Toshiba America Medical Systems builds demand for imaging services

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Challenge: Small hospitals with small marketing budgets have difficulty spreading the word about new medical equipment. Banner Lassen Medical Center, a 25-bed facility in Susanville, Calif., is such a place.

“[We had a] lack of resources and tools to provide the community and medical staff with valuable information about the product,” said Michelle Williams, a marketing specialist at the hospital.

Solution: Toshiba America Medical Systems, Banner’s CT supplier, had a solution. Its Image Maker Toolkit helps the hospital cost-effectively build demand for the facility’s medical imaging services.

“We needed to provide customers with a system to help market to the community,” said Jim Burch, director of customer communications at Toshiba. “Toshiba considers the Image Maker to have played an important part in the growth of the company, as it’s a key tool used by the sales force when they are selling the company’s imaging equipment.” Burch estimates that 1,000 hospitals, or about 75% of its customers, have used some element of the toolkit since it was originally introduced 10 years ago.

The toolkit’s Web site gives Toshiba’s hospital customers product images, downloadable and customizable brochures, tutorials on marketing topics and live assistance. It helps these medical organizations raise their visibility through online, newspapers, billboards and radio ads. “They can do everything from writing news releases to organizing health fairs,” said Toshiba spokeswoman Ruth Thomas.

Banner began using the toolkit shortly after its CT purchase.

Results: Williams said that the toolkit has “made a huge difference in marketing” because the medical center no longer needed to spend $2,000 or $3,000 on brochures, which were now included in the Image Maker.

”The toolkit is a great resource,” Williams said. “It has saved the PR staff valuable time and was very easy to integrate into our facilities marketing plan.”

Banner Lassen has seen an increase in volume for CT procedures since installing Toshiba’s Aquilion 16 CT scanner, Williams said. “We are also in the process of purchasing an MRI from Toshiba and look forward to utilizing the toolkit for that as well.”

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