Ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) can offer several benefits to patients who need to undergo surgical procedures. They are often more affordable than hospitals and can often provide higher quality, specialized care to patients undergoing procedures.
The problem is, patients don’t think to research ambulatory surgical centers unless they have a procedure scheduled. At that time, they will probably have several questions about the procedure and your facility. It’s critical that your ASC have a strong presence online so that patients can easily find the information they need to know. Patients will get frustrated if they can’t find the information they need.
How can you make sure that patients searching for information about your facility online are able to find what they are looking for? Make sure that the information is readily available to patients online. Keeping your patients informed is a crucial part of improving and maintaining patient satisfaction for your facility.
To improve patient satisfaction for your ASC, make sure you are taking care of the following.
1. Include as much information on your website as possible.
Make sure that you include all of the information that patients most want to know. That starts with information about the location of the ambulatory surgical center and how to contact you. You should also include information about the types of procedures offered at your ASC. Your ASC may offer outpatient procedures that are not offered at hospitals or other surgical centers. In many cases, patients would prefer to have a procedure done in an outpatient setting, but they may be unaware of the types of procedures you offer.
You should also include information about the surgeons who perform procedures at your facility. You might include a short bio for each physician and a list of the procedures he or she performs at your facility. You should also include a link to each surgeon’s website to establish a stronger connection between each surgeon and the ASC.
2. Showcase what sets your ASC apart.
Patients may not be aware of the benefits of having a procedure done at an ambulatory surgical center rather than a hospital. For example, having a procedure done at an abulatory surgical center often saves patients money when compared with the same procedure at a hospital. Jared Leger of Arise Healthcare says that demonstrating cost savings is a major component of marketing an ASC and suggests using an actual figure to demonstrate those savings. Leger says that Arise Healthcare determines a percentage of cost savings by comparing rates at ASCs and hospitals published by Medicare. Many patients are facing higher deductibles with their insurance plans; since they will likely have to pay for a percentage of the procedure, they will probably shop around to find the lowest out-of-pocket cost for the procedure.
Another benefit that sets ASCs apart from hospitals is more personalized services. Hospitals see a higher volume of patients than ASCs, so patients often don’t get the level of individual care that they would at an ASC. Use your website to talk about the services at your facility. When patients are researching, these are the types of things they want to know about. If they know that they can have a procedure done at a facility that offers high-quality care and saves them money, that could be a major factor in their decision-making process.
3. Make sure your map listings are up to date.
Patients already know how to find their doctor’s office and are probably familiar with the local hospital as well. However, they probably won’t be familiar with the location of your ASC. Since most people use GPS and Google Maps to get directions, it’s important to make sure that your address information is correct across as many local listing services as possible.
Fill out the information on your listings as completely as possible. Include a description of your facility and a list of procedures offered if possible. Include links to your website so patients can easily get more information. If you keep your information consistent and complete across all of the major listing sites, it will reinforce the information on your website. In turn, this will help to improve your ranking in search engines, increasing the chance that patients will find information about your ASC when researching surgical procedures and facilities.
4. Encourage reviews from patients.
As part of their research, many patients will be looking for reviews of your ASC before scheduling the surgery. Positive reviews can help your ASC in two ways. First, the more reviews you have, the more likely you are to have better ranking in search results. Second, positive reviews reinforce the content on your website and other marketing materials. When patients are researching their surgical procedures and facilities, they want to be confident that they will be taken care of. Surgery can be a scary thing for a lot of patients, even in an outpatient setting. If they are able to read about the positive experiences that others have had, it may help to put them at ease and instill confidence that your ASC will do everything possible to make sure that the procedure goes smoothly.
All of these factors play into patient satisfaction for your ASC. Essentially, you need to provide the information that will help local patients find your facility in online searches and help them make an informed decision about their surgical procedures. If you don’t, you could be missing out on potential patients.
Sometimes, it’s just as important for ASCs to market to doctors as it is to market to patients. Read our article “Marketing to Recruit Doctors for Your Ambulatory Surgical Center” for our tips.