3 Ways Content Can Attract Younger Members to Your Medical Association
Key Post Highlights
> Young professionals are online…a lot.
> Quality content can attract members to learn about and join your medical association.
> Content highlights what your organization can offer them and what you value.
The internet is a source of information for nearly everything. Need a new recipe? Internet. Want to know why your dog is sneezing? Internet (and hopefully, a vet). Looking for a laugh to boost your mood? Definitely the internet.
The internet is also where people search for jobs and job-related experience, including medical associations.
Having a useful and engaging web presence is crucial for any organization, and your medical association is no different. This is because people are nearly always online, with over one-third of Americans saying they are online “almost constantly.” And for young folks ages 18 to 29, this number jumps to nearly half.
If you’re looking to spread the word about your organization, especially among young professionals, your website is the place to start. And one of the most straightforward and effective ways to enhance your web presence is through content.
Quality content — including blog posts, static web pages, videos, podcasts, and social media — can attract younger members to learn about, engage with, and join your medical association. Here’s how.
1. Content can highlight what your medical association will offer young professionals.
Folks that have just graduated from medical school are looking for one thing — discounts.
Okay, they might be looking for a bit more than that, but they’re not in the business of wasting their time on something that won’t bring them value. Your website’s content has the power to highlight what your medical association is all about, and how it can benefit them, such as:
- Personal and professional discounts
- Access to exclusive events and professional journals
- Support with licensure and certification
- A platform to make real change
- A supportive network
Don’t assume people know what the benefits of a membership to your medical association are. Use your website’s content to be clear and excited about what value your organization can bring medical professionals both personally and professionally.
2. Content can showcase your medical association’s values.
Now, more than ever, young professionals want to be a part of organizations that reflect their values — whether about philanthropy, sustainability, social impact, or something else completely.
Possibly one of the most important values they’re looking for is a commitment to diversity and inclusion. This includes everything from hiring diverse workers to supporting employees of color in their career advancements to having important conversations about systemic racism.
What they don’t want is lip service. They don’t want to see a mission statement jam-packed with buzzwords with no real action to back up these claims.
Content is an ideal way to showcase what your organization stands for and what you’re actually doing to support that. Go beyond a fluffy mission statement, and show them the real action with data, stories, case studies, donations, testimonials, and any other way you can showcase what your organization is all about.
3. Content can get prospective members to take action.
Quality content creates leads, period.
The more active your website or blog is, the more likely your content will show up on Google’s search engine results page (SERP), be linked to from a different page, or be shared on social media.
Once prospective members make it to your medical association’s page, quality content will get them to take action by joining your association.
On the flip side, if your website remains quiet, or if your content isn’t of high quality, you won’t benefit from search engine traffic, social media, or other websites.
Your website — and the content that lives there — is a crucial part of how successful your medical association is. It attracts new, young folks, and it retains those who are already there. If your content isn’t up to par, now is the time to fix that. Not sure how or where to start? Let us help you create quality content to engage your audience.
What Role Will Blogs Play in Healthcare Marketing in 2023?
Key Post Highlights
> Blogs provide readers with the information they actually need.
> Blogs connect you with your audience.
> Blogs create leads.
The amount of information available with the click of a few buttons is nearly endless — especially when it comes to information about your health.
For better or worse, Dr. Google often replaces an actual conversation with a healthcare professional. People are looking for answers to anything from “Am I having a heart attack?” (4,400 monthly searches) to “Why is my hair falling out?” (22,200 monthly searches) to “How to stop hiccups” (60,500 monthly searches). Where readers find this information, of course, depends on what appears on the search engine results page.
The first step is getting your healthcare organization to show up on the results page with a good distribution strategy. Once readers get there, your blog sits at the center of an integrated healthcare marketing strategy.
While blogs date back to the mid-1990s, they have since become a crucial part of any healthcare organization’s website. Here are 3 roles blogs will play in healthcare marketing in 2023.
1. Healthcare blogs provide readers with accurate (and unique) information.
There’s no doubt that readers are searching the web for information about their health, whether it’s preventative, diagnostic, or therapeutic. The problem lies with where they stumble upon the information they’re searching for.
As a healthcare organization, you play an essential role in providing accurate and easy-to-digest information. Some would even argue that it’s your responsibility to do so.
What’s more, you can provide specific information that’s tough to find elsewhere. Forget the disease 101 stuff. Not only does that not cater to your specific audience, but it doesn’t showcase your organization’s expertise. By giving readers information that only you can provide, you’re delivering a much-needed service and becoming a thought leader in your space.
Not only does a blog benefit your patients, but it also promotes your specific services by explaining how they can support your audience’s health.
2. Healthcare blogs allow you to connect with your specific audience.
A good healthcare website has varied content. You have your pillar (or static) content, which highlights services, providers, and other relatively unchanging information.
But you also need an outlet for more specific information and a way to connect to your current and prospective patients.
Fluid content — such as the content on your blog — allows you to connect with patients, providers, and other people in your ecosystem. It’s precise communication tailored to your audience’s values.
