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4 Strategies to Improve the Patient Experience

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, May 9, 2012

1.Align promise with experience
The positive hospital ad/negative hospital experience described above showcases the hypothetical organization's inability to align its brand promise with its brand experience.

"No longer can healthcare organizations be a lot better in their ads than they are in reality," Gary Adamson, chief experience officer of Starizon told the April issue of Healthcare Marketing Advisor. "There is too much consumer information and power for that approach to be viable any longer. The marketing department must become responsible for the melding of the promise and the experience into a powerful and fully differentiated brand."

In order to merge the promise and the experience into a differentiated brand, Adamson suggests thinking of the two as overlapping circles. It is ultimately the marketing department's duty to not only make the area of intersection larger, but to eventually create concentric circles.

To do this, marketers must integrate operations and communications.

"By working with cross-functional teams, marketers can help organizations keep a finger on their patients' pulse and develop communication materials that heal and strengthen relationships," Tom DeSanto, principal, Tom DeSanto Strategy and Communications, told HMA. "It's like multispecialty care for the patient experience."

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3 comments on "4 Strategies to Improve the Patient Experience"


Kristin Baird, RN, BSN, MHA (5/17/2012 at 8:53 PM)
I agree that marketers should be involved, but they are often kept at arm's length from operations. Some of the most patient-centric organizations I've worked with have marketers taking the lead on the patient experience. Savvy marketers have seen the light and realize the strong connection between marketing and the patient experience. In fact, some forward-thinking healthcare marketers are insisting on conducting mystery shopping on service lines prior to launching any advertising campaigns. The rationale being that if the product (service) is not truly ready for market, they won't spend advertising dollars promoting a service line that doesn't live up to the promise.

Margaret Fleming (5/10/2012 at 1:26 PM)
Educating the patient is not communication. Harper's List once stated that 18 seconds! is the average time a patient may speak without being interrupted by a doctor. The patient's felt needs, unanswered requests, and real complaints are the other half of the equation. On my very worst days at the local hospital, NO ONE asked me how I was doing. By contrast, my primary doctor is an ongoing source of focused, effective care based on listening.

Erick Kinuthia (5/9/2012 at 3:22 PM)
Interesting topic. Every department in an organization has an obligation and a role to play in the organization. This is the same case for marketing staff in a hospital. They should aid the hospital to attain its targets through social media. Erick Kinuthia Team MDwebpro