Active community engagement is a great way for medical practices and healthcare clinics to promote their profile in the local area, as well as for medical practitioners to raise their personal profile.
By volunteering your time and skills in contributing to the growth of your community can impact your career positively. For a medical practice as a whole, it creates opportunities to bond with members of your community. Recently, Api Yuganathan, Lead Consultant in HealthcareLink’s OnDemand Support Team, wrote an article on the Four Key Principles for Successful Healthcare Practices, of which Community was one.
For a health practitioner who is looking to get employed or even advance professionally, being involved the local community activities shows colleagues and future employers that you are engaged, a community citizen, that you are a health care practitioner who cares about supporting people rather than simply as maintaining a job. (The added advantage being that it makes you the “go-to guy” when members of the local area need medical advice.
Health care practices and medical centres that are active in their local communities also benefit greatly. The raised profile attracts more patients to their practice, increased referrals and repeat visits – all key markers of loyalty, which is one of the hardest things to earn from a customer in this fast-paced age of low attention spans. Health care practices which are active in the community also attract better applicants to job vacancies and put themselves in better stead to be chosen over a competing practice.
Here are some examples of opportunities where medical practices and health practitioners can interact with the local community:
- Local Schools
Local fetes, sporting events, science fairs, theatre productions or the career day of high schools in your community are ideal opportunities raise a medical centre’s profile. If you are up for it, you can sponsor the events or you could participate in other ways like being the judge at science fairs or cooking competitions. The school is an important place to meet parents and other people who you can network with.
You may even pick a certain type of “health week” and run a campaign in the lead up to it with the schools, suggesting that you could run information sessions are the school to students, tailored to their age group and maturity level.
Local area health centres are another avenue for community service, particularly in regional or rural areas. Doctors and nurses often volunteer their time to the local Aboriginal health centre or offer free flu shots to the community. This is what Pirie Medical Centre, winner of HealthcareLinks Best Employer Award 2017, does.
- Community Events and Festivals
Engaging in seasonal community events or festivals is not only a good place for you to relax and unwind, it also provides you with the avenue to interact with people. If you run a private business, annual events in your community provide an opportunity to promote your business to potential clients. You can hand out flyers advertising your business or product. You can also give out other products such as pens, jotters, and calendars branded with your business logo as a form of advertisement.
- Sponsoring events
When you sponsor local events in your community you spread your name and profession. You can sponsor local sporting events, trivia nights, community events or a college scholarship. You don’t really need to spend much in sponsoring an event, a lot of events welcome any form of sponsorship.
Even if you’re not able to advertise at or sponsor an event, you could participate in the event, perhaps even enter in a team from the practice. It will have the added benefit of being a team bonding experience.
- Sporting clubs or events
Sporting events or club competitions are also a good avenue to raise the medical centre’s profile in the community. Be warned – participation may have the side benefit of improved health and mood! 😄
For example, participating in the local 10km fun run or entering in the summer social soccer competition are great ways for the team to get together outside of the workplace, share interests and raise the profile of the practice.
By doing this, not only do you draw attention to your name and business, it also proves that you care deeply about the well-being of the growth of the community where you carry out your practice.
- Relate to local business owners
Forming relationships with local business owners in your area is a good way to promote your practice. It is a way to build a strong connection with your community. You might participate in a mutual ‘noticeboard’ arrangement, where you have a noticeboard of local businesses where they can put up a flyer or business card and you could do the same on theirs.
As a medical practitioner, it is recommended that you should be active in the community where your practice. A medical centre, on the other hand, should aim at promoting community engagement not just as a means to promote its business but to also contribute to the growth of the community.
Involving yourself in the community by sponsoring projects or volunteering to assist at outreach or other events helps to humanize the medical practice. Be on the lookout for aspects of the community that needs assistance and help out. Being present also at local community functions shows that you are committed to being part of the community.
Involving in these activities does not really take a lot of time. A lot of these events require a few hours or less each week. Take out time from your busy schedule to be present at community events, the few hours you sacrifice weekly to the community goes a long way in promoting yourself and your practice too.
To learn how to hire the best in the healthcare and medical industry including GP jobs, nurse jobs and more, download the Emloyer Success Guide.