One of the greatest factors that affect medical or healthcare marketing is the need to be HIPAA compliant. HIPAA is the governing agency for the entire healthcare and medical industry and until relatively recently, did not allow for marketing in the industry of any kind.
However, Numana Medical total healthcare marketing said the face of the medical industry has changed phenomenally over the past couple of decades and the need for marketing in a far more competitive environment has become critical to the success of various medical environments. While marketing has become acceptable, it is essential to know and understand HIPAA regulations and how these will affect a marketing campaign.
The main concern for HIPAA is that medical establishments continue to respect doctor/patient confidentiality making the privacy of paramount importance. Informed consent from a patient is necessary before sharing any of their information over social media. It is also important for management and staff to become well versed in the use of and various privacy settings available to them. Violations of HIPAA disclosure can result in severe penalties.
Electronic communication has become the foremost and most effective means to communicate with patients – whether for marketing or other reasons. Network security is absolutely crucial to protect the confidential and private information of patients and the medical establishment.
3. Patient Release Forms
It is highly recommended to have patient release forms and ensure that patients sign these and understand them before posting any material, especially for marketing purposes on social media platforms. It is also particularly important to pay careful attention before posting, especially when it comes to images and video. A video may inadvertently capture another patient undergoing a procedure or an image may include information contained in a patient file. Once again, staff training in HIPAA compliance is essential and ensuring that each post is scanned and checked to ensure that it is respectful is critical.
4. Testimonials And Reviews
Last year, an estimated 70% of patients researched their doctor online before making an appointment. Reviews and testimonials posted on a medical website and through social media channels are therefore an important way to attract new business and retain current loyal patients. It is, however, important to secure a release from a patient before posting a testimonial. It is also highly recommended to employ a dedicated staff member or agency to handle digital and social media input and output.
Setting up a chain of command is a good way to keep a close check on medical marketing especially when it comes to digital marketing campaigns and remaining HIPAA compliant.