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Hospital as Match Maker: Speed Dating Between Doctors and Patients

Posted Aug 20 2010 2:30am

If you really think about it, this is an interesting idea: Potential patients attend a social where they have the opportunity to engage physicians in 5 to 10 minute increments – similar to speed dating. Why not? Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital received a ton of national press coverage for its innovative “Doc Shop” speed dating program. Interestingly, the hospital was organizing an opportunity for community members to meet community physicians – not physicians employed by the hospital. There’s no guarantee that those physicians will refer business back to the hospital, but one has to believe that the hospital is building equity with these community physicians (and the patients) by providing this service. This is an innovative way to market to referring physicians! Bring them new patients. Think of the hospital as the matchmaker.

A secondary benefit of the speed dating process is that it makes the first office visit that much easier because the physician and patient have already met. Here’s the link to the original NPR story that caught my attention: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126537953

Recently there’s been a lot written about this new speed dating trend. Check out some of the articles below:

“Hospital Tries ‘Speed Dating’ To Attract Doctors, Patients,”
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2010/May/18/Hospital-Attracts-Doctors-New-Patients-With-Creative-Marketing.aspx

“Hospital uses a speed dating-like event to help patients find the perfect physician for them,”
www.goupstate.com/article/20100720/ARTICLES/7201002/1106

“‘Speed-dating’ doctors woo patients” – CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/03/08/doctor.speed.dating/index.html

“‘Speed Dating’ To Help Patients Find Doctors” – ABC News, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WellnessNews/speed-dating-patients-find-doctors/story?id=9925290

“Hospital Attracts Patients With Doctor ‘Speed Dating’,” NPR, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126537953

Dan Dunlop, The Healthcare Marketer


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