In-office promotions and patient giveaways are an easy way to market to existing and prospective patients. However, there are always legalities that must be followed to be sure that what is being given away is not in conflict with any contracted dental benefit providers. But that is not the only concern that must be addressed before we announce –“And the winner is.”
Win a New Toothbrush!!!
Held a drawing lately to reward patients for coming into the practice or perhaps to thank them for referring friends and family? Were there lots of posts on Facebook and your website promoting the much anticipated drawing? Afterwards, did you take a picture or make a video of the smiling patient receiving their brand new electric toothbrush? Are you planning on putting those pictures and/or videos online too? Did you get permission from the patient to post their name and pictures online?
Patient Authorization Required
If the practice is planning to use the pictures or videos online, make sure that you have a signed consent or authorization from the patient or guardian before posting anything. These images are part of the patient’s PHI (Protected Health Information), and as such are protected under HIPAA. I suggest informing the patient before they enter any contest that all pictures or videos taken will be used on the practice’s social media pages. This allows the patient and/or guardian to make an informed decision before they participate.
And the Winner Is …You!
Now that the legal and HIPAA questions have been addressed and the authorization is on file, go ahead and have that drawing. Find new ways to promote your practice that keep patients engaged on your social media pages and sharing with their friends. It’s a win-win for the patients and the practice!
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