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4 Strategies to Improve the Patient Experience

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, May 9, 2012

2.Start with first point of contact
Naturally, aligning the brand promise with its experience is a daunting task. A good way to start is to focus on the patient's first physical point of contact with your organization. The patient's perception of your parking lot, lobby, and front-line desk staff make a lasting impression on their overall experience. This is why many organizations choose to employ valets and greeters; to construct warm, spacious entryways; and to extensively train staff in customer service.

"Marketers should consider all of the variables that will impact the patients' and their families' or visitors' impression of the building and the people inside," Shari Short, research director and strategist for Aloysius Butler & Clark, told HMA. "For example, if the parking lot feels unsafe or if the elevators are broken or too slow, consumers note these factors as part of their experience."

Once the patient enters the treatment phase of their visit, clinical care takes precedence. But there is always room to craft a positive 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