Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu and the Media Equals Opportunity

Okay, are the hospitals and health systems paying attention?

With the media creating a panic about swine flu and the chances of a worldwide pandemic, now is the time for the healthcare system to step forward.

Get those PR and Marketing departments off their chairs and into the media, on your web site and into community with health, prevention and treatment options on the swine flu. Leverage the opportunity to do some good for a change instead of waiting for things to happen.

Okay, free consulting follows:
  • First, get your docs together in rapid order and get them on board.
  • Second, link your web site to the CDC, WHO, etc., and make a big deal out of it.
  • Third, prepare some material for distribution in the community. i.e., grammar schools, high schools, private grade schools, senior centers, community groups, local employers etc., and such with tips and ideas for prevention, health information etal. That is what you do!
  • Four, write a series of press releases and get them out to the local media and position a doc or docs from your medical staff as the content experts. Arrange some media interviews.
  • Five, establish your hospital or health system as the "go-to" information source.
  • Six, run some informational public service newspaper ads.
  • Seven, write and distribute some PSAs for newspapers and broadcast media, don't forget local cable.
  • Eight, get your docs into the community and speaking.
  • Nine, be transparent and explain how you will handle a swine flu outbreak in your community.
  • Ten, start over repeating steps one to nine again and again and again.

CEOs repeat after me, I will take advantage of opportunities such as this for the greater good of my community.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Heathcare is Bulit for a Tie

Score Tied and No Extra Innings
Ever think about it? Healthcare is built for a tie. Throughout the industry no one can ever get a competitive leg up. We all have the same managed care contracts, similar programs and services, even our docs go to a group of hospitals. So, in a commodity market environment, which healthcare is, and price is becoming king, how can anyone expect anything less than a tie? You can not be a clear winner, you can not dominate your market, you can not keep out new entrants. Okay, maybe for a short while but not indefinitely. Tie score, 7-7, "same ol same ol" across organizations and it may not change anytime soon. We all do the same things.

Breaking the tie
The only way you can break a tie is with your people. That's right, your employees. They make the difference and set you apart from the field. In a zero sum game where the truth be told, no one can really define service and quality, people make the difference. That is what doctors and patients will remember. That is how you can gain an advantage, that is part of the road to prosperity as an organization. Train them and get them into the community with presentations.

And oh by the way, there should not be a single presentation that anyone gives from the CEO on down that is over six slides. If you can't deliver a presentation in 4-6 slides, then you do not know what you are talking about. Stop the show up and throw up approach to information. People aren't stupid, they can read and that is exactly what they do when you put miles of information with 60 slides in a presentation. They read and don't listen, so why did you even bother giving a presentation? When you do that, then 80 percent of the presentation is about you, and only 20 percent about your audience. Think they really want to hear how great you think you are?

Employees satisfaction is one part of the puzzle to breaking the tie
Still think employee satisfaction isn't important or is only relegated to a bi-annual survey? Think again. The healthcare industry is built for a tie and if you want passionate committed employees and physicians, then you really need to treat them better. Otherwise, its a tie.

And ties aren't a lot of fun.