Did you know that only 5% of eligible Americans give blood? One blood donation can help save up to 3 lives. Donated blood has a shelf life of only 42 days. You can donate blood every two months. There is a 97% chance that someone you know will need a blood transfusion. (American Red Cross Quote) If you are not already regularly giving blood, I urge you to do so. Post these facts in your office or in a mail out letter to your patients. Your community and patients will respect your efforts to help those who are in need of blood donations.
So now you are ready to host a blood drive. That’s great! You can contact the national directory for the American Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE LIFE or www.givelife.org. Once you set a date and time the American Red Cross should help you promote your event. They should be able to post minimal signage and make phone calls to previous donators in your area. Be sure to encourage your patients to donate as well. If you would like, you can offer incentives for patients who donate. If your patients have a friend or family member who wants to donate this would be a good time to introduce yourself to them. It will also help you to get to know the general public who show up to donate blood.
Once the date has been set, get ready to educate the blood donors. When I set a blood drive, I explained to the American Red Cross coordinators that I wanted the opportunity to give each donor a free spinal screening. I held a drawing for Biofreeze, a free exam and free set of x-rays (if necessary) to a few lucky donors. When a donor shows up to give blood, they sign in with the American Red Cross. At this time they can fill out a slip for your drawing as well. Information should include name, address, phone number and optional email address for monthly email newsletter. Another good piece of information to ask for on your drawing slip is, “do you have any questions for the doctor?” This gets the potential patient considering possibly getting help from you. It also gives you information to talk about if you decide to make a follow up call.
After they have donated blood, they are required by the American Red Cross to stick around for about 10 minutes to make sure there are no problems such as excessive hemorrhaging. This is a great chance for you to thank them for coming out and talk to them about chiropractic care. Be sure to provide plenty of take home information about your practice. With any event I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to follow up on potential patient leads. Although you want to make sure you do not excessively bother people. Following up on a lead means either sending a letter or phone call stating, “It was nice to meet you and please let us know if we can help you or anyone you know in anyway.” You can also leave a magnet and two business cards in the letter. People will respect your professionalism if you do not badger them. You would be surprised how many people will call even six months to a year later to make an appointment.
This event should be very successful for you and your practice. We have done very well in the past. Even some of the American Red Cross employees have even started care in our office!
Once you host a successful blood drive you should consider hosting blood drives on a regular basis. This will make the community more aware of when and where they can donate blood. At the same time it generates positive exposure for your practice. Again another win, win, win situation for you, your patients and those in need of blood donated to the American Red Cross.