25 Feb CPM Helps Physicians Group Retain Patients with New Kind of House Call
Middleton, WI – Combining database and personalized print technology, a physicians group in the Midwest is making a new kind of house call to retain patients. Instead of waiting for patients to come to their offices for treatment, these physicians are sending personalized messages by mail with reminders for important check-ups and screenings — and seeing response rates of 10 to 21 percent.
The physicians group, part of a health network, worked with Customer Potential Management (CPM) Marketing Group to create a patient database and to leverage that database with digital printing technology. The print technology gives the physicians group the ability to vary many components of each message to recipients. Each individual message is developed based on the recipient’s age, gender and health needs, and includes a photo of the person’s physician and a premium offer, such as a first aid kit. For example, a young male might be advised to do regular self-checks for skin and testicular cancer, while older women are advised to obtain annual mammograms. The messages are sent to the recipients around their birthdays.
The physicians group had determined that its physicians had to become more aggressive in retaining patients – that simply waiting for patients to show up or relying on mass media didn’t work anymore. In addition, the physicians’ group hoped to cut through the clutter of traditional direct mail with the campaign’s more personalized, relevant approach. It appears to have paid off.
While results are still coming in, during the pilot program of 6,000 patients and four doctors the average response rate has been 14 percent. Data analysis also indicated a high correlation between patients receiving mailers and scheduling appointments. Furthermore, patients made appointments for other family members or when scheduling appointments for children, also made appointments for themselves, which indicated a “pass along” effect of the mailings.
“Preliminary results indicate that the relationship patients have with their doctors is paramount,” said John Hallick, CPM president and CEO. “The campaign aimed to get patients to see their physicians as someone to visit to maintain health instead of just for treating illness. These physicians want their patients to see them as their overall primary health experts.”
The health system is currently promoting the results of this pilot program to the rest of the doctors in the physicians group and plans to involve more practices in the program this year.