From age to geographic location to socioeconomic status to race, there are many factors that you need to consider when relating to your audience and providing useful information. A blog is a space for exactly that.
3. Healthcare blogs create leads and boost your business.
Whether you’re looking to bring in new patients, promote a service line, recruit new providers, or do something else entirely, blogs are a place to make this happen.
The more active your blog is, the higher your site’s chances are of showing up on the search results page, being shared on social media, or being linked to from another page. In fact, companies with blogs have 97% more backlinks to their sites.
Once people make it to your website, they can see your calls to action, share your content, make appointments, and apply for jobs. These leads turn into tangible results for your organization.
Blog Your Way Into 2023
It’s never too late to start a robust marketing strategy that includes a blog. With a well-thought-out content calendar, engaging writing, and useful information, you can provide your audience and your organization with what it needs most this year.
At CareContent, we know blogs. Not only do we maintain the blogs of numerous clients, but we manage our own. Our newly reimagined blog, Bookmarked, provides even more useful, timely, and actionable information for our target audiences.
Ready to begin, enhance, or completely reimagine your healthcare organization’s blog? Let us help!
Build a digital footprint to establish a relationship with your audience that keeps them coming back for more. Connect with our digital strategists.
Why You Should Care About Your Healthcare Organization’s Environmental, Social, And Governance Efforts
Healthcare organizations have always made caring for patients and saving lives a priority. But recent studies suggest they need to take a step further with transparent social, environmental, and governance initiatives.
At the 2022 American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Virtual Leadership Symposium, CareContent CEO, Kadesha Thomas Smith moderated a session with the CEOs of three healthcare systems discussing the importance of ESG efforts. Included in the session were:
- Michael Dowling, President & CEO, Northwell Health
- Wright L. Lassiter, III, President/CEO, Henry Ford Health
- Johnese Spisso, MPA, CEO, UCLA Hospital System
What Are Environmental, Social, And Governance Criteria?Environmental, social, and governance criteria center around influencing positive change. They show that your company is committed to being responsible for society, which is often a marker for success and strength in a company. While these three categories have the common goal of doing good in the world, they each have slightly different focuses.
Environmental CriteriaFrom your carbon footprint to the use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing, environmental criteria come down to your company’s impact on the environment. In healthcare, organizations are making changes like using compostable cafeteria packaging and decreasing the environmental impact of medical supplies.
Social CriteriaYour social impact exists both within your company and in the broader community. This can include everything from LGBTQ+ equality to racial diversity to involvement in social movements beyond your organization. In healthcare, this may take the form of improving the diversity of your board, prioritizing inclusion programs within your organization, and enhancing workplace safety initiatives.
Governance CriteriaGovernance is about who is in charge of making decisions at your organization. It encompasses factors like diversity in leadership, executive pay, and how well leadership interacts with stakeholders. In healthcare, governance criteria are getting the least amount of love. However, it involves crucial aspects, like the structure of your board, pay equity among your staff, and the prevention of fraud and ethics breaches.
Who Actually Cares About Your ESG Efforts?ESG efforts are more than just another three-letter acronym to pay lip service to. These efforts impact those that have a stake in your company, either literally or figuratively. To be clear — everyone cares about your ESG efforts to some extent. But some groups care a little more (and in different ways) than others.
1. Investors care the most about your ESG efforts.Fighting climate change and promoting diversity does more than just show your company has a strong moral compass — it also suggests that you may offer investors higher returns. For instance, JUST Capital’s JUST U.S. Large Cap Diversified Index (JULCD) found that, between 2017 and 2019, public companies with high ESG scores outperformed similar companies that lacked a clear commitment to factors like the well-being of their employees and their impact on the environment. Investors also know that other stakeholders, like employees and consumers, care about your ESG efforts. This impacts the success of your organization, which has a direct correlation with how much money investors make.
2. Prospective employees care a lot about your ESG efforts.Healthcare is experiencing a severe shortage of employees, from physicians to nurses everyone in between. This creates serious competition for the best talent, and ESG efforts are one way to set your organization apart.
About 58% of health leaders say they plan to increase diversity and inclusion training and reporting in the next year.
How much your organization is dedicated to its environmental, social, and governance criteria matters to those considering working there. These efforts will enhance your reputation, build trust among your employees, and demonstrate what you value — all factors that will either resonate with prospective employees or drive them away.
3. Consumers care moderately about your ESG efforts — but they really care if you mess up.Consumers of healthcare organizations may not be demanding specific ESG information on your website, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. To start, consumers want to see their values reflected in the organizations to which they give their money. This could mean your commitment to the environment, your role in certain social movements, what your leadership looks like — or all three.
More than 60% of US consumers say they would view an organization more positively if it was taking clear steps to address social determinants of health.
What’s more, consumers are highly sensitive to ESG violations. For example, if consumers get wind that your carbon emissions are high — and your community also has high rates of respiratory issues — that’s a bad look. And as healthcare organizations are being called out for violating best practices, consumers may start demanding access to this information more often.
