Surgery are integrated and active members of their teams, dedicated to the hospitals and communities they serve. But the benefits of implementing a surgeon program far exceed clinical staffing solutions. Strategically designed surgeon programs enable healthcare marketers to promote distinct offerings and position their brands as the hospitals of choice for targeted audiences.
Surgical programs, or teams of surgeons who provide inpatient care during scheduled shifts, allow for growth in the range of services and increased access to care. Hospitals engage surgeon program partners to recruit and build teams specifically tailored to their business goals and the unique needs of the communities they serve. This growth in operational capabilities provides an opportunity to reintroduce the hospital’s brand, increase brand awareness and reinforce patient engagement goals as defined by the marketing strategy.
Service lines, capabilities and brand image
“When structuring your new program, think strategically about marketing,” said Cathy McDowell, BSN, MBA, chief operating officer for Synergy Health Partners. “Be sure to engage your program partner’s expertise early in the process to seize positioning opportunities and identify gaps in services that could otherwise lead to case leakage. Assess surgical services in context needs of the community.”
Not only can strategic implementations of surgeon programs provide opportunities for marketing facilities based on exceptional providers, but your hospital can also position itself as an exclusive center of excellence for specialty care.
For example, do you treat a high volume of hip fractures? Does your hospital serve a community with a high percentage of geriatric residents? In this case, a new team of surgeons could allow your hospital to obtain Fragility Fracture certification. NOTNew accreditations pave the way for new programs, expanded services, and provide hospital marketers with new value propositions to effectively differentiate their brands.
“Marketers must work in tandem with clinical leadership to fully realize the promotional benefits of a surgery program,” adds McDowell. “At first, they need to ask what kinds of patients in the hospital may be missing when it comes to clinical care and messaging.”
Call to action by reintroduction
Your hospital brand is a promise to your community, your patients and your staff. It is your reputation and your identity. The launch of a new, revamped surgical program can be a great time to reintroduce your brand to key audiences.
New members of your surgical team serve as brand ambassadors simply by providing exceptional patient care. Outside of the clinical setting, surgeons should be leveraged to meet, educate and connect with the patient populations they serve. Community outreach, such as speaking engagements at local chambers of commerce, recreation centers and libraries, positions surgeons as thought leaders, builds trust, builds brand awareness and subsequently expands the audience of hospitals.
Kicking off a new program is often the perfect time to launch or relaunch a full-capacity marketing campaign. This provides an opportunity to realize the market with your services with measurable marketing tactics and targeted channels. And with a new program for surgeons, campaign messaging can remind your audience of your features and benefits while highlighting growth and new offerings.
The launch of a new surgeon program often provides public relations opportunities as well. Timely story presentations can focus on facility growth, increased access to regional care, or the personal and professional stories of your providers themselves.
By telling the story of your team – the joint efforts of your staff and external providers – you are essentially communicating your hospital’s ability to provide optimal patient access and services. When you build a team by focusing on community needs and market share, you can realize bottom line profits by increasing volume and reducing emigration. When service line growth is the result of a community-driven program of surgeons, marketers are presented with real solutions that patients need to know about. After telling the story of your hospital surgical services and building awareness, hospital marketers have a clear call to action and tailored conversion: the use of new or expanded service lines.