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Category Archives: healthcare News

How health care organizations prove ROI through digital marketing

In the past, health care organizations relied on doctor referrals and inefficient mass advertising to reach potential patients.

Today, it’s possible to tie the procedures booked and the income earned to specific campaigns. You can glean digital data from apps and the internet—and even from billboards and print ads.

A new tip sheet from Ragan Communications and Blackbaud, “Digital Marketing Musts for Health Care Communicators ,” offers ways to track your return on investment. The free download offers tips and tactics for making the most of your marketing campaigns.

Modernize your marketing, and you’ll no longer have to speculate which campaign or communications effort brought in a patient. Learn from experts at Mayo Clinic, Riverside Healthcare and others how to capture data and tie your marketing efforts to the bottom line. There are ways to serve the needs of your patients—and your marketing requirements—and do it all ethically.

“Health care is one of those unique industries where there’s a lot of data,” says Adam Brase, chair of marketing at Mayo Clinic, “but we have to be careful how we collect data, and how we use that data to better serve our customers and our patients.”

Multifarious methods

The tip sheet covers a range of ways you can find out where you are getting the most for your marketing dollars.

Hospitals have something valuable to offer—medical expertise. If you provide useful information, your grateful audience will provide data in exchange. Find out how to do this.

“You have to give them something of value, so they will give you their email address,” Ujjainwalla says.

By next year, two-thirds of interactions with health care facilities will occur by mobile devices. That makes apps an increasingly important means of reaching and engaging with potential patients.

Mayo Clinic’s main application provides strong engagement with offerings that range from an appointments function to useful content. Learn what kind of content keeps people coming back time and time again.

Many organizations struggle with proving the ROI for print and billboard advertising. There’s a simple way to gather that data, enabling you to trace incoming patients right down to the street corner where they first saw your ad.

Brand journalism can play a part. Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee, Illinois, launched a stroke campaign that included blog posts, videos with specialists, Facebook posts and other elements, says Judy Pretto, manager of marketing and communications.

“This is about planting the seed for when the need is there,” Pretto says.

From cultivating advocates to customer relationship management systems, from Google AdWords to harnessing the data of website searches, find out how other health care organizations are making the leap to smart marketing.

Don’t be left behind. Download your free guide now.

HealthCareCommunication.com

How to launch a successful internal communications app

Once upon a time, organizations had to rely on emails or intranets to reach far-flung employees.

For those who worked in non-office environments such as hospitals, retail stores and factory assembly lines, it was tough luck.

Nowadays, with a smartphone in practically every employee’s pocket or purse, there’s a better way: internal communications apps.

A free guide from Ragan Communications and Sitrion reveals getting an app up and running, doing it right. The free download, “How to launch an internal communications app,” offers tips from the communications leaders SAS, Fortune Brands, HealthSouth and ConocoPhillips.

Don’t blow your big opportunity to communicate directly with all your staff. There are steps you can take to ensure your app is successful.

“The ability to reach an employee in a manufacturing setting at the same time that you reach somebody sitting in the office, for a U.S. manufacturing company like ours, that’s pretty cutting-edge,” says Elizabeth Castro, senior director of corporate communications at Fortune Brands, a home and security products company.

The download offers guidance for those who are thinking about creating an employee app but are unsure where to start. You’ll find out:

  • What SAS did to determine which features would get its employees to download and use its app.
  • “We had a lot of great direct feedback from employees on that, which was helpful in determining where to start,” says Becky Graebe, internal communications director for SAS, the North Carolina business analytics company.
  • What HealthSouth learned from personas and focus groups.
  • How to make the case to executives and sell them on the benefits of the app. Hint: They like to hear about how it will improve their own communications. Learn what your secret weapon is in selling your app to decision-makers.
  • How to make an app that’s useful—and what “one-stop shopping will do for your employees.”
  • Why the launch matters. Castro advises organizations to make sure it’s done properly. “Don’t rush to it,” she says.
  • How to follow up. You can’t just push the app, then sit back and relax. Once it’s out there, you must ensure its success and weigh future enhancements.
  • Why content matters. One tool, more than any other, will help you keep content fresh to entice employees to use the app on a regular basis, experts advise.
  • The one essential question you should ask when creating and sustaining your app.

Just about every organization can launch an app that will move it beyond older, inefficient forms of internal communications. Learn how to make yours a success.

Download the guide today.

HealthCareCommunication.com

5 ways to measure better at your hospital

Building a measurement strategy for your marketing/communication efforts isn’t easy. Particularly when you’re starting anew (or dramatically rebuilding what you’ve already done). Someone starting down this path usually begins the process with a look of confusion.