3 Ways To Enhance ESG EffortsYour environmental, social, and governance efforts play a major role in your healthcare organization’s success. If you haven’t already begun prioritizing these efforts, now is the time to start. Here are 3 ways to improve your ESG efforts and their visibility:
- Incorporate ESG into your strategic goals. Determine how you will put ESG efforts at the forefront — and make it known to your stakeholders on your website, social media, and, most importantly, through your actions.
- Be transparent and stay accountable. Gather real data, ideally using a third-party vendor to ensure neutrality. Track your ESG efforts and share your wins — and where you plan to grow — with your stakeholders.
- Create a plan you can stick to. Investors, employees, and consumers can all see right through lofty goals that you’ll never meet (and never intend to). Identify a practical plan of action you can adhere to — and get to work.
Do you want to be more transparent about your ESG efforts — or other core pillars of your organization — on your website? We can help.
How Hospital At Home Is Going Back To The Future (In A Good Way)
You may have seen it in the movies, read it in a book, or — depending on your age — experienced it yourself. House calls — when physicians provide acute-level care in a patient’s home — used to be the norm. Rather than schlepping the sick individual into the car and to the office, physicians used to go to where they were needed.
In fact, before 1950, house calls made up nearly half of all physicians’ visits in the US.
Now, house calls seem like a thing of the past. But with hospital at home, we might be heading back to the future — and there are plenty of benefits.
CareContent CEO, Kadesha Smith, moderated a session at the 2022 American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Virtual Leadership Symposium called “Leadership Insights: Hospital-at-Home — Creating Value for Patients and Providers.” Speakers included:
- Colleen Hole, FACHE, Vice President, Clinical Integration & Population Health at Atrium Health
- Stephen Parodi, MD, Executive Vice President of the Permanente Federation at Kaiser Permanente
- Justin Moore, DPT, CEO of American Physical Therapy Association
Why Hospital At Home Now?
In the decades that have passed since house calls were the norm, healthcare has come a long way. We’ve overcome issues of the past, like inefficiencies solved by electronic medical records and support from vendors.
What’s more, we’re already seeing this concept in action in other countries. For instance, Cuba’s healthcare system has an emphasis on community-based healthcare. Primary care providers don’t just live in the communities they serve, but they also visit each home at least twice per year to identify health conditions before they get worse.
Finally — and maybe most relevant right now — the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the hand of payers and policymakers. In November 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Acute Hospital Care at Home Program. This authorized hospitals to care for patients in their homes. It also allowed hospitals to access Medicare reimbursement for at-home care services for more than 60 conditions, like asthma and congestive heart failure.
Hospital at home is a move in the right direction. If your organization offers it, here’s why you should promote this offering and incorporate it into your content strategy. And if it doesn’t, here’s why it might be time to get on board.
5 Reasons Hospital At Home Benefits Patients And Healthcare Organizations
1. It reduces barriers to healthcare access.It shouldn’t come as a surprise that healthcare in the US is nowhere near equal. Hospital at home helps reduce some of the barriers that lead to these inequities. Visiting the doctor takes time and money. You need to have access to childcare and transportation, money to pay for said transportation (and possibly also the childcare), and the time to put yourself first — all of which are privileges not everyone has. Hospital at home is a solution to some of these problems. When the hospital goes to the patient, it helps limit hurdles to accessing quality care.
2. It keeps patients safe.
No matter how many measures you put in place to protect patients, the hospital setting puts patients at risk. It exposes patients to germs, and for those who are more vulnerable, this can be not just problematic, but deadly.
3. It allows clinicians a window into the lives of their patients.Where you live — including your neighborhood, support system, and physical home — all play a major role in your health. And yet, most healthcare providers have no idea what their patients’ lives are actually like. Hospital at home brings providers to patients’ homes, giving them an opportunity to see their patients’ lived experiences. For instance, if a patient has issues with falls, clinicians can identify fall risks in the home. If a patient has chronic respiratory issues, clinicians can pinpoint concerns like pets in the home.
4. It saves healthcare organizations money.Whether it’s a bookstore, school, or hospital, running any kind of brick-and-mortar business costs money. With the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of organizations have seen how the shift to virtual or at-home services can significantly reduce overhead costs for space and supplies. In fact, pilots of hospital at home have already seen savings of 30% or more per admission — all while keeping up with high-quality care. Major bonus — hospitals that are overcrowded can continue to serve patients and bring in income without needing open beds in their facilities.
5. It helps clinicians connect with caregivers and loved ones.Caregivers and loved ones play a significant role in the health of many patients. However, not all caregivers can make it to healthcare appointments, leaving it up to patients to remember and accurately relay important information. When clinicians go to patients’ homes, they can educate caregivers and loved ones right then and there. This can ensure accurate and timely information gets where it needs to go without the risk of miscommunication.
Hospital At Home: Where The Past Meets The Present And The Future
Hospital at home brings the notion of house calls to future opportunities in healthcare. But it also reflects the situation we are currently navigating — COVID-19.
