While healthcare organizations are busier than ever due to the pandemic, their bottom lines have suffered. But hospitals and healthcare systems can offset the fiscal hit by leveraging their top revenue-generating clinical services.

High-value service lines, even in competitive markets such as metro New York, have been setting themselves apart with precisely targeted, multi-faceted B2B marketing that incorporates specialty publications. Elite cardiology and ortho service lines have used high-impact journal-style publications to target referring physicians with a great deal of success.

Not only can these generate direct referrals by educating other physicians on new and emerging procedures, they also serve as a recruitment tool. One New York-based hospital has produced an annual cardiac journal for almost 20 years and still considers it among their strongest tools for building awareness and referrals.

Reinforce Reputation, Boost Rankings

There is a higher confidence in using the printed word to achieve certain marketing goals. For example, some of our clients highlight clinical excellence and innovation in their service-line publications in order to boost reputation scores. Their publications go to a targeted list of medical colleagues who are likely voters for rankings such as U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals and Best Pediatric Hospitals.

Digital and print communications work hand-in-hand in these efforts, and a high-quality print publication delivers a reference piece that is easily accessed and shared. Perhaps due to the tactile nature of print, it captures attention longer and is more readily understood and retained compared to digital media, according to a Canada Post/True Impact study.

Getting something in the mail is a special occasion now, thanks to streaming, digital publishing, social media and online billing. So, a high-end publication stands out when it arrives in targeted colleagues’ mailboxes, making a lasting impression to motivate referrals and add patient traffic.

Successful Steps for Service-Line Publications

When your service line lays groundwork in advance, before production begins, it sets the stage for your print showcase to travel safely from the mailbox to the hands of a referring clinician.

Use data analytics in order to understand what services your catchment area needs and wants, advises the Healthcare Financial Management Association, then customize content according to those insights. This can help to attract new referrals to high-value service lines and maximize efforts and budget to serve new patients “most likely to remain within the hospital’s care network,” HFMA says.

Focus all content on the physician who receives it, so you retain attention and reinforce the benefits of your service line — not only for patients, but also for doctors. Acknowledge concerns plainly, citing your data, and then show how physicians and people benefit from choosing care from you.

Appeal to busy doctors by detailing how your facility accommodates them. For example, your EHR provides seamless referrals, admissions and follow up. Or perhaps you save their time with valet parking and convenient security and pandemic-safety measures.

Share success stories with quotes from patients and referring clinicians, demonstrating how your service line makes a real difference for real people. Consider a before-and-after showcase with a variety of success stories, ideally with patients who reflect your catchment area’s targeted demographic. Show passages from illness toward health with text and professional photos.

Use separate sidebars to mention fellowships, certifications and awards, accompanied by accrediting organizations’ logos so physicians can absorb them in glance. This treatment keeps your main narratives on-track in order to maintain each reader’s attention.

Finally, harness that attention into action. Equip doctors with bullet points for their patients. Add calls to action on every spread, optimally with print-specific phone numbers and QR codes (popular again because they don’t require apps). Also include print-specific URLs in order to flag responses for your web analytics colleagues and strengthen connections between your digital and print marketing tactics.

High-Value Service Lines

These specialties generate the highest average net revenue annually for hospitals, according to the 2019 Merritt Hawkins Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue Survey.

  1. Cardiovascular surgery
  2. Invasive cardiology
  3. Neurosurgery
  4. Orthopedic surgery
  5. Gastroenterology
  6. Hematology/Oncology
  7. General surgery
  8. Internal medicine
  9. Pulmonology
  10. Noninvasive cardiology