Measuring what you’re doing is daunting. Particularly with all the extra scrutiny we’re facing: tightening budgets, not enough time, an over-arching pressure to show ROI and proving what we’re doing is actually working.

There are so many things you can/should be measuring. There is so much to measure (and many more that you wish you could measure, but you don’t have access to the right data). At times it seems overwhelming.

Consider that old joke: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Here are a few tips on how to begin digesting that enormous pachyderm of measurement:

Bite #1: Realize you can’t measure the whole thing—pick one thing to start.
Pick a single marketing or communication activity that you are doing that is important to you—or more importantly, to your business goals. The best way to learn good measurement discipline is by doing it well one time, and then applying that knowledge over others in a broader way.

Bite #2: Pick something you have control over.
Some efforts involve multiple people or teams—either within your organization or outside. When you are getting started, it’s best to pick something you manage directly. Not only will it guarantee you’ll have access to all of the metrics, but you can also adjust and modify the activity if you need to improve.

RELATED: Join us in San Francisco for The Role of Communications in Creating Best Places to Work.

Bite #3: Realize that you can’t measure alone—seek help.
Be realistic about what you can and cannot measure. Sometimes you don’t have access to all the data to measure. Find people within your organization that can help you measure. Become friends with them, share with them your desire to measure and then ask for their help. (Bonus bite: if one of these people are in finance, they love to measure!)

Bite #4: Pick the right metrics.
There are hundreds of things you can measure. Maybe more. When you start measuring your efforts, take some time to focus on those metrics that make sense. Align them with your business goals. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and spend your time measuring just those. Remember: just because you can measure it, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to measure. Be selective.

Bite #5: Review, adjust, rinse and repeat.
Once you pulled together your first report, sit down with your findings. Review them in depth to determine if you can improve the way you measure. Share your report with others and ask for their input. Always seek ways to improve—good measurement discipline involves constant review. And then use what you just learned to find another thing you can start to measure.

Taking it one little piece at a time allows you to begin building the internal discipline you need to measure the effectiveness of your marketing/communication efforts.

And it will help prevent you from biting off more than you can chew.

You can read more from Chris Boyer here.

Previously published material.

HealthCareCommunication.com

Why Trump is Wrong About Trade

Source: www.michigancapitolconfidential.com – Sunday, October 15, 2017
There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv8hEddC4rI

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30 jobs in the PR and marketing world

Where is the best place to get pizza in Chicago? (I’ll keep my opinion to myself—for the purpose of this post, at least.)

What gym has the best trainers to help me get a jump start on my New Year’s resolution?

Which spa will provide the most relaxing massage?

These are just a few questions that people ask every day.

Two former PayPal employees recognized this and believed that consumers should be able to consult one another to find out which organizations offer outstanding products and services and which ones are lagging.

In 2004, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons raised $ 1 million to start a company that could help users answer and get answers to their purchasing questions.

Now, millions turn to Yelp for consumer reviews on everything from making reservations at a restaurant, booking an appointment with a doctor or calling a plumber to fix a leaky faucet.

Do you think your résumé would receive a five-star review? Yelp is looking for an associate manager for consumer marketing in San Francisco.

Interested candidates should have a strong background in email marketing and excel in project management.

Yelp describes its ideal candidate:

The ideal candidate brings a data driven approach to decision making, a keen creative eye, and has experience in email marketing. A successful candidate has experience supporting world-class marketing programs and is comfortable leveraging marketing automation technologies. They are relentlessly process driven, a stellar communicator, and detail-oriented.

Just starting your career? The company is also seeking a marketing intern in Miami.

[RELATED: Join us for the Social Media #Mashup at Disneyland.]

Not the job for you? See what else we have in our weekly professional pickings:

Media manager—Chanel (New York)

Marketing manager—Snap Inc. (Australia)

Public relations coordinator—Belkin (California)

Coordinator, marketing—Sony Music Entertainment (New York)

Assistant marketing manager—Oxford University Press (North Carolina)

Creative editor—Instagram (United Kingdom)

Director of email marketing, North America—Groupon (Illinois)

Public relations manager—Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau(Tennessee)

Marketing manager—Facebook (California)

Marketing manager, health enterprise—University of Texas at Austin(Texas)

Corporate public relations lead—Target (Minnesota)

Public relations specialist—Hudson’s Bay Co. (Canada)

Marketing and public relations specialist—Denver Health Medical Center(Colorado)

