If you live on planet earth and provide healthcare services to patients, chances are you have been and will continue to be affected by changes to admissions criteria and reimbursement. In recent weeks I’ve spoken with physicians and skilled nursing executives who are all facing challenges – either changes mandated by CMS or insurance provider coverage. These changes have affected census for healthcare providers whose number one goal is to provide great patient care and help as many patients as they are able. So, how does a skilled nursing facility, medical group or practice grow their census in the wake of continual changes? The answers lie in consistent quality measures.
If your practice or skilled nursing facility is census challenged, there are several marketing initiatives that can and should be employed to increase branding and hence patient awareness. However, all SNFs and practices are not created equal. Campaigns will bring patients to you, but what will encourage them to trust your facility or practice and make the decision to place their care in your hands resides in your quality measures.
Why do quality measures matter in healthcare? According to CMS , quality measures are “ tools that help measure or quantify healthcare processes, outcomes, patient perceptions, and organizational structure and/or systems that are associated with the ability to provide high-quality health care and/or that relate to one or more quality goals for health care.” Whether you are a skilled nursing facility, a medical group or practice providing medical care, your processes which influence patient outcomes are paramount to patient perceptions and thereby decisions about who they will trust with their care.
As healthcare practitioners whose number one goal is to provide quality patient care, you do not need glitzy propositions to attract patients. Rather, your marketing efforts should focus on educating patients about how timely your care is and whether your outcomes are:
If you focus on this criteria, dive into the data and create smart marketing campaigns that educate and inform, you are guaranteed to build value with patients and their families allowing them to make the best decision for their care – your medical practice or skilled nursing facility. So, don’t hide your quality outcomes, share them! Market your quality measures and increase your census!