Picture this. One day while watching TV you see an engaging hospital commercial, depicting smiling providers who whisk a patient through the continuum of care. The end of the spot directs you to a website, which has a fresh design and smartly describes the organization's many service lines and resources.
A few weeks down the line you need to schedule an elective procedure, and, based on your positive memories of the ad and website, you choose this hospital. But upon arrival, the parking lot is confusing. When you finally stumble across the waiting room, the desk worker passes you some forms to fill out without raising his head. Your procedure goes well, but afterward it's unclear how to schedule a follow-up.
Unfortunately, scenarios like this one happen all too often at well-meaning hospitals. Often the problem lies in the marketing department's detachment from operations, which—like it or not—controls the patient experience.
For the marketing chief to be considered a key leader within the hospital hierarchy, marketers must bridge this gap and take full responsibility for the patient experience.
Marianne Aiello is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.