Senior director of community relations and marketing—Oregon StateUniversity – Cascades (Oregon)

Marketing communications manager—General Electric Co. (Virginia)

Junior account executive—Litzky Public Relations (New Jersey)

Marketing and development coordinator—Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center(Kansas)

Public relations coordinator—The Ohio State University (Ohio)

PR manager, Amazon Books—Amazon (Washington)

Director of communications—Mashable (New York)

Marketing director—Chick-fil-A

Market associate—Expedia (Canada)

Senior director of public relations—Utah Valley University (Utah)

Marketing manager—Pet Smart (Arizona)

Digital communications manager—Michigan State University (Michigan)

Marketing manager—Community Health Network (Indiana)

Manager of digital marketing and analytics—YMCA (New Jersey)

Marketing manager—Embassy Suites (Florida)

If you have a position you’d like to see highlighted in PR Daily’s weekly jobs post, please email me a link to the listing.

(Image via)

HealthCareCommunication.com

6 ways Sharp HealthCare employees stay fit

Sharp HealthCare’s comprehensive employee wellness program, Sharp Best Health, encourages team members to incorporate healthy habits into their lifestyles by helping them reach personal health goals. It offers a variety of resources—from healthy recipes to fitness classes to personalized health coaching—all designed to help employees live their healthiest lives.

One of the most important components in the success of this system-wide program is having strong executive support. Here are six ways your organization can keep team members healthy at work.

Supportive policies
Sharp Best Health’s policies encourage a healthy workplace by making it easier to enjoy healthy lifestyle behaviors in the workplace. Examples of workplace policies that support wellness at Sharp include a smoke-free workplace, support of flexible work schedules to allow participation in wellness activities, requiring food vendors to offer healthier selections in cafeterias as well as vending machines, and support of walking meetings and regular stretching breaks.

Wellness initiatives and opportunities
Wellness initiatives at a work site are convenient, cost-effective, fun and help employees stay committed to their wellness goals while at work. Sharp Best Health offers employees numerous fitness and nutrition-related initiatives across its seven hospitals and two medical groups. Examples of such initiatives include: ongoing fitness classes such as yoga, Zumba and boot camps; on-site massage; walking/step challenges; Stairwell Days; Meatless Mondays in cafeterias; and a Community Support Agriculture (CSA)-type produce box that is delivered to employees twice a month.

Staying connected
A significant part of any workplace wellness program is employee communication and education and social media is a beneficial way to expand those efforts. Sharp Best Health has a very active online life, with its presence on a blog hosted on Sharp HealthCare’s intranet, multiple café and healthy vending machine navigation videos, a Fitbit community, a personal health portal and a Pinterest board.

RELATED: Develop a workplace culture that attracts and supports employees of all ages and backgrounds

Involvement with the community
Sharp HealthCare actively supports multiple community health events. Its fundraising and recruitment efforts usually make Sharp HealthCare one of the top fundraisers for the American Heart Association Heart Walk, the Tour de Cure and its local YMCA’s Spin-a-thon cycle marathon.

Free employee health screenings
Sharp offers free confidential health screenings to all team members to help them identify any current or future health problems. Over the span of a few months, close to 11,500 employees were screened in the following indicators: blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, random blood sugar and tobacco use.

Free health coaching to all employees
Sharp Best Health offers personalized health coaching in five different areas: healthy weight management, smoking cessation, healthy eating, physical activity and stress management. Health coaching is a collaborative and confidential wellness program delivered by Sharp Health Plan for all Sharp Healthcare employees. Through the coaching program, participants work one-on-one—over the phone—with a dedicated coach who provides individualized support and guidance in developing the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to reach their best health.

Previously published material.

HealthCareCommunication.com

Imagine ‘Groundhog Day’ with murder and a flawed victim who must save herself in ‘Happy Death Day’

“Happy Death Day,” the story of a woman caught in an endless loop of her own death, uses familiar elements from the horror genre — and the classic movie “Groundhog Day” — to deliver its scares with wit and a wink.

It starts with Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), a sorority sister in desperate need…


latimes.com – Los Angeles Times

Why Your Medical Practice Needs SEO – Benefits and Best Practices

Why Your Medical Practice Needs SEO – Benefits and Best Practices

A steady stream of new patients is the lifeblood of any successful medical practice. However, like any other business attempting to expand its customer base, medical practices looking to acquire new patients in a crowded marketplace can face a lot of challenges. With hundreds of thousands of healthcare practitioners operating in the U.S., finding a way to separate your practice from the pack requires utilizing the latest marketing tools and techniques.

