Welcome to ASC Marketing 101 by SCA Health. This series will focus on aspects of marketing that you or your center can enact to improve public perception and patient satisfaction.
Your ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) website is a digital storefront for current and potential new patients. Digitally, it’s how you and your location market yourselves to those in need. According to PatientPop, “Three out of four people have searched online to find out about a doctor, dentist, or medical care.”
Many patients likely visited your website before deciding that your location was their preferred place to receive care. On the other hand, a more significant number of potential patients probably found something on your website that discouraged them from seeking care with you.
In marketing, the decision process that buyers, in this case patients, undergo before making a purchasing decision (scheduling an appointment) is known as “the funnel.” You’ll never achieve a 100% success rate in bringing in everyone who views your website, but there are steps you can take to improve your odds of increasing patient volume.
Your Digital Storefront
Your ASC’s website is one of the first avenues a patient will see when researching their location for care. SCA Health-partnered ASCs can utilize a premade template, making maintenance and changes more manageable.
A website has many pieces, including contact information, physician bios, urgent updates, and the center’s history. All these aspects combine to make a fully developed, singular location for everything a potential patient needs to know.
A Good User Experience
User experience (UX) is one of the most essential pieces of hosting a successful website.
When viewing your website, think from the perspective of a patient. Is your website easy to navigate? Could a patient find your address and contact information in three clicks or less?
A broken website can quickly discourage patients from scheduling an appointment. Ensure that tabs lead to correct locations and that critical info, such as access to your patient portal, contact information, and more are readily available. If your center is partnered with a website manager, conduct quarterly audits to ensure that pages and links remain in good working order.
Social Media Links
Social media has quickly become a must-have on your website. While social media may not seem helpful for a healthcare provider, these platforms have proven their ability to connect providers and ASCs to a wide range of potential new patients. Having links on your website that connect users to your social media profiles can ensure that they follow your center for frequent and up-to-date news and happenings. A visible social media newsfeed provides a sense of interest and active participation with your patients that they enjoy seeing when visiting your site.
Social media can quickly disperse news and updates to your community, including patients. Delayed openings or closures, awards and recognitions, new or discontinued patient services, and new hires are all relevant information for your ASC’s social media profiles.
Your center’s “About Us” page acts as a condensed history lesson on your location. This can include information such as dates of opening, your values, a list of communities you serve, and more.
Any impressive, relevant statistics can also be included here, such as the number of patients you’ve treated and procedures performed per year, which can add to your center’s outward reputation and garner trust with potential new patients.
Hosting a biography page on your physicians is another way to improve trust in your ASC with patients. While education and personal history are valuable tools, a visual representation of a physician can be the final piece that convinces a patient to visit your location.
These bios and headshots can also create a level of comfort for a new patient, as they can recognize their care provider when they enter the room. This helps reduce exam or operating room anxiety and can lead to a more pleasant patient experience.
In an article for Independence Digital, Dr. Daniel Yelfimov lists four things’ physicians should aim to include in their website biography:
- Create a personal connection with patients (using first-person language)
- A professional photo
- Special Training & Areas of Interest
- Awards and Recognition
A proper “Contact Us” section (typically at the bottom of any page) is another tool your center can use to collect new patient information. This information can also be used to distribute news and information via a defined email strategy. Learn more about creating your center’s email strategy in a later edition of this series.
Like collecting sensitive patient data, contact information, such as emails, should be closely guarded and secured behind appropriate safeguards to maintain privacy. Along with patient vitals, contact information can be a prime target of cybercriminals, who aim to steal and sell patient records. Learn more about center cybersecurity and cybercriminal threat vectors here.
A call to action (CTA) is a phrase, such as “click here” or “call now,” that encourages a visitor to your website to take action. “Contact Us” is a form of a call to action and can be valuable in gathering new patient information. This also opens the door for further interactions, such as scheduling appointments and follow-ups.
A complete website results from many pieces working in unison, like a functioning center. Each piece works in unison to disperse information, create an ease of use for visitors, encourage patients to make contact, and more.
SCA Health offers partnered ASCs the opportunity to utilize a prebuilt template that makes running your website more accessible and smoother. Learn more about how we assist ASCs by visiting sca.health today.
SCA Health Insights Tab: https://insights.sca.health/insight/article/understanding-cyber-attack-vectors-in-healthcare