One element of hospital reimbursement that looms large in 2014 is the Physician Quality Reporting System
In addition to giving hospitals a financial incentive to report the quality of their inpatient and outpatient services, the hospital reporting program provides data that can be used to help consumers make more informed decisions about their health care. While much of this is involved with care, speed and quality of patient care, hospitals can also take a proactive approach to communication, community health and cost reduction. A well-developed marketing plan that includes an interactive website and dynamic social media program can be of immense value in communicating with the local patient and prospective patient population.
Because emphasis will be placed as much on prevention as on the quality of acute care, educating the local community will be of crucial importance in supporting a positive view of care at the individual hospital facility. Blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds can be used to provide general medical information that will help to paint the hospital in a positive light and keep it top-of-mind when considering healthcare choices. Videos that are included on a website or dedicated YouTube channel can also be an important method of interacting or engaging with prospective patients. Industry research has shown that video increases retention because of its ability to use sight, sound and emotion to tell a story, educate, and provide a demonstration of a desired activity.
If hospitals are going to be graded on the clarity and effectiveness of after care, videos may prove especially helpful in detailing discharge instructions. In many cases during a hospital visit or surgical procedure, a patient may be confused or not properly understand what needs to be done at home. In addition to the in-person instructions, the patient can also be directed to a video which can provide a visual demonstration of steps that need to be taken.
This is not the traditional hospital-patient relationship that has been followed over the years. There are now many more options available for surgical and emergent care. As consumers are told that they have more choices in selecting where to receive medical care, and they learn more about their role in quality reporting measures, more power is put into their hands. Hospitals that set the foundation for new relationships today by building ongoing communication and marketing programs that reach out and engage the community will be that much more ahead when it comes to attracting patients and achieving higher quality ratings.