The pandemic has turned our homes into our schools, workplaces, and gyms. Thanks to this shift, consumers expect everything that can be done at home to be done that way. Hospital at home meets consumers where they are — at home. This convenience isn’t just better for them, it also enhances the patient experience.
Bringing healthcare to patient homes benefits patients and healthcare systems alike. As healthcare organizations, policymakers, and payers continue to look at it as a favorable alternative, hospital at home is a way to go back to the future in healthcare.
At CareContent, we help healthcare organizations promote services like hospital at home. Let us know how we can help you meet your organization’s goals.
5 Parts Of A Quality Patient Testimonial
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing out there. When looking for a qualified babysitter, a go-to restaurant, or a new car, people rely heavily on the opinions and experiences of others.
When it comes to healthcare marketing, word of mouth isn’t just helpful — it’s absolutely critical.
Patients have options when choosing where to receive care. Whether they’re searching for a new primary care provider, a place to have surgery, or a place to deliver a baby, many will turn to one of the vastest resources out there — the internet.
Roughly 70% of patients say online reviews are a top reason they choose their healthcare providers.
Patient testimonials are where the internet meets word of mouth. They offer your healthcare organization the ability to showcase your excellent care in a high-traffic and controlled environment, like your website.
Patient testimonials are effective, but quality patient testimonials take work. Here are 5 components of a quality patient testimonial.
1. A Patient Who Is Excited About Your Healthcare Organization
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it often gets overlooked. When you’re choosing a subject for a patient testimonial, reach out to patients who have had an excellent experience they’re excited to share.
Some ways to find these patients include:
- Scour existing online reviews. Then, ask positive reviewers if they’d like to share their experience.
- Leverage your website. Dedicate a place on your website and in your e-newsletter where patients can request to share their stories.
- Recruit your team. Encourage your providers and staff to let you know when a patient has been particularly satisfied with their care.
- Use old-school signs. Place a few signs throughout your building that explain how patients can help support your organization through patient testimonials.
Note: Always, always use real patients in patient testimonials. Fabricating stories isn’t just unethical, it seriously diminishes your credibility as an organization.
2. An Engaging Title
There is great power in headlines. A boring title may get overlooked, but an enticing title will lead users to click on and read your patient testimonial.
With a great headline, your page traffic can vary up to 500%.
Source: Neil Patel Digital
Encourage people to read your patient testimonial by making it:
- Unique: While you may target a common keyword, make sure your title is one-of-a-kind and engaging.
- Specific: Let readers know exactly what they’ll learn by reading this testimonial.
- Useful: Help readers understand why reading this post will benefit them.
Here’s an example of a bland, vague, and unuseful title:
Patient Undergoes Heart Surgery to Save Life
Here’s an example of a unique, specific, and useful title:
Routine Screening Leads to Heart Surgery: How a Blood Pressure Test Saved Katrina’s Life (and Might Save Yours, Too)
3. Content That Is Both Accurate And Easy To Understand
Patient testimonials are promoting more than just your brand — they’re also promoting the service itself. For instance, a patient testimonial about heart surgery should highlight the importance of heart care and why a patient should receive care at your organization.
That’s why your content needs to be accurate, useful, and patient-friendly.
Take that heart surgery patient for instance. Their testimonial should include:
- An explanation of their heart condition, including risk factors and symptoms
- Types of heart screenings and who should get them
- Accurate, easy-to-understand information about the medical procedure
- How patients can learn more about this condition
In order to meet the needs of your users, keep your content easy to understand. Over half of adults in the US read below a 6th-grade reading level, so it’s important to use simple language and define everything that they might need to know.
4. Engaging Details About The Patient And Their Experience
The beauty of a patient testimonial compared to a generic online review is that patient testimonials tell a story. These narratives provide useful information, but they’re also detailed and engaging. This keeps users on the page longer, learning more about your organization.
Writing an engaging patient testimonial starts with keeping your patient front and center. Paint a picture of them by including:
- Who they are, such as family, career, hobbies, and life goals
- What landed them at your facility to begin with, such as a routine screening or an emergency
- Direct quotes from the patient
5. Images, Video, And Other Multimedia
No matter how engaging your story is, no one wants to read a text-heavy page of content.
Images, video, and other multimedia are a content writer’s best friend. They enhance your content by making it more exciting and easier to read.
Strategically place images throughout your text. While you should definitely use images of your patient (with their permission), consider using other images, such as ones of your facility or a machine that you describe. Always choose high-quality images that support your content.
Don’t forget — be sure to use alt text (alternative text) to ensure your images are accessible and able to be indexed by search engine crawlers.
Leverage Your Patient Testimonials On Your Website
Once you have a quality patient testimonial, use its content throughout your site as much as possible. Posting it to your blog or patient testimonial section is a great start, but you can also incorporate it (or parts of it) on landing pages, social media (like TikTok), or other marketing materials.
