Apr 11, 2024



Promoting Health Condition Observances to Drive Better Patient Outcomes

Don’t just celebrate health awareness days—integrate them into your healthcare strategy for campaigns that leave an impact and save lives.

Awareness is the cornerstone of effective healthcare. If patients misinterpret symptoms or neglect health-related risk factors, it could cost them their quality of life—or even their lives. Knowing how to identify the red flags of a disease is the first step in prevention, early detection, and targeted treatment. It can also lead to destigmatizing meaningful conversations around certain health conditions.

As a health systems marketer, you have the power and tools to spread awareness and, in turn, expand access to care that could potentially save lives. How? Building your campaigns around these upcoming major awareness months and days can empower patients to take better care of their health and help them feel confident in having meaningful health discussions with their doctors.

Maternal Health Awareness Day, Cervical Health Awareness MonthAmerican Heart Month, National Cancer Prevention MonthPatient Safety Awareness Week, National Doctors’ DayNational Minority Health Month, Testicular Cancer Awareness Month
National Women’s Health Month, Nurses WeekMen’s Health MonthHealth Literacy Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National PA Week, World Mental Health DayNational Diabetes Month / World Diabetes Day, National Family Health History Day

See our Health Observances Calendar here for a comprehensive list of awareness days.


Maternal Health Awareness Day (Jan. 23)

Every year, Maternal Health Awareness Day shines a spotlight on the challenges faced by pregnant people and the pressing need for accessible and comprehensive maternal healthcare services. In a recent Healthgrades study, most pregnant respondents looked for a new doctor in connection with their pregnancy. Around 62% had already done so, with another 4% planning to search for a new physician. Meanwhile, only 37% of expectant mothers in the study chose to continue seeing the same doctor. The findings pointed to a lack of diverse doctors, maternity care deserts, and limitations on preferred doctors and hospitals as glaring inconsistencies affecting the ability of pregnant patients to find the care they need.

No parent should feel alone or neglected throughout their pregnancy journey. As a hospital marketer, you can nudge patients in the right direction by emphasizing the importance of scheduling maternal care exams like regular prenatal check-ups, genetic screening tests, ultrasound scans, and other opportunities to discuss concerns with a doctor or specialist. Try leveraging digital tools such as online appointment scheduling and automated reminders and communications to provide the resources expectant mothers need. Take your efforts one step further by partnering with Healthgrades—we can help align your health system with what matters most to patients and make finding the right OB-GYN easier. 

Cervical Health Awareness Month

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cervical cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer among women worldwide, with over 660,000 cases diagnosed in 2022 alone. With women neglecting or delaying preventive exams, such as pap smears and gynecological appointments, this number could be higher. Unfortunately, when patients postpone preventive care, they forgo appointments that could save their lives. As such, use this month to engage and uplift women to put their health first. Collaborate with patients who can share their personal health stories and advocate for the power of proactive care habits. Also, make it easier for them to book an appointment with integrated online scheduling, appointment guides, and other resources they’ll need to feel confident and ready for their upcoming doctor’s visit.

Because patients who see a doctor of the same gender are 14% more likely to report trusting their care team, providing women with plenty of female healthcare professionals to choose from can encourage them to be more proactive. 


American Heart Month

Although heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans, most conditions tied to it are preventable. From chronic high blood pressure to heart failure, better awareness about heart-related conditions can lead patients to adopt healthier habits, catch earlier diagnoses, and prioritize their well-being.

Two weeks are dedicated to spreading the word about heart health—Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week and Heart Failure Awareness Week—creating opportunities to promote your health system’s cardiology service line. You can also embed educational data into consumer campaigns to learn about risk factors for chronic conditions like heart disease. Be sure to promote the life-saving potential of preventive exams, which can help spot warning signs of more serious problems before they escalate.

