ASC Marketing 101 – Creating Patient Education Campaigns

Posted Apr 1, 2024 under:

Improving Reach

Patient education campaigns can become a vital tool for ASCs to help inform and educate patients.

ASC Marketing 101

Learn tips and tricks to designing and implementing your patient education campaigns.

Welcome to ASC Marketing 101 by SCA Health. This series will focus on marketing aspects you or your center can implement to improve public perception, patient education, and patient satisfaction.

Patient education campaigns can be valuable for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) to connect with patients and create a better-informed community. Along with internal efforts, external factors, such as communicating and sharing patient education materials with referring providers, ensure that patients receive the same information throughout their patient care journey.  

Patient education campaigns can take many forms, including videos, emails, social media, brochures, and more. No matter the format, the goal of any patient education campaign is to create a patient community that is healthcare literate and informed. Patients who are knowledgeable regarding the care they plan to receive will have improved decision-making,

A 2022 study entitled Empowering Patients: Promoting Patient Education and Literacy aimed to develop better patient education materials, in addition to verbal counseling from providers, to help improve patients’ decision-making and healthcare literacy.

The Importance of Patient Education

Patient education provides several benefits for providers and patients alike. A provider who informs their patients can help them feel more at ease prior to receiving care, producing improved patient outcomes.

Education can also help reduce infectious diseases, as an informed patient is more likely to follow the rules and guidelines set for post-procedure care and finishing antibiotic scripts and medication.

Before implementing their changes, study authors Pradnya Brijmohan Bhattad and Luigi Pacifico surveyed providers to establish their thoughts on education collaterals. Of these responses, 48.8% replied that patient education is always important in the ASC setting. A further 28.8% said it is usually important. Even though over 60% of respondents said education tools are important, only 2.2% said they always provide these resources, and only 17.8% replied that they usually do. The majority, 55.6%, said they only sometimes hand out patient education materials.

Additional questions explored the reasoning behind not providing these materials to patients. Participating providers noted that fetching appropriate resources took too much time from patients. This clash between efficiently managing time spent with patients and providing resources leads to reduced opportunities for education by providers despite the recognized importance of patient education.

Developing Resources & Selecting Platforms

The best way to begin developing these resources is first to take stock of what you currently have. Identify and catalog any existing resources. After you have identified what you have, you can decide what you need and prioritize the creation of new materials. A corporate partner, such as SCA Health, can assist in creating new collateral or updating existing pieces.

After selecting your topic(s), determine the platform for your educational pieces. Some examples of mediums you can use include:

  • Tri-fold brochures
  • 1-pagers
  • Video
  • Emails
  • Social Media

Each of these platforms has its pros and cons. For example, a tri-fold handed to a patient in the exam room allows the patient to ask questions immediately and receive instant feedback. However, the limited space provided by a physical brochure can limit the amount of information included.

Similarly, education materials in an email offer the ability to include more information and provide more detailed explanations of procedures. Adversely, questions that may arise for a physician may take longer to receive responses.

 To combat these differences, ASCs can take a multi-platform approach, disseminating these resources across multiple platforms. Below is an example of how patient education campaigns can be utilized in various lanes:

 “North Ridge ASC is looking to implement a colorectal cancer awareness (CRC) education campaign for its patients for March. To reach a maximum audience, ASC leaders create plans for four social media posts on the center’s Facebook page (1 per week) to maximize reach. Additionally, the team works with their corporate partner to develop a physical tri-fold brochures for placement inside their center. These brochures are prominently placed at the front desk, in the waiting area, and inside exam rooms for patients. Finally, an email is sent to the center’s patient list, outlining CRC facts and encouraging all patients to receive their screenings if eligible.” 

Other Aspects to Consider

Along with platforms and content, ensure buy-in from all ASC staff. If promoting awareness of a disease or struggle, make sure physicians discuss it with patients and that questions to center staff, be it in person, through email, or online, are answered promptly.

Additionally, provide outside resources in combination with those you have created, such as relevant links to government agencies or reputable organizations where patients can learn more if interested.

Consider a corporate partner to assist in management in your center and the creation of patient education collaterals. SCA Health is one such partner.

To learn more about SCA Health and how we can assist you, click here.

Check out previous editions of ASC Marketing 101 below

Resources

Empowering Patients: Promoting Patient Education and Literacy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9411825/

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