Last week I met a doctor who runs a trust [apart from running his own hospital] in Mumbai. The trust is running a library which has earned the distinction of being listed in the Limca Book of Records. The library houses largest information on myriad healthcare topics in the world.
As both of us got talking, we were intrigued by an innovative idea. He told me that it is surprising why hardly any hospitals in India do not indulge in educating the general public. According to him it is a ‘no-brainer’ to have an in house online and offline library and leverage the advantage to boost patient flow. We got to a point in our discussion where we though that they should offer the vast information to interested hospitals so that it can be shared with the general public. This will also help the hospital in marketing itself. The hospital can invite the neighbouring public to visit the library or to enquire about information on various diseases through e-mail.
For example, a person suffering from Type-2 diabetes can get all authentic information in ‘non-medical’ language about his condition. His data can be added to the hospital data base and sooner or later he will be converted into a loyal patient for the hospital. I am sure many patient attendants can also make use of the web site, CDs and journals while their stay in the hospital. The ‘foot-fall’ will eventually increase and will later result in increase in patient flow. The brand awareness and recognition will also get a boost.
I think it is a great marketing idea and hospitals should consider either creating their own library or outsourcing it to someone. No wonder most of hospital promoters that I shared this idea with were more than interested.
If you visit their web site at www.healthlibrary.com you will know why I am so enthused by this proposition.
P.S.- A recent article on Branding of Hospitals can be accessed on: http://www.expresshealthcare.in/200801/coverstory19.shtml
P.S.S.- The next healthcare marketing workshop is on. The city is Hyderabad and the date is March 29th 2008. For registrations you contact [email protected] or write to me directly.
Healthcare Marketing Consultant