How to Build a Women’s Health Program

Posted on May 29, 2014


In my last blog, I shared why it's important for your CAH to build a women's health program. The facts spoke for themselves. So let's move on to the how.

  • Analyze before you strategize: Conduct a demographic and needs analysis to identify gaps, overlaps, challenges and opportunities.
  • Drill down. Your CAH can stand out in women's minds by personalizing services - and marketing messages. For example, is your primary audience women age 55+ who enjoy gardening and knitting or is it physically active, service-minded middle-aged women? That leads me to my next point …
  • Know what women want. Studies show that women want to be treated like women - not just "consumers." This female-centric focus encompasses everything from providing a feminine décor and tranquil environment to communicating with women on a personal level and making it convenient for them to engage with your hospital and staff.
  • Build a core area of excellence. Develop at least one core service to build as a competitive advantage, (e.g. breast health). As you establish your CAH as an expert in this area, it can help build the perception that your hospital is a leader in other areas of women's health.
  • Mine your mix. "Women's health" goes beyond OB-GYN. It's evolving into a multi-discipline mix of service lines. Increase revenue by taking a cross-departmental approach to carve out niches from orthopedics, cardiovascular and other high-margin services your target audience needs.
  • Don't underestimate provider relationships. According to a 2011 Kaiser Women's Health Survey, most women (83%) report that they have a provider they see on a regular basis. These women maintain a consistent relationship with the healthcare system, which fosters the use of preventive and other women's health services.
  • Think virtually. This goes beyond using telehealth services. Many CAHs are building virtual women's health programs with the help of their marketing department or an external marketing firm.
  • Partner for progress and profit. Work with the community and local organizations to provide women's services beyond the scope of your hospital. This is an effective way to build loyalty among healthcare's number one decision-makers who can drive business to other areas of your organization.

I've worked with many CAH clients to help them build profitable women's health programs. If you'd like to learn more about these specific strategies and see case studies, don't forget to register for my June 4 webinar, "How to Build a Women's Health Program in Rural Healthcare." If you have questions prior to that, shoot me an email or give me a call.

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Why Build a Women's Health Program?

Posted on May 20, 2014


We all know that women make the majority of healthcare decisions.  But the reasons for building a strong women's health program extend far beyond this well-known fact. For starters, The Advisory Board Company (a global research and consulting firm) found that:

  • Women account for about 60% of hospital volumes.
  • Women have significant unmet needs for health services.
  • Nationally, women in the 45+ age group has grown 25% over the past 10 years and is expected to grow another 14% over the next decade.1

And then there's the Affordable Care Act:

  • Under the ACA, women's preventive healthcare, like mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, prenatal care and other services, generally must be covered by health insurance plans - with no cost sharing.
  • The law also recognizes the unique health needs of women throughout their lifespan.

I hope these facts have caught your attention …

Because they can point to profit for your CAH. The time is ripe for your rural hospital to build a women's health program that address the changing needs of women throughout their lives.

While OB-GYN will remain a core focus, it's time to think beyond the "baby stage."  An aging population - especially in rural communities - translates into additional needs for  breast and heart health services, urogynecology, screenings for osteoporosis, hormone therapy, management of chronic conditions and more.

Building a comprehensive women's health program can increase revenue for your CAH while building a loyal following of female patients, engaging them throughout every stage of their lives. And don't forget: these women have a big influence on the healthcare decisions made by other family members.

Now that we've established "why" your CAH needs to build a strong women's health program, my next post will focus on "how" to do it - regardless of the size of your hospital and its staff.  In the meantime, I'd be happy to field any questions you have about this timely topic.

You can also register to attend our upcoming webinar, "Building a Women's Health Program," to learn the best strategies for program development.

Wednesday, June 4
12 - 1 p.m. CDT
Presented by the National Rural Health Association Partnership Services


1The Advisory Board, Future of Women's Services: State of Women's Services, September 2008.

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Quality Care can Come in Small Packages

Posted on May 6, 2014


In the worlds of rural and critical access hospitals, size is typically an obstacle. But in our eyes, it's never about how big you are; it's about how you position and market yourself. With this idea in mind, along with commitments to quality and strategic marketing plans, our clients have received national recognition for patient and employee satisfaction and quality of care - despite the fact that they are "small."

Recently, we've seen personal evidence of the truth of our motto by receiving eight national awards through the 31st Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards and the 2014 Aster Awards.

The Healthcare Advertising Awards are sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report and honor healthcare marketing professionals for exceptional quality, creativity and message effectiveness in advertising. This year's competition was one of the largest with over 3,700 entries submitted by some of the nation's largest healthcare systems and marketing/advertising agencies. From this impressive pool, we were incredibly proud to receive:

  • A Silver award for the Telespecialists, LLC logo design
  • A Bronze award for the Black River Memorial Hospital "Up Again" urology campaign
  • A Merit award for the Bone & Joint pain management primary care provider piece
  • Two Merit awards for the Holy Family Memorial "life.Empowered" TV spots
    • Cardiology - "I beat the widowmaker"
    • Orthopedics - "I made it out of the rough"

The Aster Awards are also an annual competition hosted by Creative Images, Inc. It recognizes the nation's healthcare marketing professionals who've demonstrated excellence in advertising. This year we won:

  • A Gold award for the Bone & Joint Walk-In Care campaign
  • A Gold award for the new Legato website
  • A Silver award for the Black River Memorial Hospital "Hoopla" orthopedics campaign

It just goes to show that being smaller doesn't mean you can't be better.

Visit our portfolio to check out the winning pieces.

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