Robotic surgery is one of the most exciting developments in surgery in recent years. If your hospital uses a da Vinci® Si™ Surgical System or other robotic surgery system, you want to let patients know. Whether it's pelvic prolapse, mitral valve repair or robotic prostatectomy, the more your patients know and understand about surgical procedures that can be performed using robotic surgery, the better chance you have of capturing that market.
Minimally invasive surgeries hold the promise of better precision for surgical procedures, access to areas previously thought unreachable and a shorter recovery. Further, there are fewer complications like blood loss and infection. Robotic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgical procedure and it is changing patient’s lives. Touting your hospital’s da Vinci Surgical System or minimally invasive robotic surgery program can give your hospital the edge.
While marketing robotic surgery, however, keep in mind that while it has changed the surgical experience, this surgical procedure is not available for every condition, and it’s not right for every patient. You want to reassure patients that you have the expertise and experience to use every surgical approach: traditional, minimally invasive or robotic.
Here are five important tips for marketing robotic surgery and your da Vinci surgical system:
- Get your name out there. In addition to marketing the robotics on your own hospital’s website, find out if there is a regional website or organization of robotic surgery. Become affiliated with that site to make it easier for patients to find you. For example, when patients in the Florida region search for robotic surgery, Robotic Surgery of Florida comes up. The website, in addition to offering a wealth of information on robotic surgery, lists different hospitals in Florida and surrounding states that offer robotic surgical procedures. Patients can easily click on a nearby hospital to find out more. If your hospital is not listed, no one can find you.
- Show what you know. Create a robust section on your website describing robotic surgery. The technology is new and some patients may be wary. Just advertising “robotic surgery” isn’t enough. Physicians' training is critical to patients, and they’re also interested in how a robotic procedure works. The website of North Florida Regional Medical Center includes a detailed history of the technology, procedures available and patient information. Go the extra step with an explanatory video explaining the different surgical procedures. A video provides a visual guide so patients can understand the procedure even better. Videos also demonstrate your expertise and depth of knowledge in this field. Hartford Hospital offers a detailed video of a robotic prostatectomy.
- Is this for me? Patients want to know if their condition can be treated using robotic surgical procedures. Children’s Hospital Boston lists the procedures they treat robotically, so patients can know immediately if they are a potential candidate. To sharpen your information even further, be focused. Often, a patient who is researching treatment options understands their condition, so don’t spend too much time discussing the disease. Offer, specific, detailed information about the robotic procedure for the particular conditions you treat.
- Be a valuable source of information. Patients are looking for informative content before undergoing a surgical procedure, especially when the procedure is something cutting-edge and new. Offer them information, in the form of patient testimonials or links to outside articles detailing robotic surgery and its benefits.
- Let the doctors speak. A robotic surgery is not just advantageous for the patients—doctors find it beneficial as well. Through either an article or video, have your doctors discuss why they like using a robotic procedure: the enhanced visualization, greater dexterity, superior precision. Hearing a doctor’s opinion provides a personal yet professional element to the discussion.
Do you have any thoughts or tips about robotic surgery or minimally invasive surgery marketing?