Marketing your medical practice once meant simply placing an ad in the Yellow Pages. However, today potential patients are turning to search engines to find local healthcare providers. According to a study, nearly 54 percent of potential patients under the age of 35 use search engines to find local medical practitioners, compared to 10 percent who use the Yellow Pages. Even older people have started to embrace search engines as a means of finding local healthcare providers, as 27 percent of people between the ages of 55 and 64 years used a search engine when looking for a medical practitioner.

In order to acquire new patients, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a necessary tool every practice needs to stay ahead in the ever-evolving marketing landscape. Almost 80 percent of searchers do not look past the first page of Google results when searching for local doctors. If your website does not rank well against your competitors, you could be losing out on potential patients who do not know about your practice. A strong SEO strategy means your existing and potential patients can find you easily and will feel compelled to give your website a look.

Now, how does SEO benefit your medical practice? When a potential patient types “physician in downtown Omaha” into his or her Google search engine, your name and website should show up among the first three listings. It is important to remember that not every physician’s name will appear on the first page of search results. You will need to implement extensive SEO practices to get your website to show up at the top of the search results. Being visible in the search results will increase the chances that a potential patient will book an appointment with you and may end up being a repeat patient.

Why Your Medical Practice Needs SEO – Benefits and Best Practices

Importance of SEO for medical practices

SEO is a compelling marketing tactic that can bring more qualified leads and patients to your medical practice. Moreover, studies have indicated that SEO has a better ROI than traditional marketing techniques such as TV and print ads. SEO provides visibility, credibility, branding, traffic, reputation and a high ROI to your medical practice.

Regardless of the size and specialty of your medical practice, implementing effective SEO strategies is key to attracting new patients and improving your bottom line. SEO can also help increase online visibility for your medical practice and build its reputation.

Increased visibility

When potential patients search online for your medical practice, it must appear high in the search engine rankings. Being at the top of search engine results puts your name in front of potential patients. Google is world’s leading search engine, so it is a strong endorsement when your practice name appears at the top of the search engines. Searchers trust Google, and as a byproduct of that, they trust your practice when it appears at the top.

Why Your Medical Practice Needs SEO – Benefits and Best Practices

Improved credibility

Most potential patients make mental notes of the keywords they enter into search engines. In the minds of potential patients, your website ranking is a vote of confidence. They feel if Google trusts this medical practice to be relevant, then it must be. Your potential patients may not realize it, but high search rankings make your practice more credible in their eyes.

Reduced patient acquisition costs

Acquiring new patients is one of your marketing goals. However, obtaining new patients may cost you more money than what they will pay to you. With effective SEO techniques, you can reduce the overall marketing budget because digital marketing strategies are less expensive than other forms of advertising. This means that you can bring in new patients much faster and for less expense. With lower marketing costs, you have the flexibility to invest in targeted outreach and spend more time streamlining your goals.

Increased traffic

While online traffic by itself is not going to make you any money, would you set up your office on a backstreet in Iowa or right across from Times Square? All those people walking around in Times Square may not make you any money, but some of them may become your customers. Appling the same analogy here, you still have to make an effort to attract new patients to your practice, but it is better to do business on a crowded street than on a deserted island. In addition, visitors coming to your website are qualified leads and were searching for a practice like yours when they found you. So they already have an interest in your services.

Higher ROI

SEO rewards your medical practice at a higher rate than other forms of advertising or marketing strategies. This is because SEO is an inbound marketing strategy and allows you to market to qualified leads who are looking for products and services similar to yours. In order to convey your message to your target audience, you need not interrupt their favorite TV show or take up expensive space in a magazine where they are reading an article. All you have to do is show up online when they are looking for medical practices like yours. In fact, you do not even have to convince your target audience to try your services. The only message you need to convey is that you are the perfect practice for them to visit.

Why Your Medical Practice Needs SEO – Benefits and Best Practices

Cost-effectiveness

SEO is one of the most cost-effective strategies as it targets potential patients who are already searching online for services similar to yours. SEO strategies can help you save money as opposed to traditional strategies such as cold calling. While cold calling is a proven strategy, the lead generation is 61 percent more expensive than that generated by SEO. In addition, because SEO targets patients who are already searching for similar services, the traffic is better-qualified than other marketing techniques, resulting in cost savings.

SEO best practices for medical practices

Creating an efficient SEO strategy requires you to be able to grow with an ever-evolving healthcare industry. Patient expectations, in addition to Google’s algorithm updates, keep healthcare marketers continuously making new adjustments.
Complacency will destroy your rankings, and this will be dangerous for any medical practice interested in surviving and growing in modern marketing. Considering that 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, prioritizing SEO best practices is critical to the success of any medical practice.