As a healthcare organization, patients have always been at the center of what you do. Patient testimonials allow you to highlight the excellent care you provide as well as highlight how other patients can benefit from your services.
Looking for help creating patient testimonials or other content for your healthcare website? We can help with content strategy, creation, and promotion.
Working From Home For Good? 8 Remote Tips And Tricks To Help Boost Productivity
In March of 2020, the world as we knew it changed. As the COVID-19 pandemic was ramping up, people were stocking up on household essentials, turning in-person social gatherings into virtual ones, and baking an absurd amount of sourdough bread.
Meanwhile, the workforce was going through its own transformation: Moving work from the office to people’s homes.
Working From Home By The Numbers
Among employed adult Americans:
- 20% worked from home prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 72% work from home currently.
- 54% say they would want to work from home indefinitely.
Source: Pew Research Center
Unlike home-baked bread and hoarding toilet paper, working from home became more ingrained in our society than ever before, and many companies are vowing to stick to a remote work environment. There are plenty of reasons for this, from saving money to valuing a true work-life balance to enhanced productivity.
At CareContent, we’re part of the original work-from-home group. Our team has been mostly remote since our beginning — way back in 2013. As a result, we know a thing or two about how to work from home effectively in a way that benefits both our company and employees.
Here are 8 tips for working from home to boost productivity and your mental well-being.
As A Company …
1. Set clear work hours.
The days of being in the office from 9 to 5 may be gone, but that doesn’t mean the idea of regular work hours should be.
As a company, set hours so employees know when to work — and when to sign off. This boosts communication and even morale. At CareContent, we start the morning off with a round of “good mornings,” and even though we might not chat much until later, it reminds us that we’re working together.
At the same time, the beauty of working remotely is that it allows for flexibility. If some of your employees are morning risers, let them sign on (and sign off) a little earlier. The same goes for your night owls — but in the reverse. Just make sure everyone meets in the middle for the amount of time your company needs to be productive.
2. Find a project management system that works for your company.
If your team is working remotely, your project management system matters immensely. But there are more than 300 project management tools out there, so choose one that fits your needs.
If there’s a free trial, have a few employees give one (or a few) a spin and report back. And if you decide on one only to realize it’s not your cup of tea, don’t hesitate to switch. At CareContent, our needs have changed over the years, and so has our project management software.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
When your team is working from dozens of different locations, it’s critical to foster as much communication as possible to enhance efficiency and avoid mistakes.
There are plenty of ways to do this. To start, use a communication channel to allow for ongoing interactions. At CareContent, we use Google Chat, but there’s also Slack, Teams, and Jabber, to name a few.
Keep in mind — communication requires more than just one touchpoint. Schedule check-ins with the whole team, smaller groups, or one-on-ones.
Also, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone every once in a while. Sometimes, written forms of communication can lead to misunderstandings — ones that talking on the phone can quickly diminish.
4. Set aside time to chat about non-work-related items.
Your team members are more than cogs in the machine. They are human beings with emotions, important life events, and a need to socialize. By setting aside time to chat about personal updates, world happenings, or anything else that is taking up the mental space of your employees, you’ll foster connections, boost morale, and enhance productivity.
At CareContent, we leave time for personal updates at the beginning of each team meeting. When one of our team members has something to share — like a life update or a need for positive thoughts and prayers — we share and we listen.
5. Gather feedback.
Once you take the time to craft a work-from-home situation that allows your company to thrive, ask the people who are working in this environment for honest feedback.
There are plenty of approaches to getting honest feedback from your team. Choose one — or multiple — and make sure that your workflow and processes are working for everyone. If they’re not, change them.
As An Individual …
6. Stick to a morning routine.
Your morning prep sets the scene for your day. Take the time to craft a morning routine that makes you feel good, such as a morning meditation, workout, or cup of coffee. Whatever your morning self-care routine is — use it to set yourself up for a positive workday.
Consider getting dressed for work, too. Whether that’s putting on lipstick and a nice blouse or simply combing your hair and brushing your teeth, try to avoid simply rolling out of your bed and into your office chair.
7. Keep your workspace separate from your home space.
Once you’re ready to sign on, do so in a place that’s separate from the rest of your home. This can be a full office or a designated area in a room — but it should not be on the couch in front of your TV. A dedicated workspace will help your mind recognize that it’s time to work.
Invest in a few quality office items, too, such as a chair with great lumbar support, a large monitor, or even a nice candle that makes you happy while you work.
8. Be mindful of your time.
Time is something that you can never get back. While it may be tempting to work long hours at home (especially if you’re a bit of a workaholic), take breaks throughout your day to boost your mental well-being and productivity.
Be sure to take vacation days from time to time, too — even if that just means staying at home and relaxing. And if you’re sick, do not push through a regular workday. Give your body the rest it needs.
At CareContent, working from home is second nature to us. But that doesn’t mean we don’t change things up when necessary. By establishing a company routine — but not allowing it to become “too routine” — you can ensure your remote team stays productive, happy, and supported.