National Cancer Prevention Month

The American Cancer Society estimates that 2 million cancer cases will be diagnosed this year. With cervical and colorectal cancer becoming more common among younger generations, awareness is crucial. Dedicate this time to educating and empowering patients to perform self-exams and seek diagnoses when they notice something unusual. Community outreach efforts can help ensure that both young and diverse populations are getting regular screenings. Often, patients may dismiss symptoms that could progress into something more severe, so teaching them what to watch for can go a long way in keeping them healthy. You can also talk about your oncology service lines to steer consumers toward specialists they may want to visit. When it comes to cancer, every minute counts.


Patient Safety Awareness Week

Not every patient has access to high-quality care that leads to better health outcomes. From 2020 to 2022, four patient safety indicators (PSI) accounted for nearly 75% of all patient safety events: in-hospital falls resulting in fracture, collapsed lung due to procedure or surgery in or around the chest, pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital, and catheter-related bloodstream infections. With consumer expectations rising, over half of U.S. patients report being more concerned with their quality of care today than before the pandemic. 

Patient safety has seen a decline following decades of continuous improvement, particularly at lower-performing hospitals, where patients have a far greater chance of experiencing a negative outcome than if treated at a facility with a top-rated safety culture. Emphasize your commitment to patient safety during Patient Safety Awareness Week, which unfolds during the second full week of March, by tying in any Healthgrades Quality Awards and Patient Safety Excellence Awards you’ve received into your brand campaigns. Since these awards are based on clinical outcomes for specific conditions and procedures, consumers can have that extra assurance when choosing a hospital that has received this accolade.

National Doctors’ Day (March 30)

The true heartbeat of any medical operation is the doctors and specialists who sacrifice their time and well-being for the sake of others. However, long shifts and intense cases can strain healthcare workforces. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that by 2033, the nation will face a shortage of up to 139,000 physicians.

Showing medical professionals how much they’re valued and respected can help boost morale. On this day, devote your campaigns to showcasing doctor stories and their day-to-day responsibilities to generate appreciation from patients and stakeholders and help reignite the passion that drove your doctors to study medicine in the first place. In addition, take this time to recognize doctors who’ve received stellar patient reviews and celebrate their hard work and impact. You can also help patients easily find these doctors—partnering with a leading platform like Healthgrades can place your care team front and center with a qualified consumer audience.


National Minority Health Month

Individuals from racial, ethnic, and sexual minority communities face disparities in all facets of life, including healthcare. Medical gaslighting, misdiagnoses, and poor medical experiences are often fueled by historical biases in medical literature and research that have historically focused on white cisgender men. Studies have shown that 70% of Black adults believe the medical system continues to discriminate against them. Meanwhile, in a Healthgrades study, a third of Hispanic respondents avoided healthcare in the past year due to cost concerns.

As a health systems marketer, it’s essential to understand the importance of transparency around cultural competency and continually work toward improving diversity and inclusion from the top down. In fact, an Adobe report shows that 38% of consumers trust brands more when they market with diversity. To go about this, create targeted healthcare campaigns that destigmatize conversations about how certain diseases disproportionately affect minority groups and help patients connect with culturally competent doctors who can provide further information sensitive to their needs. In addition, as most health disparities stem from social determinants of health, provide clear and accessible information about the costs associated with medical procedures, consultations, and treatments. This way, patients can make informed decisions and choose doctors and services that align with their budget and needs instead of forgoing care altogether.

Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in young to middle-aged men? It’s also highly treatable and even curable if caught early. The problem is that 37% of men have recently skipped, delayed, or avoided preventive care. When asked about their reasons for forgoing these visits, men cited forgetting to schedule an appointment (24%), high out-of-pocket costs (21%), doubt that their concerns were serious enough to seek medical care (18%), and fear of receiving bad news or finding a problem (18%). Be the voice that nudges them in the right direction. Embed cost breakdowns of your hospitals’ services into your campaigns and offer free educational content that covers how to perform monthly self-exams and what symptoms warrant a visit to the doctor. You can also gather patient stories from testicular cancer survivors to bring more awareness and action to this disease.


