As a healthcare marketer, you’re tasked with filling appointments year-round, because unlike other industries that sell seasonal products and run seasonal marketing campaigns, the need for healthcare is continuous. While there may be a “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” or a “Men’s Health Month”, breast cancer screenings and prostate exams occur throughout the entire year--so outreach to drive patient volume and schedule those services should also occur all year.
Patient Volume Challenges
Your current healthcare marketing technology stack combined with manual workflows and processes can make it challenging to build and deploy marketing programs that use real-time patient and appointment capacity data, and are always on. Even though the actual outreach to patients may be automated, many aspects of the set up of marketing campaigns are still manual - creating lists, segmenting lists, creating copy for each segment, selecting campaign start and end dates, checking appointment capacity before starting a campaign, etc..
Healthcare marketers have an opportunity to leverage AI to deploy and automate patient outreach programs that are always on and more routine and consistent in nature. You should offload these more conventional programs so you can focus on more complex, variable campaigns that require high touch interactions.
More routine, conventional programs might include:
- Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) reminders
- Care gap outreach - mammograms, colonoscopies, prostate exams, physicals, routine dental cleanings, eye exams
- Outreach to patients approaching Medicare eligibility age
For programs that drive patient volume with automation, benefits include:
- Increase efficiency - software can do more faster than a human
- Reduce time spent on manual tasks - this can give you more time to focus on unique marketing campaigns
- Scalable - a human can only go through so much data alone
- Reduce errors - humans, no matter how careful we are, make mistakes
- Improve compliance - software can be programmed to meet requirements and prove compliance
- Drive more revenue at a lower cost - software costs less than manual human work
By offloading your patient outreach programs that are more routine in nature, you can focus on strategic and complex campaigns to promote:
- New location openings
- New service offerings
- New patient acquisition
- Philanthropic endeavors
Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Always-On Campaigns
Always-on campaigns can take care of conventional programs that are more constant in nature, making use of real-time data, and delivering reporting / analytics on program status.
Care gap outreach campaigns should be always on and automated because there is nothing unique about them and healthcare doesn’t stop.
Healthcare marketers using an AI-powered, CRM intelligence solution with complete transparency allows you to access real-time patient data to throttle and optimize patient outreach to drive appointments. Machine learning can be used on your patient data sets to uncover hidden correlations to accurately identify and predict individual patient needs, preferences, and risks. This data-driven approach can determine next best actions (NBAs) that are then filtered and ranked according to clinical needs, prospective value, and each patient’s likely response before automating a proactive 1:1 dialogue with a patient.
Identifying and prioritizing next best actions for each patient helps ensure the most relevant, critical, highest value message is delivered. It avoids overwhelming patients with multiple messages and calls-to-action. Virtua Health partnered with Actium Health to identify and prioritize their breast-cancer screening outreach, which resulted in 1,395 lives being positively impacted via an early breast cancer diagnosis. By leveraging AI-powered campaigns, Virtua Health identified patients that were 15x more likely to have breast cancer and drove patient volume with 11,310 scheduled mammograms.
Follow Responsible AI Practices
At Actium Health, we follow responsible AI practices, meaning our models are not biased. Without responsible practices, biased data and algorithms can cause inequities based on multiple factors, which may include race, income, zip code, gender, sexual orientation, education, biomarkers, past use of healthcare, and language. Patients are more likely to fall through the cracks if responsible AI practices are not followed.
Here are three questions you should be asking your software vendors to help ensure they are following responsible AI practices:
- What processes do you have in place to detect racial and other bias?
- When racial or other bias is found in an algorithm, what do you do to address it?
- What, if any, third-party resources do you use to find and mitigate bias?
Nudge Your Highest-Risk Patients to Make Appointments Online
When determining who to target for your marketing campaigns, you should focus on nudging patients who are at highest risk of missing care and need care the most. The call-to-action for your marketing campaigns should drive patients to schedule their appointments online vs. calling to schedule their appointments. It is less expensive for healthcare organizations and easier for most patients to schedule their appointments online. Make sure your online appointment scheduling is simple, straightforward, and easy to access before directing patients to make their appointments online.
Take Into Account Your Appointment Capacity When Scheduling Campaigns
One often overlooked item to factor into your outreach campaigns is your healthcare organization’s appointment capacity. There’s no sense reaching out to 10,000 patients to schedule an appointment when your conversion rate is typically 5% and you only have 50 open appointment slots! With Actium Health’s capacity sensing, we can help you prevent overbooking of services:
- With Actium Health's CENTARI we don’t aim to completely fill appointments, which can lead to a poor patient experience. Instead, we try to stay within your pre-defined appointment limits and learn over time how best to fill appointments, ensuring a more even level of daily appointments.
- When you set up a program, we analyze the patients who are qualified for the specific program and then consider provider schedules included in the program - also taking into account each patient’s physician preference. We then prioritize the patients to reach out to for the program. This ensures patients receive relevant communications to book appointments with providers who have openings and are preferred for patients - improving the patient experience.
- Our system learns your conversion rates over time and is then able to throttle your always on communications based on your capacity.
Smart Campaigns Help Healthcare Marketers Make Smarter Decisions
Automated always-on campaigns using AI can help you create better-targeted, smarter outreach that can fill appointments and reduce the need for manual work - freeing up your time to focus on more strategic campaigns. By following responsible AI practices, you can ensure your outreach is not biased, and it is more likely that your highest-risk patients will receive the care they need. Technology can help ensure that your marketing efforts assist you in booking an optimal number of appointments by taking into account real-time data on your healthcare organization’s appointment capacity.
To learn more about how health systems are looking to drive patient volume and maximize patient lifetime value with always on, AI-powered CRM intelligence tools, download the white paper: Moving Beyond Traditional Healthcare CRM.