CareContent can help boost your team’s productivity, whether you’re working in the office or working remotely. Let us help you with your content strategy goals.
Why — And How — To Be Transparent About The Diversity In Your Healthcare Organization
In the United States, healthcare is not equal.
There are any number of factors that can impact your ability to receive the care you need — socioeconomic status, geographic location, sexual identity and orientation, race. These factors can all play a role in which resources you have access to, which can influence your health and generally lead to poorer health outcomes.
Racial health disparities, in particular, are staggering.
Racial Health Disparities In The US
- In 2017, more than double the amount of Hispanic Americans were uninsured compared to white Americans.
- In 2018, less than half the amount of Black adults received mental health services compared to white adults.
- In 2017, American Indian and Alaska Native adults were nearly 3 times more likely to have diabetes compared to white adults — and 2.5 more times likely to die from it.
- Compared to any other racial or ethnic group, Black Americans continue to have the highest mortality rate for all cancers combined.
Source: Center for American Progress
These are just a few of the many statistics that highlight the very real problem of racial health disparities in the US. While no solution can fully address this problem on its own, one has recently made its way to the forefront of the healthcare system — diversity in the healthcare workforce.
Many studies point to the fact that when healthcare professionals look like their patients, it enhances the quality of care for patients and the overall health status of community members — many of whom are impacted by health disparities.
The case for diversity in healthcare is airtight. And it’s exactly why healthcare organizations around the country are stepping up their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts, including hiring, retaining, and promoting a diverse staff.
The problem is — talking the talk and walking the walk are two different things. And unfortunately, too many organizations are all talk.
- Nearly 90% of all hospital CEOs were white — even though just 60% of the population was white.
- Just 5% of physicians were Black — despite nearly 13% of the population being Black.
Sources: American College of Healthcare Executives, Association of American Medical Colleges, US Census Bureau
With these disheartening statistics — and the fact that not much progress is being made — not all healthcare organizations can flaunt a diverse and inclusive healthcare workforce in good faith.
Unfortunately, many still do.
Being transparent about the diversity of your healthcare organization is key. But it’s also important not to be deceitful in the process, whether that’s in your marketing efforts, on your website, or in conversations with your community members.
As you amp up your DE&I efforts in your healthcare organization, here are 3 factors to keep in mind.
1. Actually Build A Diverse Healthcare Organization
Step one should be obvious, but just in case it’s not — everything starts with building a diverse workforce.
Our country is a diverse one, and it’s becoming even more so. In fact, according to projections from the US Census Bureau, patient populations will move to a majority-minority balance by 2045.
And yet, our healthcare system does not reflect that.
Now is the time to recruit, build, support, and retain a workforce that looks like and understands your patient population. When patients interact with clinical staff members who share their gender, race, ethnicity, or language, they’re more likely to build a strong rapport.
This leads to stronger interpersonal care, enhanced medical comprehension, and higher chances of sticking with follow-up appointments — all of which can help address health disparities.
2. Be Transparent About Where You Are
As a healthcare organization, it’s critical for you to come to a common understanding of your organizational values. Who you are, what you stand for, and what you believe in are key aspects of whether or not a patient will want to come to you for care.
If that includes a commitment to diversity and inclusion, make that known — within your organization, to your patients, within your community, and on your website.
At the same time, if you are not at a place where you can truly say you have a diverse workforce, don’t be dishonest.
For instance, don’t build a website using stock images that depict a diverse staff when that’s not the case. And don’t release statements of support that contain plenty of buzzwords but loads of empty promises. These actions are not only deceitful, but they are also misguiding for the patient experience.
3. And Be Transparent About Where You’re Going
Whether you have a diverse workforce or not, be honest about your organization’s goals for the future.
If your healthcare organization is already diverse, talk about how you are going to utilize those diverse perspectives to better serve your patient population and reduce health disparities. Be open about how you are supporting the people of color within your organization, including their growth toward leadership positions.
If your workforce is not yet diverse, discuss the concrete steps you are taking to get there. For instance, if you have a DE&I Committee, who’s on it? What do they do? Who is holding them accountable? Or, if you’re implementing hiring practices that support diversity, what are those exactly? What progress have you made so far? Who is overseeing this process?
Diversity and inclusion are no doubt an essential part of healthcare that must be enhanced, supported, and talked about.
As with all factors within your healthcare organization, be transparent — but be honest.
Do you have questions about how to align your healthcare organization’s website with your values? We can help.
Why Your Audience Isn’t Opening Your E-Newsletter: 6 Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid
Email — you can’t live with it, but you certainly can’t live without it. If you’re like most working adults, reading and writing emails takes up a lot of your time. In fact, it amounts to nearly 30% of the workday for the average professional in the US.
While this may be overwhelming, it’s critical to communication both personally and professionally. As a company, it’s also crucial to your healthcare organization’s marketing efforts.
Email marketing, or sending promotional messages to your audience in large volumes, is typically designed to generate leads. With more than 4 billion email users, email marketing can be hugely successful — if done correctly.
Email marketing has an average return on investment of $38 for each dollar spent.
