In this increasingly crazy world of healthcare marketing, it’s easy for healthcare marketers to lose focus on their role in helping increase patient volume. In a recent whitepaper G/L published A Special Report to Healthcare Marketers: Success awaits Those Whose Patient Care Includes Understanding the Cares of Patients, patients respond best to marketing campaigns that elicit confidence and hope in their care and future health. So if healthcare providers want increased volume, they have to appeal to what patients want most from their healthcare experience.
Building patients confidence in your facility can be accomplished by highlighting expertise. That may include clinical expertise of the staff, specialties offered, latest technology/procedures and how well the physicians and nurses communicate with the patients, providing them guidance and support throughout the healthcare experience.
In terms of providing hope, that can be a little esoteric in how you satisfy this emotional need for a prospective patient. It starts with what I mentioned above, as well as with creating an internal campaign that builds a patient-focused culture.
Creating that internal campaign and culture may include customer service training and orientating staff to communicate with patients. Patients want to see the staff’s love for the profession and genuine desire to care for them. Doug Doransky, author of Autumn Sister, chronicles the journey of his brother and terminally ill sister says, “Above all else in my opinion, when people get sick, their automatic and immediate wish is find hope and get well. To achieve that, they wish to find a facility with the highest expertise, geared toward what they have. The level of care and courtesy is important also, but hope and the chance to get well is primary.”
How does this lead to additional volume? Studies that poll consumers as to what motivates their healthcare decisions find word of mouth and healthcare provider websites as ranking the highest. Providing the best experience leads to positive patient reviews, which leads to more patients.
So as you begin plans to increase patient volume now and into next year, think about the patient point of view in developing your plans.