A person talking to a physician about his doctor bioAfter weeks (or maybe years?) of planning, you’re ready to revamp your website’s provider bios. The strategy is in place, a list is organized and you know the essential elements you need to include for an engaging profile page.

Now comes the trickiest part of all: Getting the doctors to participate.

Actually, the majority of your physicians likely want to play a bigger role in creating their online bios. But according to a survey done by Kyruus, most providers find that they either don’t know how to do it themselves (43%) or they don’t have enough time (36%).

With that in mind, we as healthcare marketers and communicators need to find ways to not only engage providers, but also make it easy for them to participate.

As seasoned experts in crafting physician profile pages, the team at WriterGirl has honed its tactics for maximum provider participation. Once again, we tapped our client services managers to offer their insight and advice.

1. Have a strategy in place

Before diving into surveys or phone interviews, have a plan of how you’re going to tackle the project — alphabetically, priority service lines, leadership positions etc. Not only will this keep you organized, it will help head off any questions asking why one provider is getting a new profile before another.

When talking to the providers, don’t forget to focus on the benefits and explain how these bios can help engage patients to build your reputation, increase patient volume and improve patient-provider relationships.

If you have a clear answer backed up with sound reasoning and data, you’re likely to face fewer hurdles.

2. Arm yourself with data

To that end, it’s important to have clear data that shows why these provider bios are important for your hospital or health system. You can bring data from your own website to show how users engage with these profiles. Try pulling numbers like:

  • Unique page views
  • Sessions
  • Time on page
  • Conversions or assisted conversions (such as appointments made after visiting a profile page)

Plenty of studies show how important profiles are for healthcare marketing. For example, 76% of consumers surveyed by Yext said they go online to find an individual provider, as opposed to a hospital or clinic. And 90% of providers surveyed by Kyruus believe a high-quality “find a provider” profile is important for attracting new patients.

3. Get executive or leadership buy-in

Another important early stage step is to earn support from clinical leadership. Whether it’s an executive or a department head, meet with that leader and make your case for why this project is important. Having their support can often help motivate providers to take action sooner, or nudge those who may be slow to respond.

4. Set some boundaries — and a deadline

Once you’ve set what you’re going to include (and not include) in the provider bio pages, make sure you communicate those parameters to the providers. This will ensure your profiles are consistent for each provider and stay within the project scope.

Finding a balance between what your providers want to include and what your patients want to see may be a challenge, but having parameters set ahead of time (with data to back it up) can make those conversations easier.

Also, deadlines are your friend. Tell your providers that you need responses by a set date and have a fallback option in place for anyone who doesn’t respond in time.

One of the doctor bios on IU Health’s website

A doctor bio for IU Health

5. Make participation easy

As the Kyruus survey pointed out, many providers don’t believe they have the time to complete a physician bio. That’s why you need to simplify the process.

Here at WriterGirl, we’re big fans of creating surveys for our provider bio projects. Whether it’s in a Google Survey, SurveyMonkey or a Word document, have a standard set of questions that you can send around to the providers.

It’s also important to offer the option for a phone interview, if that’s what the provider prefers. Remember to be flexible with scheduling, if you can — physicians can often be hard to nail down.

6. Communicate early and often

As marketers and communicators, we’re used to coming up with communication plans for various campaigns. While physician profiles may be an internal project, it is just as important to have a communication strategy in place. Try tactics like:

  • Regular email communication — both from your department and your leadership sponsor
  • Articles on your employee intranet
  • Printed memos (sometimes emails can get buried)
  • Kick-off meetings or lunch and learns

You don’t have to tackle doctor bios alone

Even when you’re armed with these tactics, doctor bios are a daunting task. That’s where WriterGirl can jump in and help. We can tackle these projects from conception to completion, including a communication plan, interviews, writing, coordinating approvals and more. Give us a shout if you want to learn more.