Consumer device manufacturer Fitbit announced that it now supports HIPAA compliance. The changes they made ensure they are aligned with federal compliance standards. What it means though, is that covered entities and business associates can continue to use their devices without compromising personal health information.
This announcement highlights the importance of meeting personal privacy regulations, across all segments of the healthcare industry. Yet, surprisingly, many organizations are still not in compliance with the more stringent 2013 Omnibus Rule and face an increased business risk if a data breach occurs. Failing to keep protected health information secure and private can lead to serious consequences and significant fines.
Putting robust security and privacy policies in place can decrease the chances of having a breach, not eliminate it completely. Organizations that do so will be less likely to face significant enforcement action by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with a compliance program in place. At minimum, all Consult YHN Associates should perform and document a risk assessment, implement technical, administrative and physical safeguards and provide training and guidelines for all employees!
Fitbit is in HIPAA compliance, are you?
As 2014 is coming to a close (we can tell by the plethora of holiday décor in every retail store), we want you to seriously consider your marketing strategy for 2015. If you don’t already have your plan in place – and some do – you may not be sure where to begin. Our number one recommendation is to look backward before looking forward, meaning assess your marketing efforts from 2014 and how each one contributed to the bottom line before embarking on a plan for the next 12-months.
Two Consult YHN colleagues recently co-authored an article in Hearing Review that sums up this idea perfectly: Know Your Marketing; Know Your ROI. By having a defined marketing plan and tracking its efficacy (plus course correcting along the way), you’ll be able to capture beneficial trends from your data and eliminate wasteful spending.
But first, you have to actually develop the plan. After allocating 10-12% of your overall budget towards marketing, we recommend:
- Using a targeted multi-media approach with frequency and consistency (including direct mail, print and digital media)
- Ensuring you are communicating with both your current customers and prospects via mail, telemarketing, etc.
- Creating messaging that resonates with your target audiences; i.e. speak to individuals about what matters to them via their preferred communication channels – email, print, text, etc.
Once your plan is up and running, track the results. As recommended in Know Your Marketing; Know Your ROI, many computer programs are available to facilitate and simplify tracking (Consult YHN has one), but typically a person(s) in your office must physically input the response data. It’s important to consistently gather this data because you will use it to calculate your return on investment, or ROI.
Once you gather the data, then what? Consult YHN recommends a quarterly assessment of all marketing initiatives to analyze trends, assess the performance of the plan, and ensure marketing dollars are being spent wisely. Some key metrics to pay attention to: number of calls (how many times did the phone ring from each initiative), number of appointments set and number of hearing devices sold. The aggregate of these metrics will contribute to your ROI calculation. To discover how to properly calculate ROI, click here.
Remember, marketing 101 tells us that developing a plan and working that plan frequently and consistently yields success; couple that with tracking your results, calculating ROI and analyzing those results in order to tweak your plan will put you on a successful marketing trajectory.
For questions or a free 30 minute marketing consultation, contact marketing at marketing@ConsultYHN.com.
Consult YHN Associates see the value of marketing and how it is a necessity in order for their practice to grow. Incorporating marketing initiatives into your business development strategy is just the first step towards a successful marketing strategy. In order for your marketing to be truly effective, not only do you need a solid plan in place, you also need to track its effectiveness to make sure you are getting the most return on your investment.
Start with a Plan
A marketing plan is based on a defined budget, typically a percentage that encourages growth, and includes all of the direct marketing initiatives to drive traffic. It can seem overwhelming to earmark and plan for 12 months of marketing, but it’s better to have a plan and tweak it than live with the chaos of constantly ‘shooting from the hip.’ This is why we strongly encourage reviewing your return on investment on at least a quarterly basis. This will help identify which initiative(s) have the highest return on investment and what ones need to be re-evaluated.
Track the Effectiveness
The easiest way to get started with analysis is to incorporate call tracking numbers into your marketing plan and monitor each initiative separately [e.g. direct mail, newspaper, web, etc]. For the additional minor expense [typically 1% of your overall marketing budget], it is worth it to KNOW whether the phone is ringing.
