As you well know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Even if your hospital does not provide mammography services its a good idea to build community awareness through community outreach.
Women are most often the primary drivers of healthcare decision making in their families. By actively marketing in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month you can build trust and recognition with women in your community.
Now is the time for action
If you haven’t acted already, it’s not too late. You have two weeks left in October. That’s plenty of time to get out a press release about your efforts and promote your related services through your social media presence. Show your community that your hospital supports Breast Cancer Awareness month and you are dedicated to getting women the information and care they need.
If you don’t offer Mammography Services
You can focus your marketing on encouraging women to visit their local healthcare provider for their annual wellness exam where they can discuss risk and screening options. In addition, you can discuss the risk for Osteoporosis and consider whether a bone scan would be appropriate.
Tying the promotion of annual exams to current health topics is always a great way to do outreach. They are a key opportunity to talk face to face with your customers about your services and create a positive experience visiting your hospital.
Resources to help your outreach
There are many organizations providing outreach materials you can use to help connect your rural hospital to the mission of women’s health. The National Breast Cancer Foundation is a great place to start. They have a social media outreach program you can use to support their cause while showing your hospital is part of the mission to fight for women’s health.
We designed SRJEasyHealthcare.com Essentials Membership to provide you with timely marketing copy, templates, and strategies to reach out quickly and easily for seasonal events like this one.
The messaging essentials
When designing your marketing materials for Breast Cancer Awareness week or any time you are tying into a national promotion, keep these goals in mind.
- Identify the promotion you are supporting
- Make sure your brand is visible to readers
- Clearly, state the related service you offer
- Focus on one clear idea for each message
As you train your team to be compassionate healthcare professionals, take time to emphasize the relationship between family members and hospital employees. Family is a crucial aspect of each patient’s hospital experience – so it is essential to know how to treat them!
Encourage your staff members to think about the role of a family member. Family members support your patients – with their time, their money, their familial bonds, their love. They reassure your patients. They help your patients de-stress. They offer conversation and comfort.
You can offer simple guidelines to your staff that will improve interactions with family members. It all comes down to common courtesy and common sense.
Instill this mantra within each of your staff members: a patient’s family members are just as important as the patient herself.
Be mindful of first impressions. When a staff member enters a hospital room, he or she should greet the patient’s family members, taking the time to walk over to each one and shake hands. This will instantly put the family members at ease. They’ll know their loved one is in good hands – in the care of someone who is personable, thoughtful, and attentive to details.
Provide information. Hospital staff can nurture and care for family members by giving them tangible information about the patient’s procedure and health status. Taking the time to clarify points of confusion and answer questions will reassure the family members.
Remember nonverbal behavior. In addition to keeping family members up-to-date on their loved one’s status and health, employees must not forget how much is said through gestures, facial expressions, and mannerisms. A smile says a thousand words!
Know how to handle complaints. Never argue or disagree with a family member. If someone is frustrated with a situation or outcome, hospital staff should respond with empathy and compassion. Teach your employees to place themselves in a family member’s shoes; they will be better equipped to respond to angry or stressed individuals.
Mitigate stress. Ensure your staff is mindful of the fact that having a loved one in the hospital can be stressful. Family members are likely going to be concerned, worried, or confused. Staff members can counter this by smiling, being good listeners, calmly responding to questions, and providing information.
Be personal. Throughout all interactions with hospital visitors, staff members should take that extra moment to shake someone’s hand, ask their name, or simply smile. Small gestures like this forge a personal connection between a hospital employee and a patient’s family member. In the eyes of a patient or family member, a hospital employee is the entire hospital. Ensure the hospital environment is full of comfort and ease.
Your patients are spokespeople for your healthcare facility – and so are their family members and other visitors! Every mother, uncle, sister, or nephew who walks through your doors will leave with an opinion about their experience. Will they be impressed by the compassionate care given to their loved one?