Healthcare is the fastest growing industry in the United States with 75% of all hospitals having a competitor within 15 miles. Now more than ever, it’s more important for hospitals and healthcare centers to differentiate from one another. One way to set yourself apart is by using your IP data as a tool to promote your services and showcase why your hospital can be trusted.
IP Efficacy is Top Reason Why Patients Choose One Hospital Over Another
In a study published in the American Journal of Medicine to determine consumers’ attitudes about health care-acquired infections (HAIs) and hand hygiene practices, 94% of respondents rated environmental cleanliness as a very important factor when choosing a hospital. 93% of respondents said hospital infection rates would influence decision making, and 4 in 5 consumers said they would ask their healthcare worker to wash and sanitize his or her hands. The study concluded that consumers will use infection data in selecting and/or leaving a hospital system, and that consumers are ready to be empowered with information to ensure a positive outcome.
What’s more, US News cites infection prevention and control as criteria in their ranking of the top hospitals in the country. This data strongly suggests that hospitals would be smart to promote their infection control successes as a differentiation strategy and as a unique selling proposition.
Capturing your share of the market takes precision marketing. That is, distinguishing your hospital from your competitors with that one big idea or “win” that separates you. Is your hospital known for being a leader in R&D? Or do you stand out by offering the lowest prices for your services? Perhaps your strong track record of Infection Prevention is what sets you apart. Before we determine the best way to promote your infection control, let’s first evaluate how IP teams can improve or achieve great infection prevention levels.
UVC light kills dangerous microorganisms when exposed to UV light for a specific length of time and intensity which equals a specific dose. Select a UVC system that automatically captures and reports disinfection data, ensuring your IP team has the proof of compliance data it needs for efficacy reporting across all departments. It should also measure actual UVC dosage delivered to the targeted areas using multiple sensors throughout the room vs. just using time-based UVC exposure. UVC systems can be deployed throughout your entire hospital, especially high-impact areas and busy patient rooms.
Hand washing might be the simplest approach to preventing the spread of infections; the CDC goes as far as saying it should be incorporated into the entire culture of an organization. Surgical team personnel should wash their arms and forearms before a procedure and put on sterile gloves, according to CDC guidelines for infection control.
Healthcare providers participate in the sterilization of medical equipment between uses with different patients. Sterilization can be achieved via many processes— the most commonly used methods are based on the action of heat (autoclaving, dry thermal, or wet thermal sterilization), gamma-ray irradiation, or on mechanical separation using filtration.
IP as a Digital Marketing Tool
To achieve strong IP levels, your infection control program should develop a welldefined written plan outlining the organizational philosophy regarding infection prevention and control, and accompany it with the most effective IP strategies. It should also include a strategic business case that outlines the bottom-line benefits to a successful IP plan. Steps to creating a business case for IP and control include using an HAI cost calculator tool to estimate the cost of infections, and building a customized business case and presenting it to healthcare administrative leadership.
Using your infection control data as a digital marketing tool is still in its infancy in the healthcare industry. Historically, IP promotion followed traditional promotion like printed posters that hang on walls of patient rooms. In today’s digital age this type of promotion should be complimented by online strategies. Digital outreach can help support print promotions which are limited in both their ability to be easily updated and in the number of possible people to see them. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the average healthcare consumer engages with four devices and consumes 60 hours of digital content per week. These devices don’t just fulfill needs, they create demand—and they help IP teams and hospital stakeholders reach current and future customers
Create Great Content
Content is an effective tool that many companies take advantage of to market and promote their services. For one, content comes in many forms: blog posts, videos, webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, and social media are just a few of the many ways you can use content to educate and inform your target audience.
Below are a few ways your hospital can use content to connect with patients.
Develop an IP Blog
Infection Prevention is an ever-growing field, so a blog devoted to IP-related news in the healthcare industry is a great way to engage with current and future patients.
Sprinkle in a few posts now and then about your strong IP numbers to showcase what makes your hospital stand out.
Produce Video Content
Video is the most powerful medium for quickly and effectively engaging with audiences and demonstrating your brand’s differentiators. Viewers retain 95 percent of a message they’ve watched in a video compared to 10 percent when reading text.
Create “how-to” videos that show your IP team in action throughout different areas and rooms of your hospital. Showcase that your IP team is an integral part of your staff and talk to experts about the importance of infection control.
Design Visual Infographics
Infographics are excellent at outlining complex ideas in a visual and easy-to-digest manner. A clear infographic that deals with numbers and statistics will resonate more with patients when they are in the consideration phase of selecting a hospital, especially as they are looking for short content that delivers value.
Design an infographic that highlights how your IP reports and numbers create a safe environment for your patients. Feel free to include competitors’ numbers if you have access to them and remember to stay professional let the stats tell the story.
Promote Your IP Content
If you already have active social media accounts, half the work is already done. By following you, your followers have communicated that they want to read, see, and hear about your hospital and the healthcare industry. But not all social media platforms should be used the same way.
These are your most consumer friendly platforms, and where your hospital’s personality should shine through the most. Facebook and Instagram are great for sharing photos of your IP team inspecting patient recovery rooms, ICUs or ORs, or a video of your UVC System killing harmful pathogens.
Content to Share:
Blogs, Photos, Videos, Infographics
Twitter is all about what’s happening and why it’s happening now. You’ll do well to start conversations on Twitter about IP control, create polls or
quizzes for your followers to take part in, and share content that patients can engage with in the moment.
Content to Share
Photos, Text, Infographics, GIFs
Often thought of as a B2B platform, LinkedIn gives you the advantage of reaching consumers & businesses. As a hospital or healthcare facility, you may rely on referrals from other doctors or practitioners, and LinkedIn is where your content will be effectively grab their attention.
Content to Share
Ebooks, Whitepapers, Videos, Q&As, Webinars
Email marketing reaches your audience in ways social media can’t. A direct line to their inbox, you can share any of your content through email, like a blog post on how harmful pathogens that cause HAIs die when exposed to UV light for a specific length of time and intensity, how UVC adds an additional layer of protection beyond manual cleaning, and how your UVC system works.
Most hospitals and large healthcare centers either have an in-house PR team or work with a PR agency. Create a library of press releases and work with local news agencies to spread the word about your impressive infection prevention data.