National Women’s Health Month

Healthgrades’ Women’s Health 2023 special report found that around 67% of women manage all healthcare tasks in their homes. For women with kids, this often means that they overlook their own annual screenings and check-ups to keep up with their kids’ needs. 

Women’s Health Month is the perfect time to put these patients front and center on your campaigns. Market to women as caregivers and care receivers by encouraging them to prioritize self-care. It’s also good practice to demystify treatment costs since it’s a strong obstacle to care. In addition, elevate female voices in your messaging for perspectives that resonate with your patients. A Healthgrades study showed that women prioritize a doctor who listens to them, so point women in the right direction by providing condition-focused content to help them prepare for conversations with their doctor and emphasizing the importance of preventive care in all promotional collateral. With 81% of women reading reviews before scheduling an appointment, make sure online reviews on your site are easy to find so they can find a doctor who is a good match.

Nurses Week (May 6 – 12)

Nurses Week is a time dedicated to amplifying the pivotal role nurses play in healthcare settings worldwide. Since the pandemic, nurses have taken on an increased workload, grappling with burnout amidst a growing workforce shortage estimated to reach 200,000 to 450,000 vacancies by 2025. Health systems marketers can help highlight solutions that reduce non-nursing task loads and maintain optimal nurse-to-patient ratios. In addition, spotlighting their dedication, expertise, and commitment to patient safety can boost morale, uplifting and supporting these frontline workers during a time when a nursing deficit represents a new global health crisis with no end in sight.


Men’s Health Month

Since the pandemic, men have been taking their health more seriously. In our Men’s Health 2023 study, 56% say they’ve become increasingly concerned about the quality of their healthcare. Although more men are attending preventive health check-ups than those who aren’t, many are still missing out on recommended routine care and health screenings. As you deploy your marketing campaign, use messaging that urges them to action, and supply all the information, resources, and tools they need to prepare for and book a much-needed appointment.

Something to note: As only 42% of men report being the primary healthcare decision-makers in their household, you can aim some of your strategy toward women who often take on the responsibilities of booking appointments, finding doctors, and researching care options for their partners.


Health Literacy Month

In August 2020, the definition of health literacy expanded from individual responsibility to a collaborative one. Originally defined as the extent to which people can obtain, process, and understand basic health data and services, health literacy has grown to include the role organizations play in supplying equitable information and resources. According to the Center for Health Care Strategies, almost 36% of U.S. adults have low health literacy, which can ultimately impact their well-being.

Knowledge is power, but it can mean the difference between life and death in healthcare. In one study, patients with lower health literacy had more emergency department visits than those with higher health literacy. Knowing what symptoms to look for, what specialists to see, and how expensive care will be can lead to more well-informed decisions and better preventive care. This month, centralize your messaging around the theme of education. Guide patients to your content hubs, promote your appointment tools and resources, and make your cost breakdowns easily accessible and transparent so patients can feel more confident and knowledgeable at their next doctor’s appointment.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women each year. In fact, 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women are breast cancer, and approximately 13% of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lives. However, women overall are aware of the health screenings they need to catch potential cases in time; they just don’t attend appointments as frequently as they should. However, delaying preventive care or skipping could mean a missed opportunity to catch a dangerous condition early. Spotlight real stories about young women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer, and organize campaigns designed specifically to drive mammogram appointments and genetic testing, especially as 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary.

National PA Week (Oct. 6 – 12)

Between dwindling margins and industry-wide burnout, the healthcare system is strained beyond capacity—and it’s only expected to worsen as the population ages. As Physician Associates (PAs) have more than 514 million patient interactions every year and represent one of the fastest-growing healthcare professions, it’s important to highlight National PA Week as an opportunity to recognize the role PAs play in alleviating workforce shortages and improving patient-centered care and access. 

