November is National Diabetes Month
Each November the National Heat Lung and Blood Institute promotes National Diabetes Month. The focus for this year is linking diabetes to heart disease. Now is a good time for your rural hospital to do educational outreach to the community and to make them aware of your related services.
According to the Southwest Rural
Health Research Center “Diabetes prevalence is approximately 17 percent higher
in rural areas than urban areas, with previous studies (also) showing that
rural adults were more likely to report a diagnosis of diabetes than urban
adults.” Rural Americans also suffer from higher rates of heart disease and
stroke. These are health topics vital to the health of your community.
Teaching the connection
Adults diagnosed with diabetes are twice as likely to die
from stroke and heart disease as those without it. The excessive glucose levels
damage the blood vessels and the nerves that regulate heart function. For these
reasons, diabetes prevention is intrinsically linked to preventing cardiovascular
Of course, even for those with diabetes, there is a great
deal they can do to lower their risks. Proper management of diabetes is a good
start. Fighting the other risk factors for heart disease which are common in rural
communities is another.
Delivering clear and actionable information to the members
of your community can go a long way to helping them achieve better health. Ideally,
you want to connect with the community face to face to teach and answer
questions about diabetes and heart disease.
A focus on risk factors
The risk factors for diabetes and heart disease cover a lot of ground. This means there are ample opportunities to connect your hospitals’ health services with National Diabetes Month this November.
Diet and Exercise are among the most significant risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. There are also a number of personal risk factors from family history, poly-cystic ovaries, abnormal cholesterol, and others.
For heart disease, you can also focus your promotion on efforts to quit smoking, management of cholesterol, or blood pressure testing and treatment.
Seek out local partners
Consider all the risk factors and think about other popular
local businesses or services that you could partner with for promotion and
education. Restaurants that promote healthy eating or a local gym could make
great partners for pairing medical information with a means for better diet and
You could create a genealogy workshop at the local library.
This would be a chance for people to discover more about their family’s medical
history while you share vital health information. Any opportunity to bring your
expertise out of the hospital and into the community goes a long way to
building awareness of your brand and services.
All these events can be promoted using social media, press
releases, or local advertising.
Now is the time to get started with planning your outreach. You
don’t want to miss this opportunity to care for your community and build
awareness of your healthcare services.
Flu season is nearly upon us. Now is the time to start marketing your flu vaccination services to your local community. Not only is this an important service that is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans, but it is also a great way to make a positive impression on families in your community.
Build awareness of your Flu Shot services
Many people may not be aware that they can get vaccinated at your hospital or clinic. Let them know your services are quick, safe, and professional. Use your social media presence, advertisements, and other marketing materials to get the word out.
Sponsor a vaccination drive in your community
Another great way to bring people in contact with your hospital or clinic is to host a vaccination drive. Consider teaming up with a local organization or business to host a flu shot event. This is a great way to grow your reputation in the community and to engage community leaders.
You also get the opportunity to speak directly to members of the community about their health concerns and needs. Combine this with a promotion for annual wellness visits for a powerful follow-up combination.
Educate the public with a press release
A press release in the local newspaper is a great way to explain how flu shots are safe and help protect the most vulnerable in the local community.
Show your community that your healthcare organization is an authoritative voice on health. Explain the benefits of getting vaccinated and the risks of putting it off.
List any events you will be sponsoring and emphasize that shots are covered by Medicare and private insurance.
Need help promoting your healthcare services? Call Steven R Jolly at 1-800-441-7401.
P.S. Make sure to check your SRJEasyHealthcare.com Essentials Toolbox regularly for social media reminders, press releases, newspaper ads and more. If you have a special project idea, such as web design, leadership development or customer service training, don’t hesitate to contact us. As an SRJEasyHealthcare.com essentials member, you have access to exclusive discounts on projects to help your hospital meet and exceed its goals.
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?