Marketing in the home health industry is no longer just for gaining patients. While home care is a patient-focused industry, forming partnerships with other types of health care providers is playing an increasingly crucial role in business—and home care agencies need to know how to leverage data through marketing to gain ground with providers.
Marketing to potential partners, such as hospital systems, should be done in a slightly different way though, Merrily Orsini, president and CEO of home health marketing company corecubed, said on a panel at the Illinois Home Care and Hospice Council Conference earlier this month in Chicago.
“The future of home health agencies’ success is based on data,” Orsini said. “It’s understanding how to best craft marketing messages using available data to differentiate your agency from others and showcase your quality to potential partners.”
Don’t Neglect Social Media
When Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) or hospitals look to partner with a home health care agency, they may ask around to people they know about which agencies are best, but they will almost always go online and do a simple Google search, Orsini explained.
This is where visibility and good design come into play. In addition to pinpointing which data to highlight on marketing materials, including on the agency website and Facebook page, agencies should not just throw the numbers up on the site.
“If you just give someone a list of stats, they won’t look, but if you showcase your best metrics in a visual form they will pick it up much easier,” said Orsini.
It also can pay off to have some type of infographic made because agencies can use the same infographic online as well as in printed marketing materials.
Implement Public Relations
A huge missed opportunity for home health agencies is not dedicating a portion of time to work with the media to publicize accomplishments, explained Orsini.
“For example, if an agency has reduced its readmission [rate], come out with a five-star rating or its staff have achieved some sort of milestone, those are things worth putting in a press release,” she said. “Obviously, the media has been a huge topic recently, but if agencies present hard, true facts, it can help stand out and could lead to beneficial partnerships.”
In addition to releasing a notification to the press, writing up a social media post and adding it to the agency’s website can help get word out.
The upside of utilizing technology to the fullest extent, from data collection to presentation of that data, is that if everything is being shared via social media and an agency’s website, there are minimal costs involved. It can be much more cost-efficient than printing thousands of brochures.
“Agencies should be trying to show through marketing that they are a quality provider and have something other agencies do not,” Orsini said. “Even if an agency provides numerous home care services, if it does wound care really well, it should capitalize on that and market the data they’ve collected on that.”
Written by Alana Stramowski