Over the years, healthcare has gone in and out of favor with the general population, most often because of two main factors. The first is obviously cost and the second is typically in response to the length of time it takes to get into a doctor if you should become ill. Patients are tired of being made to feel as though their time isn’t important and when they are sick, waiting a week or two to be seen is totally unacceptable.
If you are in any profession within the healthcare industry, there are some things you can do to counteract bad press. Some things you can do personally and other things must happen on an administrative level, but when combined, you should begin to see a difference in your community as to how your healthcare facilities are viewed.
1. Make Better Use of Technology to Speed up Processes
Stop for a moment to consider how technology is impacting the way we live our everyday lives. From shopping to studying, the Internet is an invaluable asset and something you can use to counteract bad press in your area. Hire a PR agency that has a high success rate and let them write whatever is necessary to show that you are concerned about the state of healthcare in your city and highlight success stories such as a local favorite nurse who just completed her BSN to DNP online. Locals love it when one of their own succeeds and what could be a bigger success than getting that nurse practitioner doctorate degree?
2. Work towards Recruiting New Talent
Some cities go out of their way to encourage young people to go to nursing school or med school to become doctors. There is such a shortage that local businesses band together and offer scholarships to promising young students who are willing to commit the first number of years to the community. This is a two-way street. Local businesses get good press and so does the healthcare industry in your town!
3. Offer Assistance to Those Eager to Further Their Careers
Local hospitals and clinics should also go above and beyond what is already on the books in terms of staff development. There is a shortage of both doctors and nurses so offering a nurse with a masters degree the opportunity to move up from an MSN to DNP online is a wonderful opportunity. No, it would not be feasible to pay the entire cost but a stipend to help them pay tuition and for any materials they need would perhaps give them the incentive to move upwards and onwards – again with the contractual agreement to provide nurse practitioner services to the community for a pre-determined length of time.
Sometimes it only takes showing that the medical community really does care about the residents in their city, their town, their rural area. Too many times doctors are viewed as professionals who put themselves on a pedestal who somewhere along the line lost their vision of treating humanity of the ills and pains they suffer. Good press can quickly counteract bad press if it is done in a genuine manner. These ideas are a good start but always remember that a patient-centered focus is what will turn them around faster than any other marketing you could ever dream of. They are what matters, so tell them!