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Helping patients find the right care: 5 Best practices for co-marketing primary care and urgent care services

Article

Incorporating these co-marketing tactics into your strategy can be beneficial for both your practice and patients.

When you’re operating a health system or medical practice that encompasses multiple types of care, it can be tempting to focus on marketing those services separately. But that ignores the reality that patient needs are complex — and patients may even need help determining what they need.

Incorporating some co-marketing tactics into your marketing strategy can be beneficial for both your medical practice and potential patients. In addition to publishing content about primary care services, for example, you can also broaden your message by providing information that helps your patients see the full depth of your services and when and how to access each of them.

What’s the best way to spread the word about all of your services? And to help patients navigate their medical journey in the process? Read on for five best practices.

1. Keep patient needs front of mind.
In many cases, different types of care in a medical practice or health system end up in siloes. That’s somewhat understandable since the intricacies of each specialty are distinct. But the bigger picture is that each service is part of providing comprehensive patient care.

In any given year, many patients may see multiple physicians, like a primary care provider, a cardiologist, an allergist, and a dermatologist. And that’s largely considering only their chronic and preventive care needs.

When patients have an acute need, like an illness or injury, the options in front of them can seem overwhelming. You have the opportunity to break through that by providing content that helps patients choose the right type of care at the right time for their specific needs.

2. Know your patients’ priorities.

The most successful practices don’t just know what their patients need medically speaking — they also understand what they prioritize.

Let’s say a patient has a sore throat and a cough, and their primary care provider’s office is closed for the weekend. They need to know where to access care nearby over the weekend that accepts their insurance.

In this scenario, there are multiple factors to consider: The potential patient needs care that’s 1) accessible over the weekend, 2) close to home, and 3) covered by their insurance. Other factors, such as whether the patient prefers in-person or virtual care, are also at play.

Whatever your patients prioritize, your marketing materials should clearly address how your services meet those needs.

3. Offer multiple paths to action.

Patients have different medical needs, but they also have different needs and wants when it comes to taking action. Some people may visit a landing page knowing exactly what they want to do — for example, scheduling an appointment with their primary care provider.

But others will land on that same page without an understanding of what they need. As a medical practice, you need to accommodate both types of patients.

In any type of content, provide more than one way of taking the next step. On a website, that may mean including clickable links near the top of the page for those ready to take action before scrolling down, while also providing in-depth information with a call-to-action further down the page.

4. Clearly explain the value and benefits of each option.

When you're attempting to align patients’ needs with the services available to them, it is important that pertinent details are clearly communicated and that the content doesn’t add to the confusion. Instead, be sure it’s easy to parse through and equips patients to make educated decisions seamlessly.

Some potential patients may be looking to determine their options if they’re not an existing patient. Others may be wondering what conditions can be treated through virtual care. A worried parent may wonder if your urgent care facility can treat pediatric patients. Providing these details clearly on relevant pages helps patients navigate the decision-making process on their own, which not only provides an enhanced patient journey, but also frees up time and resources your practice may otherwise spend answering these questions over the phone.

5. Spotlight continuity of care.
One of the greatest benefits of co-marketing is having the chance to explain how streamlined care provides greater continuity and more positive outcomes. Be sure patients understand that their medical records will be accessible and shared within the same systems, and that if they receive virtual or urgent care, any needed follow-up appointments can be scheduled seamlessly on their behalf. Enhancing awareness is extremely valuable to the health system, as it improves patient retention within their system.

Dallas Sage is the Director of Digital Marketing for Full Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in healthcare. Full Media offers a full spectrum of digital marketing capabilities within the healthcare space, including website design, online advertising, SEO, patient experience optimization, and analytics.

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