Source: Neil Patel Digital
The problem is — people are constantly inundated with emails. With so many emails flooding everyone’s inboxes, how do you make sure the ones from your organization actually get opened?
Start with fixing common but avoidable mistakes. Here are 6 reasons your audience isn’t opening your emails (and how to fix those problems).
1. Your emails are too general.
Everyone wants to feel special — including your readers. Rather than sending the exact same email to everyone, customize your message to segmented audiences.
In order to define your segments, use data, such as browsing history, demographics, social media activity, questions from surveys, and any other information you have about your audience. For instance, you might segment email lists based on your audience’s need for certain diagnostic or screening tests.
Segmenting your email list may take time, but it’s worth it. Segmented and personalized campaigns have been shown to boost revenue by up to 760%.
2. Your email subject lines are boring and not useful.
Just like the title of blog articles need to be carefully crafted to be intriguing yet focused, email subject lines must catch the attention of your audience immediately. Otherwise, into the trash they’ll go.
Not only will your audience delete your email, but email providers will get rid of them, too. In an effort to clear user inboxes, emails with repetitive titles frequently end up in “promotion” tabs or straight into the spam folder.
When writing your email subject lines:
- Keep them concise.
- Highlight benefits to your reader.
- Make them personal.
- Incorporate keywords.
- Use active voice.
3. Your emails don’t provide your audience with anything.
Assuming your organization has a website and even a minor social media presence, your audience won’t struggle to find you. This means you need to stop using your emails for generic marketing.
Instead, use your emails to give them something useful. Let them know about new information that might interest them. Provide them with a special incentive. Send out an announcement that you want them to know about first.
Whatever it is, make sure the content in your email marketing is special and valuable — and not something they can just find on their own.
4. Your emails aren’t made for mobile.
Nearly every American has a cellphone of some kind — and roughly 85% of those are smartphones. Chances are your emails are being opened on mobile devices, and yet, almost 1 in every 5 email campaigns is not designed for an optimal experience on mobile devices.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to get on board with email marketing for mobile devices. Otherwise, your audience might just click delete.
5. Your email content is congested.
Like all web content, emails need to be easy to digest. When it comes to healthcare content, millions of Americans don’t have strong health literacy skills. Easily digestible healthcare information starts with the copy — and ends with the design.
Email copy should:
- Stick to short sentences and paragraphs.
- Use bullet points.
- Never use jargon or complicated words.
Then, utilize a clean design with pleasing color palettes.
6. You’re sending too many emails.
People’s email inboxes are already overflowing. Don’t add to that by sending emails once, twice, or even three times a day. Not only do they run the risk of getting deleted, but users might also mark them as spam or unsubscribe entirely.
Stick to high-quality emails that contain specific and useful information one or two times a week. This keeps your audience from being annoyed with you, and it also increases the chance these emails will actually be read.
Email Marketing: Worth The Effort (When Done Right)
Email marketing is the superhero of content promotion. You have direct access to your audience, you probably already have permission to send them content, and you can run analytics to see what’s working — and what’s not.
Take the time to set your email marketing strategy up for success. Your open rate will thank you for it.
Do you have questions about your healthcare organization’s digital marketing and analytics? Let us help.
Establish a digital footprint that keeps your brand front and center with your audience. Connect with a distribution specialist to get your content into the right hands.
What Is Content Strategy?
If you’ve ever spent a Sunday afternoon binge-watching house flipping shows, you know the importance of having a plan before diving into a big project. Without one, mistakes are made, arguments are had, and a whole lot of drama (and wasted money) ensues.
The same concept applies to content creation.
A well-thought-out content strategy is critical to delivering useful and useable content that your users can navigate easily and efficiently.
According to our in-house content strategy expert, Sammi Gassel, UX Content Strategist, content strategy is a lot like a house blueprint. And that blueprint is the basis of your website’s success.
“You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint. From an aesthetics perspective, it could look jumbled if you realize halfway through building that you missed some things. From a functionality standpoint, putting in the wrong pipe could render your plumbing useless. And most importantly, the house wouldn’t be built on a solid foundation and could crumble around you. The same goes for web content (sans the physical safety risk),” explains Sammi.
Content Strategy Provides Design, Functionality, And Foundation
“Without those three elements in place, your content won’t attract audiences, won’t lead them to take action, and ultimately won’t be beneficial to the health and stability of your organization.”
Sammi Gassel, UX Content Strategist, CareContent
Content Strategy: What Is It And Why Does a Website Need It?
Content strategy is a plan that identifies your business goals — and uses content to get you there. It identifies what already exists on your site, what should exist, and, most importantly, why it should exist.
The goal of content strategy is simple — to create content that users actually want. A strong content strategy helps ensure your content is relevant, engaging, long-lasting, and cohesive.
What Does Content Strategy Look Like?
Content strategy is not a one-off concept. Instead, it exists in stages:
- Audit & Analyze: Identify business goals, determine targets to achievement, interview stakeholders, assess the landscape of competitors or comparable sites, and analyze current websites.
