they know what’s ahead of them and that someone is available who can readily answer their questions. And from the hospital’s perspective, these classes establish credibility with the potential patients and provide an opportunity to form relationships with these individuals.  Now let’s switch over to our second participant, a nurse in her late 20s. Here, she describes the types of events you can find on her hospital’s event calendar.

Interview 2:

We have a community education center where they hold classes and they give CPR training, they give cool safety training, education on thinking strategies and things like that.

HOST:

She continued by describing her hospital’s big annual events such as a community walk and ongoing blood donations. Events where she is an actual attendee and can witness the community, patients, nurses and physicians connecting. The affect these events have on patient relationships is extremely valuable in her opinion.

Interview 2:

Patients especially parents want to know that there is people out there that understand what they are going through. and so when parents go to these events and seminars they feel so much more supported and that there’s people that understand what they’re going through.  And that they have resources and people they can talk to if they have questions about ahum, procedures or treatments and things that will come up with their child.

HOST:

She then explained her hospital’s family board.

Interview 2:

We have a family board that is part of the hospital and they’re parents of patients that we continue to take care of.  And they actually hold seminars that talk to nurses about what it’s like to be a parent.

HOST:

Creating a space for parents and nurses to communicate makes a huge impact elicits trust and strengthens the overall patient-hospital relationship, which is a crucial component for any hospital’s event strategy. For the patient or family members, it means a lot to feel heard and supported. This sentiment is further highlighted in the mother’s experience and how she expressed the personal value of attending classes at her local hospital.

Interview 1:

You know going into a health situation that I had never had before there’s just so many questions, ah, there’s so many fears and concerns and just being able to acquaint yourself with the facility and the team if you don’t learn anything even from that there’s a value.  Just to get comfortable with okay these are the people who I’ll be working with.  You know even just seeing the knowledge of the nurses who taught the classes it made me feel even more like wow I know I know I will be well taken care of while I’m here…. And that type of a feeling I don’t think you can get just from reading a website or reading a brochure it’s that hands on experience that makes a difference.

HOST:

Creating the ideal class environment is extremely important if a hospital wants to achieve the experience that this mother had. And a one-size-fits-all approach to a class format doesn’t always work.

Interview 1:

All the classes I attended were really like a lecture hall, so they were a big room and there were as many as fifty people or fifty couples I think in one.  Another was smaller with maybe 20 couples but even then there was a teacher at the front of the room, it was a big room.  And mostly just people talking at us and giving us information.

HOST:
Though a lecture format is likely more economical for a hospital, it can be challenging for attendees to absorb the content.

Interview 1:

You know a smaller group might have been nicer to have more like communication and at times the lecture format got really boring so I stopped paying attention.  Ahum, so something interactive like the CPR class was really interactive.  We had a little baby dummy to practice on.  And that that’s the one I remember the information the most.

HOST:
Determining the class format is a key step in hosting an event. To expand on this a little further, I asked the nurse to share more about what goes into planning an event.

Interview 2:

We form events and seminars like we make sure we have speakers that are well renowned, and that have a lot of education. We base a lot of our initiatives off of the best evidence so we do like a lot of research before we decide to hold a seminar on a certain topic.

HOST:
And of course taking the time to consider the community and their needs. Being a children’s hospital, they think about the parents’ real time interests and concerns.

Interview 2:

If it’s an event or a seminar that’s geared towards patients and families.  What do parents need to be educated on is it pool safety, is it nutrition, ahum, is it allergies and asthma.  I know it seasonally is like what’s season is important like now I think a seminar on the flu influenza would be great because so many people are getting the flu this year.

HOST:

Addressing the needs of patients is a critical step in event planning for a hospital, because if the topic isn’t relevant, chances are attendance will be low. As a nurse who interacts with patients and their families on a daily basis, I was curious to know her personal opinion on whether there were any types of classes or education topics that she felt there should be more of in her community.

Interview 2:

Yeah, I’d like to see more events that are geared towards the    community, seminars that can reach like kids in the schools I think that would be important.

HOST:

With children being her primary patient demographic, she explained why she would love the opportunity to speak with kids about their health and wellness.

Interview 2:

Just more discussion about what kids should be eating and how much activity they should be getting.  I think it would be great if nurses could go out in the community and talk to kids in their school so. …I think that kids would receive it better if it came from a healthcare professional as opposed to a teacher who they see every day.

HOST:

I also asked the mother what types of events she’d like to see more of. Simply as a community member, and also as someone who already experienced the benefits of attending hospital hosted events.

