Nursing home marketing pros, this is your time to shine

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James M. Berklan
James M. Berklan

So many times you see individuals who don't typically get the company headlines hoping to, well, make themselves known and earn some recognition. Often, it's long overdue.

Well, nursing home marketers, your table is ready. If ever there was a door swing wide open for you to show your worth, that time is now. 

Surely you thought the same thing upon reading the Tuesday McKnight's Daily Update article entitled, "Residents feeling rushed, unprepared to make SNF decision." It refers to a study by Brown University researchers who essentially chide hospital discharge planners for giving scant help to patients headed to skilled nursing or rehab programs. "Here's the list, hope you find one you like," is the picture painted not so flatteringly by the Brown crew.

At least indirectly it points out that pro-active nursing homes have a golden opportunity. First, get your good  name out in the community more than ever. Word of mouth was one of the big drivers for attracting residents, the researchers found. Another finding was that patients said they would travel farther than just the closest facility — currently a popular destination — if they only knew more about which skilled nursing operations displayed better quality.

So there's your charge, marketing and admissions pros: More than ever before, make sure the public knows your operation is a good one. No, really knows. Seep into every possible public pore.

Then make sure you're not just a location and an address on the hospital discharge planner's list. No doubt those overworked brothers and sisters in healthcare have some guidelines to abide by, but everyone has favorites and it's only human nature to funnel outgoing patients there, right?

Besides, with rehospitalization penalties taking a real bite out of hospitals, their referral patterns are only going to sharpen in the future. It's a feeling you'll become much more familiar with when penalties start hitting SNFs in the near future.

So now is the time to show them all what you've got, nursing home marketers. It's time to earn a spot in the sun.

Follow James M. Berklan @JimBerklan. Email him at jim.berklan@mcknights.com.

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Emily Mongan.

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