A common challenge that hospitals face is increasing financial pressure due to having an uneven payor mix. One of the ways to address this issue is by launching a new regional campaign to attract more higher-paying and insured patients to help balance out the number of uninsured emergency visits.
To be successful with this or any other campaign to create some sort of change, you need to establish a new brand standard from the top down. That means you not only need the external regional campaign, but you also need to gain the support of hospital staff with an internal marketing campaign.
Having all of your hospital staff on the same page is crucial because implementing a new system-wide vision changes the culture of the institution and you want everyone working together as a team to make it a success. Here are a few issues that targeting internal staff during a regional campaign might address:
- employees not understanding the program
- feeling disconnected or disengaged
- they may even actively work against it because they have opposing beliefs, are unhappy with something or just don’t like change
Good internal communication is your secret weapon against all of this. An effective communications plan can align all of the hospital staff from the doctors, nurses, techs, admin to janitorial, food services, volunteers and everyone in-between so that the hospital can show a united face to the consumer for an effective campaign.
For our hospital clients, we’ve created a long-range strategic planning strategy that includes extensive employee engagement. Our process begins with a 360* leadership evaluation based on the organization’s key performance indicators, comprehensive research among customers, influencers and enablers. We detail the impact of competitors, market forces and economic trends on the systems current and potential efforts. Then we field corporate culture, performance attitudes and organizational communication assessments.
We sit down with each and every department to get a holistic sense of what the existing hospital culture is like now and what their expectations are for the future. This way, we can identify major areas of weakness and conduct research to determine the learning habits and attitudes of employees to create a vision that everyone can embrace.
Once you’ve done all this, it’s easier to get everyone to understand and embrace the new vision of the institution and create a lot of internal excitement about your new regional campaign. Presentations, learning kits and teaching tools can be used to inform, engage and inspire your staff. Direct mail, invitations to kick-off events or small learning groups, emails, newsletters and signage should unify, motivate and entertain.
A new campaign is an opportunity to:
- build a better foundation for collaboration and teamwork
- open lines of communication
- start new relationships with your staff
- be creative
For instance, you can invite staff to events with fun or different invitations – like ones made with pill bottles filled with jelly beans. Another way to create buzz is by greeting employees at the door with breakfast. We even did a cocktail party featuring a 20-foot-tall sculpture of an Oscar award dressed as a doctor.
Having an efficient system and a supportive network of people is especially important in a healthcare setting. By gaining the support of your internal staff you will:
- have stronger more effective campaigns
- improve company culture
- be able to accomplish goals, like balancing your payor mix
- increase financial performance
These are just a few of the reasons why targeting internal staff during a healthcare regional campaign is a smart idea. We’d love to hear about some of the creative things your business has done to launch a new initiative or any tips you might have on effective internal communication and team building. What worked? What didn’t? Also, if you'd like to learn how to create effective healthcare regional marketing that is HIPAA compliant, check out this earlier post of ours.