- Strategize: Determine content (including what needs to be completely redone, touched-up, and archived), taxonomy, sourcing, voice, brand definition, and workflow.
- Create: Write search-engine-optimized content, and produce other appropriate assets.
- Maintain: Audit content periodically, and stay up-to-date with current trends and user needs.
5 Quick Tips On Creating Your Content Strategy
- Center your content strategy on your organization’s goals and user needs — and make sure you know how you will measure your outcomes.
- Create and structure content based on how your audience thinks according to user testing and market research.
- Ensure accessibility of your website, including adhering to all ADA requirements.
- Observe current trends or standards, such as inclusive language or online reviews.
- Leverage social media, and choose channels that are the most popular and helpful to your audience.
Need help with your content strategy? Whether it’s setting analytics goals, making sure your site is accessible, or deciding the best marketing strategy, we can help. Contact us today.
5 Ways To Encourage Your Team To Practice Self-Care At Work
Self-care is a concept that took the world by storm. Gaining traction in the 2010s — and really picking up steam around 2015 — self-care is something that many people grasped onto in a world that felt increasingly chaotic.
On Instagram alone, there are nearly 24 million usages of the hashtag #selfcare, many alongside pictures of self-care moments, such as bubble baths, time in nature, or even eating a plate of french fries (or some other guilty pleasure). Self-care is a way to slow down and give back to yourself in a way that works for you.
Despite the fact that self-care seems to be everywhere, it’s less common at work. Not surprisingly, few people consider responding to emails, attending meetings, and conversing with clients to be self-care. But because work tends to take up the majority of our hours, self-care is often put on the back burner until the workday is over.
Meanwhile, employees are feeling burned out, overwhelmed, and downright exhausted.
It’s up to an organization’s leadership to encourage self-care to keep employees happy and healthy. In turn, employees remain productive and motivated at work.
At CareContent, self-care isn’t a buzzword — it’s a part of who we are. We recognize that taking some time to ourselves helps us perform better as a team. Here are 5 ways to encourage self-care on your team to benefit not just your employees, but also your company as a whole.
1. Establish online — and offline — hours.
Whether you’re a team of five or five hundred, establishing — and sticking to — set work hours can go a long way with self-care.
As many companies shifted from working in the office to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, people actually ended up working more hours than before. In the US, UK, Austria, and Canada, employees working from home worked an average of 2.5 hours more than before the pandemic.
As a team, establish hours when employees are expected to be available — and also when they can completely shut off — to avoid confusion and frustration. Outside of these set hours, there should be no expectation to respond to emails, attend meetings, or even put mental space into work.
2. But allow for flexibility when possible.
While set hours lead to consistency, also offer flexibility when you can to promote self-care.
Previously, commutes, drives to lunch, and the infamous “water cooler chats” broke up the day. Now, as employees sit in front of their computer at home, let your team take breaks when they need to. Allow your employees to attend a doctor appointment during the workday, take a long lunch every once in a while, or take a walk midday to unwind.
As long as your team is meeting deadlines, remaining productive, and communicating effectively, let them figure out how to get there.
3. Actually encourage taking time off.
These past couple of years have consisted of a lot of time at home — and very little time anywhere else. Due to COVID-19, many people canceled vacations, get-togethers, and other reasons for time off.
Unfortunately, this is the opposite of self-care.
Time off doesn’t have to be taken for just vacations. You can also encourage time off in other ways. You can standardize certain days off, such as half-day Fridays in the summer or mandatory birthdays off. Or, you can simply be vocal about letting your team know they can and should take time off, even if they’re just bingeing Netflix all day.
4. Have meaningful conversations about self-care.
The best way to know how your team is doing is to actually ask them. At CareContent, we are committed to getting honest feedback from all team members.
While we have our approach, there are plenty of ways to do this, such as surveys, one-on-one meetings, and round-robin check-ins during larger meetings. A combination of a few of these approaches can ensure you’re getting the information you’re looking for.
Go beyond asking them how they are — ask them what they need. What would help them practice self-care, maintain a work-life balance, and feel appreciated in their role?
Then, of course, it’s absolutely crucial to follow up on requests in a real way.
5. Set a self-care example for your team.
Everyone needs self-care, including business leaders. But practicing self-care will not only help you — it will also ensure your team knows self-care is a priority in your organization.
Whether it’s sticking to a morning workout, setting an email signature that identifies your online hours, or taking a mental health day every once in a while, make sure your employees know that you practice self-care.
Model the behavior you want to see in your workforce, support their endeavors, and then watch your employees thrive.
Small Gestures Lead To Big Changes In Self-Care
Even small gestures can make a big impact on your team. Give your team an extra day off around the holidays. Send out a small e-gift card with a note saying, “Coffee is on us this morning!” Or, just take the time to say “thank you” to your team.
Self-care is all the rage in organizations recently, but it’s important to practice what we preach. Encourage your team to practice self-care for the benefit of their health and your overall company’s health.