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Why your hospital needs a 'man cave': 3 tactics to appeal to men

February 7, 2017

    If you've found it more difficult to get male patients in the door than female patients, you're not alone.

    Despite having chronic and unique health issues such as heart disease and prostate cancer, men are generally less open to receiving care than women. In fact, men spend approximately $1,000 less on health care per year than women do.

    To bridge this utilization gap, some providers are developing formalized men's health programs to attract male patients. However, health systems must ensure that their programs actually deliver on what men want.

    Here are three strategies to ensure that your men's health program is successful:

    1. Ditch the exam table and build a man cave

    The clinical atmosphere of many physician offices can put off men who don't want to see a provider in the first place.

    Instead of the traditional office design scheme, consider one that makes men feel more comfortable: a man cave. Potential design elements include big screen TVs, dark colors, hardwood floors, and leather chairs instead of a stuffy exam table.

    2. When marketing, target men's significant others

    Men may not want to receive care—but their significant others could change that.

    A recent survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians found that 80% of men say their significant others influence their health care decisions. In heterosexual relationships, women tend to be the "Chief Medical Officer" of the pair and take charge of the couple's health. As a result, targeting marketing efforts toward significant others is an effective way to get men through the door.

    Sample marketing tactics include asking patients to schedule appointments for their partners when they are checking out of their own appointments and targeting men in the hospital during their partner's labor and delivery care.

    3. Maximize convenience by improving care efficiency

    Reducing the number of appointments men must attend can go a long way toward attracting and retaining male patients.

    Successful men's health programs often co-locate their services and ensure that any required exams are done onsite on the same day as the primary appointment. Some providers have taken male preference for convenience a step further: They've implemented telehealth solutions that allow men to bypass the medical office altogether.

    The benefits of a 'man cave'

    When implemented successfully, men's health programs increase men's utilization of health services and improve overall male health. In addition, providers can drive downstream revenues for relevant service lines (e.g., cardiology, urology, endocrinology) by better attracting male patients.


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