One of my favorite things to (teasingly) make fun of, especially at conferences / exhibit halls because it’s so prevalent, are the individuals that freak out when they think they’re going to waste their collateral materials.
Oh no!!! I printed those materials for everyone to see, but I don’t want you to take any!!
If you’re not familiar with “collateral”, it’s simply a marketing term for communication materials…. flyers, brochures, postcards, hand-outs, etc.
I’ve seen physicians spend thousands of dollars on materials that they never want to let go of. Guess what? It’s not doing any good sitting on the end-tables in your waiting room or in a brochure rack in the treatment room.
Figure out a process so that every patient is forced to walk out of the office with materials in their hands that will do one or more of these…
  • Educate them about their current condition with all of their possible treatment option; even those that aren’t covered by insurance, but could possibly be the best course of treatment for them (you owe it to your patients to let them know all pathways of care regardless of how it gets paid for).
  • Create awareness about a condition they might not be aware they have… have you looked at the bottoms of your feet to find an unsuspecting spot that could be melanoma???
  • Provide an opportunity to refer friends or family with materials that describe conditions your patient doesn’t have, but their loved ones may… Do you have a friend who’s pregnant? I bet her feet are killing her!
Tomorrow morning, go to each room of your office and find the collateral that’s been sitting there since the dial-up days of AOL. If any of the literature is still relevant, dust it off and use it! Simply have the back office staff include a brochure/flyer or two with each patient’s paperwork that they are already taking home (i.e. compliance instructions).
Better yet, place a quick and simple order for plain white pocket folders (or go to Walmart and grab a stack) and stuff it with the collateral that is currently collecting dust in your office. Every time a patient checks in, give it to them to keep. When they check out, ask for it back and put their at-home instructions inside along with the literature you’ve given them to digest while they waited in the front office space, or in the treatment room.
Thoughts? Questions? Email Me!
Sarah Breymeier: