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Published on December 11, 2023

Ways to Increase Footfall in a Hospital: A Human-Centered Approach

The healthcare industry is complex and dynamic, presenting an ever-changing landscape that hospital administrators must navigate. Amidst it all, one constant remains: the need to attract and retain patients. 

Increasing footfall isn’t just about boosting revenue; it’s about providing high-quality, compassionate healthcare to the community. 

In this article, we’ll look at some human-centered strategies that can help you draw more people into your hospital while maintaining a focus on excellent patient care.

Understand Your Community’s Needs

  • Conduct Surveys: Understanding what your community needs can give you an edge. Hospitals often make the mistake of offering services they assume are needed without really checking with the people who would use these services. 

Conduct surveys within your local area to get insights into what types of medical care are most needed.

    • Engage with Community Leaders: Build relationships with community leaders and organizations. They can offer you insider knowledge about community health needs and may become valuable partners in promoting your hospital.
    • Local Health Fairs: Participate in or sponsor local health fairs to showcase your hospital’s capabilities. This not only educates the public but also allows you to interact with them, offering free consultations or basic health checks.
  • Community Outreach Programs: Establish programs that benefit the community, such as free vaccination drives, blood donation camps, or free health check-ups. This not only enhances your hospital’s image but directly contributes to the community’s well-being. 

Encourage Staff to Pursue Higher Education and Specializations

  • Advanced Degree Programs: Encouraging your staff to pursue higher education is an excellent idea to ensure they’re up-to-date on the latest techniques regarding patient care. 
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Offering tuition reimbursement for staff who wish to pursue further studies can be a considerable incentive. This not only benefits them professionally but also enriches your hospital with a more qualified workforce.
  • Collaborations with Educational Institutions: Partner with local or international educational institutions to offer staff the opportunity to take courses or complete degrees that will help them in their roles. This could also attract professors and medical students for training and internships, indirectly increasing footfall.
  • Promote Lifelong Learning: Encourage a culture that values and promotes lifelong learning. Recognize and reward staff who take the initiative to upgrade their skills and knowledge. This can motivate others to do the same.
  • Expertise as a Marketing Point: Specialized degrees or unique skills among your staff can be highlighted in your hospital’s marketing campaigns. For example, if you have an oncologist with advanced degrees and unique certifications, feature them in your promotions to attract patients seeking specialized cancer care.

Promoting higher education within your workforce could offer a multitude of benefits: it enhances the level of care offered, increases the specialization of your services, and gives patients the confidence that they are in qualified hands. 

This, in turn, can become a significant factor in increasing footfall as your hospital becomes known for its specialized, high-quality care.

Enhance the Patient Experience

  • Patient-Centric Design: Design your hospital layout to be intuitive and comfortable. Clear signage, spacious waiting areas, and easy-to-find service counters can make a significant difference in patient satisfaction.
  • Train Staff in Soft Skills: Technical skills are essential, but soft skills like communication, empathy, and active listening are crucial for a human-centered approach. Regular training sessions can help your staff offer an improved patient experience.
  • Streamlined Administrative Processes: Nobody wants to get caught in a web of paperwork and long queues. Make registration, billing, and discharge processes as smooth as possible.
  • Follow-Up Care: Once a patient is discharged, the journey shouldn’t end there. Timely follow-up calls or emails to check on the patient’s condition can go a long way in building long-term relationships.

Collaborate with Local Businesses

  • Corporate Health Packages: Partner with local businesses to offer corporate health packages. This can result in a steady influx of patients who might otherwise never have visited your hospital.
  • Loyalty Programs: Collaborate with local stores or services to offer loyalty points that can be redeemed at your hospital or their establishment. This creates a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Sponsor Events: Sponsor local sports events, cultural events, or educational programs. Apart from improving brand visibility, this demonstrates that you are invested in the well-being of the community.
  • Local Media Partnerships: Partner with local media to run health awareness campaigns. This not only improves your visibility but also educates the public on important health issues, making it a win-win.

Invest in Cutting-Edge Medical Technologies

  • State-of-the-Art Equipment: Investing in the latest medical equipment is a strong draw for potential patients. Having cutting-edge technologies, such as robotic surgical systems or advanced imaging equipment, can position your hospital as a leader in medical innovation.
  • Telemedicine Services: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine. Offering these services can broaden your reach and offer convenience to your patients, thereby increasing footfall for in-person services over time.
  • Specialized Treatments: Offer specialized treatments that are not readily available in your area. For instance, if there is a lack of cardiac or oncological care in your community, filling that gap can attract a specific patient demographic.
  • Research and Development: Engage in or support medical research. This not only adds credibility to your hospital but can also become a significant draw for patients looking for experimental treatments that are not available elsewhere.
  • Publicize Technological Investments: Once you’ve invested in cutting-edge technology, make sure people know about it. Feature it in your marketing campaigns, social media, and community health talks to get the maximum leverage from your investment.

Foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement

  • Patient Feedback Systems: Implement robust systems to collect feedback from patients and their families. This could be in the form of surveys, suggestion boxes, or direct interviews.
  • Transparency: Maintain transparency about what you’re doing to improve. Whether you’re making changes in hospital policy or buying new equipment, let the public know. Transparency can be a significant factor in building trust.
  • Continuous Learning: Promote an organizational culture that values learning. Whether it is new medical procedures, customer service techniques, or soft skills, ensure that your staff is continually updating their knowledge and skills.

Conclusion

Increasing footfall in a hospital involves a multi-pronged, human-centered approach. It starts with understanding the needs of your community. It extends to offering an exceptional patient experience, effective use of digital platforms, and strategic local partnerships. 

With these measures in place, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a healthcare hub that people trust and recommend.


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