You may not believe it, but when it comes to improving your U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) rankings, your patient ratings and outcomes aren’t the only factors that are taken into account.
That’s right. In fact, your biggest cheerleaders for increasing your USNWR hospital rankings are your board-certified physicians. And if you’re not focusing your efforts on them, you’re probably missing out. But you’re not alone. Simply focusing on patient ratings is a common mistake.
Every year, hospital marketing departments apply to USNWR rankings in hopes of improving their ranking from previous years. These rankings are very competitive and influence patient decision-making. But, contrary to popular belief, it’s not the patients who determine the rating. Of course, happy patients are a must, but your real brand ambassadors are your board-certified physicians.
Want to improve your hospital’s USNWR rankings?
Hint: get your top physicians excited and get them involved. But before the next year’s voting period, here are a few things to consider:
The statistics show a direct correlation between physicians’ social media activity and USNWR rankings in their respective specialties. According to the 2019 Cleveland Clinic study, the higher the social media activity, the higher the ranking.
The influence spreads when physicians are active on social media. The thought is that it raises awareness about their hospital’s innovations and high-caliber care. And this may influence other physicians across the nation to nominate the hospital where the physicians with an active social media presence work.
The technology behind popular social platforms like Doximity — a professional medical network for physicians — gets physicians talking to physicians. It also helps them network with employers at leading hospitals and stay current on medical news. Most importantly, it helps them get ranked. That’s because Doximity is the platform USNWR uses to get physician peer ratings; Doctors who register in the Fall are eligible to vote during February-March.
Tried tapping into the physician healthcare network yet? Well, you’ll find it’s not so easy. But savvy professionals with years of social experience can do it for you. They know the key hashtags to access and leverage this network. How? By creating key posts and promoting them to other board-certified physicians. Seems simple, right? If you have time to do this yourself, great. But if not, leave this part to your agency professionals. That way, you’ll be on your way to reaching your rating goals without ever lifting a finger.
Here’s expert advice to help get your physicians involved and boost ratings
Start immediately. Identify key physicians who you’d like as your brand ambassadors. Focus on those who are already active on social media or would like to be.
Optimize consistently. Clean up physicians’ accounts to make sure they represent the hospital brand and service line clearly.
Collaborate often. Take time to get to know your physicians. Discover the amazing projects they’ve taken on and make note of the top assignments their service line has accomplished for the year. Nurture the relationship. Collaborate monthly to gather photos, capture live updates, and highlight any new surgeries or patient stories.
Recognize regularly. Celebrate physicians’ achievements internally and develop consistent messaging to push their awards and innovations externally — throughout the entire year.
Network relentlessly. Professional networking is almost as important as your physician’s personal message. Never overlook an opportunity to help your top physicians connect with their colleagues or share their professional successes.
Remember: Brand engagement = fan engagement
Or, should we say: Physician engagement = USNWR fan engagement? No matter how you look at it, a little groundwork and regular monitoring of your top physicians’ achievements can go a long way in helping to boost your ratings.
Make it fun. Identify your key physicians and see how they handle their professional and social interactions. Get involved with them. The rest will fall into place with regular recognition, collaboration, and networking, networking, networking.
Discover how DECODE helped a Houston hospital system connect with members of the community during the pandemic with just a simple cup of coffee. Or ready to chat with us? Give us a call, and we’d be happy to discuss a partnership with you over your own cup of joe.