As you collect this tracking information on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis, you will be able to determine what’s working and what needs to be adjusted within your plan. There are so many ways to slice and dice the data but the overarching goal is to make sure that your marketing dollars are generating opportunities for your practice.
Analyze the Data
The numbers don’t lie; you’ll be surprised at the misconceptions we often have about what initiatives work best. Don’t be surprised after analyzing the data if you find that your practice is getting an average number of calls from marketing pieces but the appointment conversion and sales are below average. In this instance, the marketing worked, but there was a breakdown in the sales process preventing a maximum return on investment. This is a prime opportunity for training and process improvement.
In other cases, tracking has shown that what works for the majority of practices differs for others. For instance, newspaper inserts typically receive a higher response rate than full-page ads. However, in some cases this ‘norm’ is flipped and by analyzing the data, smarter marketing decisions can be made. By reviewing data, previously scheduled tactics can be adjusted for optimal response rates.
The aforementioned are just a few examples of the benefits that come out of tracking and analyzing data. Let your marketing dollars go further – track, analyze and adjust your marketing plan on at least a quarterly basis to maximize return on investment!
Are you interested in incorporating tracking tools into your marketing plan and/or reviewing results? Please contact marketing at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting and discuss your marketing needs.
It’s that dreaded day when an employee hands you a resignation letter informing you they have decided to leave your practice, or worse yet, you need to let go an underperforming employee. Whether you are devastated or feel it is a blessing in disguise, you are sure to feel frustrated and overwhelmed with having to embark on the hiring process yet again.
As cumbersome as this process can be, the last thing you want to do is just hire anyone. Since your staff members are an integral part of your business success, you need personnel to align with your business goals and objectives. It may seem easier as a short-term solution to hire someone (a friend or family member) who is just an ‘okay’ fit. However, to accomplish your long-term goals, you need to find someone who is not only qualified for the position but a dedicated candidate who is going to help your business grow.
So how do you find your next best employee?
Here are some tips on how to navigate the hiring process and finding the right talent:
- Create a Job Description
- Develop a job description that outlines the responsibilities of the position, as well as any skill or work experience requirements. Make sure to explain the benefits and opportunities for growth to motivate candidates and to stand out from your competitor
2. Develop a Salary Analysis
- Determine a compensation package by developing a salary analysis for the position you are looking to fill. Review comparable positions in local job listings for salary wages or reach out to local organizations such as your chamber of commerce or employment bureaus for advice on salary and benefits.
3. Set a Realistic Timeline
- Don’t rush to hire someone just to fill the position. You want to take the time to find the right candidate that is not only qualified but is going to meet your needs on a personal and professional level. If you are feeling pressure to find someone fast, spread the work load out among existing employees or consider hiring a temp to help out until you find the appropriate hire.
4. Promote the Job Position
- Advertise the job posting in your local newspaper, online job boards or other social media outlets such as LinkedIn. Networking is also an alternative to finding great talent. Spread the word to your professional and trade connections and/or to your present employees and patients.
You need to find someone who is not only qualified for the position but a dedicated candidate who is going to help your business grow.
5. Select the Right Candidate
- After reviewing the pool of resumes, narrow the list down to the top five applicants that fulfill your job requirements and are the most qualified for the position. Bring these candidates in for 2-3 interviews (phone, in-person and/or working) to ensure they are a perfect fit. To avoid any hiring mistakes, check professional references and run background checks before you send out an offer letter.
Having a strong and streamlined hiring process is crucial for attracting and retaining top quality employees. By following these guidelines it will help you best match the right people to the right position.
With 45 years of combined experience in recruiting, Consult YHN’s Recruiting Department has a true understanding of the audiology business model and knows what’s important for your practice. Find out more about how Consult YHN Recruiting Services can help your practice. Visit https://consultyhn.com/our-services/#consult-recruiting or call 800-984-3272 and get connected with a member of our Recruiting team. Because as we all know, having the right employees is key to running a successful business.