The “Bigger is Better” mentality is a threat to rural healthcare
Far too many people have been led to believe that Bigger is Better when it comes to healthcare. It is a common misconception that large hospitals mean better outcomes for patients despite evidence to the contrary. The continued out-migration of rural residents to urban hospitals has put many rural hospitals in dire financial straits.
We must fight this idea
It falls upon all of us who are providing valuable healthcare services in rural communities to fight against this “bigger is better” mentality. There are two fronts in this battle. The first is to provide quality care close to home. The second is to make our communities aware of these services and their value through effective marketing.
You are the experts on providing quality care and we are the experts at effective marketing. Here are some of the most effective marketing strategies to fight out-migration.
Three ways to fight “Bigger is Better”
- Community Involvement
- A focus on local concerns
- Persistent messaging on the quality of small providers
As members of the local community, you have a unique advantage over out of town hospitals. You understand what events and organizations which are key cultural touchstones in your community. By partnering with these organizations and events you can build incredible social trust and recognition in your community.
Familiarity is a key part of trust-building. You want your brand connected to the local identity and in the mind of every potential customer. You want to show you are out there, caring for the community and looking out for people. This way, when people need help, they will have you at the front of their mind.
Focus on Local Concerns
The healthcare needs of rural communities are different from those of the city and are often unique in each area. If you can speak to what is specifically on the minds of local people then they will see you as understanding their needs far better than the corporate giant.
Make your patient’s concerns front and center in your marketing efforts and be sure to highlight how your services can help them with their health concerns.
Persistent Messaging about quality
A quick Google search about “Healthcare bigger is not better” will lead you to a host of academic articles and expert opinion on why smaller healthcare providers can be just as effective and more affordable than mega-hospitals. You can use these kinds of articles in your social media marketing or in press releases for local news.
The more you share these ideas in your community the more this message will take hold. And if we all participate in this effort, the combined messaging magnifies the impact. The more times you hear a message, the more likely you are to take it to heart so persistence is key.