“The organizations that are investing [in digital marketing] are winning big because they’re diversifying their patient acquisition methods.”
— Brian Q. Davis, executive vice president, Scorpion
Non-acute facilities that aren’t optimizing their websites and digital capabilities to reach new patients, share their healthcare success stories and reinforce their brands are missing significant opportunities. Outdated or poorly designed websites leave a bad impression on potential patients—if they can even find you to begin with.
Provista members can now take advantage of a contract with Scorpion, a full-service digital marketing and technology company catering to healthcare organizations, to help them improve their businesses with better technology and digital services. This includes designing and developing websites.
“At a high level, Scorpion is in the business of helping healthcare providers connect with and be there for their patients when they’re looking online,” says Brian Q. Davis, executive vice president for the company. “Healthcare providers have a high level of moral responsibility to make sure they’re doing this as part of their business and getting it done right because that can be the difference between somebody finding them or not finding them, and getting the care they need.”
Facilities often rely on word of mouth and referrals to attract new patients. A better way is to supplement that approach with a strong online presence that lets current and potential patients easily find a facility or doctor to get information about the practice or specialty areas.
“Relying on a referral business as a primary way of getting new patients or growing the business is a risky strategy because it has all your eggs in one basket,” Davis notes. “The winners and the losers are going to be determined by those that capture incremental patients who have a choice and in those moments of looking, find someone who is going to be there for them. The question is whether you’re going to be there when they look.”
His company is finding that old methods for reaching patients, like static approaches that are not digitally optimized, are no longer serving facilities or their patients.
“You can’t phone this stuff in anymore,” he points out. “The organizations that are investing here are winning big because they’re diversifying their patient acquisition methods. They’re not relying on one stream or one relationship, so it allows them to move to a place that controls more and more growth.”
Most facilities have launched websites and dabbled in digital marketing. Many had bad experiences. Now they don’t want to invest again. With the right agency and approach, facilities will see value and a high ROI.
The ability to easily find a physician or healthcare organization online can encourage people to make an appointment, which can lead to improved care. “Getting ahold of an office two or three weeks earlier than they would have because they were able to find what they were looking for online and felt confident taking action can be the difference in someone’s outcome,” David notes.
Many facilities face the problem of busy schedules and a lack of in-house expertise about websites and digital strategies, which results in the projects not moving forward.
“Oftentimes, having a marketing strategy to actively attract new patients beyond the referral base and growing the brand as an asset is a priority that keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list because it’s confusing,” Davis says. “When organizations look for solutions, they’re faced with thousands of agencies, all of them saying they can do things, and then it becomes this game of who can you trust. What happens is that this confusion causes delays and the status quo continues. The biggest enemy is an organization not deploying a strategy.”
Facilities should realize that it’s not only millennials who are looking for healthcare providers online. It’s all generations.
“Clinics will say, ‘My population is a little older. They’re not really online.’ That may have been true five years ago, but once baby boomers have grandkids, they’re on Facebook,” Davis explains. “Don’t mistake that the people you want to reach are online.”
Scorpion offers digital solutions for single-practice physicians through multi-location organizations. Services include websites, platforms supporting websites, real-time analytics, online brand monitoring, and management of online listings and directories—all connected and on brand.
By partnering with Scorpion, Provista has made it easier than ever for members to expand their digital presence. Even if a practice already has a new website, Scorpion can augment it with a digital marketing strategy.
“What Provista has brought to the table is a company that understands healthcare, has world-class technology, is connected strategically to Google, Bing and other big media companies, and knows your business,” Davis says. “You get all the protections and benefits of your Provista contracts, and Provista is basically saying, ‘Forget all the confusion. We’ve got an option for you. It checks all the boxes and has all the things that de-risk this type of investment.’”
Capabilities allow, for example, facilities to actively target potential patients based on a range of factors, such as age, sex and geographic location.
“Somebody could be marketing, ‘Are you 67 years old? When was the last time you had a cardio evaluation? Getting a cardio evaluation early can give you 10 more years of time with your grandchildren.’ No one is marketing like this,” Davis says. “This is where there’s opportunity.”
Davis says facilities will see a hard return on their digital investment.
“You can literally put money in the marketing machine and get patients out,” he says. “In healthcare, the truth is that you don’t need a lot of patients to make this marketing investment pay for itself. If you look at the value of your patients, and the revenue associated with them, and you have strategies for investment and marketing, you’re going to see the return.”