Why Your Medical Practice Needs SEO – Benefits and Best Practices

By successfully implementing best practices, medical practitioners can significantly improve lead quality, build valuable relationships with patients, improve online reputation through online presence and better understand their target audience.

Here are nine essential best practices to help improve your SEO strategy in 2017.

1. Choose relevant keywords: SEO is all about selecting the most relevant keywords for your medical practice. To choose the most suitable keywords for your website, you will need to get into the minds of your potential patients. You will need to consider all the possible keywords they might type into the search engine in order to find a new doctor in their area. The more relevant keywords you choose, the more qualified leads you will get.

2. Decrease website load time: In addition to keywords, the next element that can affect your SEO strategy is how quickly your website loads. A website that loads quickly can support your SEO efforts. A website that does not load within a few seconds will fail to attract and engage potential patients.

3. Publish informative and original content: Rewriting existing content is acceptable to a certain extent, but copying content from other websites will damage your SEO rankings as well as your reputation. Besides, rewriting current content will not be able to engage your patients for long. Therefore, strive to be different and try to create unique content that other websites have not done yet. Implementing an established SEO strategy or hiring an SEO expert to help you with the task will significantly improve your search engine ranking.

Why Your Medical Practice Needs SEO – Benefits and Best Practices

4. Ensure accurate title tags: A title tag is a short description of your web page and can play a tremendous role in your SEO efforts. Title tags show up in three places – browser tabs, external websites and on the results pages of search engines. When optimizing your website for SEO, you need to ensure that each web page has an accurate and descriptive title tag. Since most search engines display only the first 60 to 70 words of the title tag, be sure to include the primary keywords at the beginning.

5. Optimize your website: Your website should be simple and easy to navigate in order to attract potential patients. The content must be fresh and regularly updated. For your website to rank higher in search engine results, it must adhere to basic quality standards. In addition, make sure your website is optimized for mobile users.

6. Ensure optimum keyword density: Keyword density is a significant part of your SEO strategy. If you include your keywords too much, search engines will view your website as spam and may blacklist your website from results pages. However, if you use your keywords too little, search engines may not look at it as relevant to the corresponding keyword. The recommended keyword density is about 2.5 percent.

7. Consider chatbots: Chatbots can improve patient experience, boost engagement and provide valuable data for search engine optimization. When thinking about patient engagement in the online context, we usually think of a click. However, chatbots are designed to take engagement to the next level with an interactive conversation with the visitor. This presents the opportunity to get to know your visitor better, ask specific questions, include personalized messages and bring your brand to life.

8. Know your target audience: What kind of content you need to create depends on your target audience. The better you know them, the more useful content you will create. Without knowing your target audience, you may end up creating content on irrelevant topics, which would win you neither visitors nor good rankings. By creating a detailed buyer persona, you will be able to zero in on content that matters to your potential patients.

9. Improve patient engagement: Engagement is the ability to hold a visitor’s attention. In SEO context, engagement is a measure of the amount of time spent on a page. Recent research has found a positive correlation between engagement metrics and search rankings. According to Google, if a visitor spends more time on a web page, it is probably because he or she found the page useful. Moreover, because Google only wants to promote the best results to its users, it will place websites with strong engagement higher up in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Why Your Medical Practice Needs SEO – Benefits and Best Practices

Wrapping up

Phone books and Yellow Pages are not coming back. Moreover, while television and radio ads have their place in today’s changing marketplace, they are not as powerful as a well-placed SEO campaign. Investing in SEO will be a smart decision for a medical practice. It is never too late to get into this game. However, if you wait too long, you may end up playing a long game of catch-up.

SEO is an essential component in your overall digital healthcare marketing plan. Your website, social media management and paid advertising campaigns must all be designed to enhance your online presence. When you choose an online marketing firm to guide you through this process, it is essential that you find a company that takes a comprehensive approach to digital marketing.

In order to find out how the digital marketing team at Practice Builders can help your practice attract new patients and enhance its online reputation, call us today. We can answer all of your questions about how SEO can improve your medical practice and use our decades of experience to give your medical practice the boost you have been looking for.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Trump Asks Why Senate Isn’t Investigating “Fake News Networks”

Source: www.youtube.com – Monday, October 09, 2017

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President Donald Trump Calls Event With Military Leaders The ‘Calm Before The Storm’ | TODAY

Source: www.youtube.com – Friday, October 06, 2017

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