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Patient Outreach Starts Earlier Than You Think

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, March 31, 2010

Finally, my most recent visit to Boston Hospital was a couple of weeks ago when I stopped by to get coffee with a friend who works in an administrative position. Sure enough there was still noisy construction and a lot of hubbub in the lobby, but I was impressed with the coffee shop and the little sitting area where we chatted outside.

The bathrooms weren't much to speak of, but I'll refer you to Gienna Shaw's "How to Clean up Your Image in Just Three Easy Steps" column for more on those.

All in all, I'm still rather indifferent about Boston Hospital. In my mind, the only thing it has going for it more than the other world-class hospital down the road is that I finally know how to find the café without getting lost. But if I'd received some form of communication from them, perhaps after my brother was hospitalized and I was still living at home, I might have a more favorable impression.

But when it comes to lead gen, marketers must remember many potential patients come into contact with their organization long before they receive a direct mail piece. Patient outreach is happening 24/7 in hospitals everywhere with visitors, relatives, and friends of coworkers constantly forming opinions based on mundane things such as wall colors and caffeine proximity. It's time hospital marketers start raising the bar on a new standard: visitor satisfaction.

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