Five ways to use your EHR as a powerful marketing tool

While the EHR is vital for patient care, reimbursement and legal security, it can also serve as a very powerful marketing tool to help you better define your patient audience and build patient satisfaction. 

[See also: EHR adoption rises at solo and two-physician practices]

Here are five ways you can use your EHR as an important part of your marketing program -- and deliver on patient satisfaction.

  1. Use individual patient data to send out automatic screening and testing reminders.
  2. Analyze the demographics of your patient base. By getting the real numbers on median ages, gender and other core information, you can define and track your audience, and develop a more effective media plan to reach them.
  3. Pinpoint common health concerns in each demographic group. For example, if 75 percent of your female patents age 24-35 are asking about the effectiveness of vitamin supplements, you can offer information to this patient segment, or author a short article on the topic and disperse it via e-blast. 
  4. Analyze your base’s geographic data for market expansion consideration or to assess opportunities to support community events. This is also important for recognizing untapped areas and communicating via direct mail and other marketing methods.
  5. Use patient geographic data to identify and foster relationships with referral sources such as rural family practitioners, social service networks and outlying clinics.

Remember, the more you know about your existing patients, the easier it is to reach new ones. And the solution? It could be right on your desktop.

Cindy Thomas Wright has practiced marketing and communications for more than 25 years. She owns a strategic marketing and communications firm, Thomas Wright Partners, which works with leaders in healthcare, industry and government to develop brands and programs that build consensus, grow business and affect change. 

[See also: EHR systems trending to mesh with physician work habits]