World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10)

More than 1 in 5 Americans are living with a mental health condition. In the healthcare landscape, this demographic includes both patients and physicians. For patients, mental health conditions are often comorbid with life-threatening or chronic conditions. For physicians, they’re heavily tied to burnout. In a 2023 HealthDay-Harris Poll survey, 63% of doctors and nurses said they were experiencing burnout at work due to overwhelming waves of patients, long hours, and supply shortages.

It’s also hard for doctors to get the help they need. For far too long, institutional practices have subjected health workers to overly invasive questions about their mental health in licensing, credentialing, and insurance applications. The Physicians Foundation 2023 Survey of America’s Current and Future Physicians found that 4 in 10 physicians were afraid to seek mental health care—or knew another physician who was reluctant to do so—due to the questions on these types of applications.

Health workers should not have to forsake their own mental health and well-being to care for others. When their health suffers, the quality of care they deliver also suffers, with research pointing out medical errors that can result from health workers managing burnout and mental health conditions. As such, take the time to dedicate your campaign on World Mental Health Day to pointing patients and doctors to resources that can help them prioritize and take better care of their mental health.


National Diabetes Month / World Diabetes Day (Nov. 14)

Around 40 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and nearly 23% of these patients are undiagnosed. If left untreated, diabetes can spiral into a deadly disease, but the sooner patients know they’re at risk, the sooner they can take steps to prevent or manage the condition. By spotlighting this condition in your campaign this month, you can bring awareness to those unaware they’re living with diabetes. Make sure to address not only the physical effects but also the mental impact—research from Phreesia found that 37% of respondents frequently worry about their diabetes, and 42% say the condition negatively influences their mental health.

National Family Health History Day (Thanksgiving)

Patients with a family history of diseases like diabetes and cancer are at a higher risk of developing the same condition at some point in their lives, which makes preventive exams all the more essential. National Family Health History Day is the perfect time to launch a campaign reminding patients to bring up potential risk factors to their doctors and ask for screenings. Remember—early detection is the key to saving lives.

Launch Impactful and Relevant Campaigns with Healthgrades

Maximize the impact of your healthcare marketing by partnering with Healthgrades, America’s #1 site for connecting doctors and patients. 

Advertising Solutions

Our advertising solutions offer opportunities to enhance brand visibility and drive patient engagement, including:

  • Premium placement. Prominent branding and compelling calls to action on healthgrades.com physician profiles and search results pages ensure more healthcare shoppers see your health system first.
  • Competitive intercept capability. Promote your brand and present your medical staff as alternative options directly on your competitors’ profiles.
  • Expanded access to alternative doctors. If prospective patients land on the sponsored profile of a doctor who is not accepting new patients, they are shown available alternatives from the same practice. This feature keeps consumers within your health system while resolving capacity issues—ultimately allowing patients to appoint.
  • Syndication network. Reach consumers where they are by extending your brand across the web with our partner sites’ look and feel to provide a seamless user experience.
  • Easy conversion. Integrate online appointment scheduling for in-person and telehealth services directly into your profiles to convert patients ready to appoint.
  • Guaranteed better relevancy in search results. We complement your SEO and SEM strategies for more targeted leads.

Brand Solutions

Healthgrades Brand Solutions places your health system’s brand in front of the industry’s most qualified and action-oriented audience at scale across the web and in the living room by utilizing Healthgrades Audience Intelligence proprietary data:

  • PatientConnect: Drive brand awareness with an engaged, contextually relevant audience at the time of most impact with hyper-targeted display advertising on healthgrades.com.
  • PatienTarget Connected TV: Optimize an audience by targeting the right consumers wherever they watch TV without sacrificing scale or efficiency. Stay at the forefront by reaching engaged “cord cutters” with non-skippable brand messaging.
  • PatienTarget (Display/Video and Audio): Extend your reach and eliminate wasteful impressions with strategically targeted omnichannel advertising across web, CTV, and podcast platforms.

With Healthgrades, your campaigns will not only keep your brand top of mind but also potentially improve the lives of many patients by motivating them to take charge of their health. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help your brand better connect with the right patients at the right time.