How UAMS Stays in Touch with Referring Providers

February 20, 2023

Email has become a powerful tool in UAMS’ physician outreach toolkit.

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //

Jane Weber BrubakerMarketing is all about understanding the needs of your market and finding ways to show how your product or service is the best solution for meeting those needs. As marketers, you know that part of your challenge is keeping your solution top of mind when people are in the consideration phase. If your service is not visible, chances are you won’t be considered.

When COVID hit, physician relations teams lost their in-person access to referring physicians. But even before COVID, primary care physician visits to patients in the hospital had been replaced by hospitalists, and physician liaisons can only cover so much ground. How do you stay connected?

Keith Whitworth, director of marketing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

Keith Whitworth, director of marketing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

At an HMPS session last year, Keith Whitworth, director of marketing at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and Emilie Ansel, CEO of Private Health News (PHN), discussed omnichannel approaches to physician relations that are helping to close the gaps. Pointing to a map of Arkansas with many dots spread throughout the state, Whitworth commented, “When you have four people on a physician relations team, and they need to go to where those dots are on a map, that is hard to do. There are only so many hours in the day.”

Email is one solution that has been highly effective in keeping communication lines with referring physicians open. But Whitworth stresses that it is one of many methods UAMS uses to keep relationships strong. “There are a lot of physicians — we find particularly in more rural areas — that prefer a printed guide with phone numbers or referral fax information, so you want to make sure you’re hitting the preferences for as many physicians as you can.”

In this article, we focus on email and how UAMS used it to build a highly engaged audience of subscribers. We followed up with Whitworth to get an update on how the program is working today.

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