Interview 1:

As it relates to having a baby there’s definitely some additional events or seminars that I think would be really useful for a first time mom.  And that’s really around sleep and how to teach healthy sleep habits to your children I think that’s one of the things I think I struggled with the most in early motherhood.

HOST:

As a mother myself, I completely agree. Candidly there could be an entire series of ongoing parenting classes that hospitals could offer. And after we went on a couple tangents on the possible class topics our conversation led to how hospitals market their classes.

For the mother, her doctor played a key role.

Interview 1:

My physician definitely played a big role in me participating in the events.  ..they encouraged and recommended certain events over others.  And that did play a big factor in what I chose to participate in.

HOST:

In addition, the hospital took the opportunity to introduce class attendees to other upcoming classes and promote hospital pre-registration.

Interview 1:

The hospital definitely encouraged participation in their other events and seminars.  So there were always flyers around with the other types of events that they hosted.  And then in every one they really encouraged to make sure you preregister.  Which I understand after the fact why it was so important.

HOST:

In my conversation with the nurse, she referred to the hospital’s marketing and how the promotion of classes are integrated into the overall strategy.

Interview 2:

The email newsletter is every month; they have different stories about patients that have gone through experiences at the hospital. And then different events that are coming up.… a lot of it is through email and mail.  We also we have billboards, we have commercials on TV.

HOST:

An email newsletter is a great way to stay connected with community members who have established interest with the hospital. Including class offerings in these communications acts as a great call to action and reminder that the hospital is committed to educating their community.

While marketing with media vehicles such as billboards or TV is an effective way for reaching the community at large and keeping the hospital top of mind.

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HOST:

To conclude my conversations with these interviewees, I asked one final question.

The nurse I spoke with was extremely passionate about healthcare and the value of community education, and I was curious to know what role or impact she felt she had in her hospital’s educating efforts.

Interview 2:

Yeah our hospital is really great about getting nurses involved.  And we have a whole like nursing govern and structure where, I would was on a couple different committees for the past two years.…so yeah they definitely listened to our opinion.

HOST:

And then, I asked the mother the value she felt that hospitals brought the community by offering classes and events .

Interview 1:

Hospitals hosting events I think bring a lot of value to the community. Healthcare is expensive you know between insurance and out of pocket expense and all these things.  And knowing that you can attend some of these events either for free or at a really low cost.  For me to learn more about what I’m going through or become comfortable with what I’m going through.  Ahum, it just gives so much more peace of mind.  And I think it makes the experience so much better.

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Host:

So, at the end of every episode of The 19, we provide you with a key takeaway. We call it, The Sum-Up. Here’s today’s Sum-Up: “From a mom’s personal experience with hospital hosted events, to hearing a nurse’s perspective on community education, the commonality between these two interviews is that hospital hosted events directly affect the relationship patients have with their physicians, nurses and their local hospital as a whole. In some instances, a class or an event can be a community member’s first interaction with their local hospital, and this initial meeting can be extremely influential on whether or not a patient chooses to seek medical care from a certain hospital. It makes a difference when a patient, like the mom we interviewed, takes the time to access a hospital’s educational resources and familiarizes herself with the hospital staff and facility. Instantly it provides a good feeling for the mother mind that the hospital cares enough about the community to make these resources available. It also ensures that when she shows up at the hospital in labor, they already have established a certain level of trust and understanding for the hospital and it’s staff. And as we heard from the nurse, having the opportunity to interact with the community allows her to better understand her patients, what they need, how they communicate and how she can provide the best care. Hospital hosted events are directly tied to a hospital’s brand reputation, and should continue to be viewed by hospitals as an authentic way to reach the community and stay connected with them. Though I understand that the marketing and planning of these events is definitely no small task for hospitals, I do believe that the results of these efforts have the ability to affect change and create preference in the community. And for these reasons, hospital hosted events should be thoughtfully integrated into a hospital’s overall marketing and branding strategy”

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Host Close:

Thank you for listening to The 19, Hospitals – Have you hosted your patients lately? If you have additional questions on this topic, please share them with us. Visit our website, orangelabeladvertising.com and contact us. And be sure to tune in for our next episode, discussing patient feedback, tracking and management.

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Recorded close:

This was The 19. Brought to you by Orange Label. If you’re interested in MORE healthcare response marketing, visit our blog and subscribe to our content, where we share our response marketing expertise on current healthcare industry topics. Visit orangelabeladvertising.com for all the details.

 

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