Traditionally, healthcare providers assumed a one-way role of simply providing patients with treatment and information. Unfortunately, patients assumed they had to accept this guidance as gospel, with little personal involvement in their healthcare decisions. But with patients now having instant access to endless medical knowledge and peer perspectives, they have become much more empowered and want to play an active part in their personal healthcare journeys. As a result, they don’t want healthcare providers to simply provide them with care, but rather to act as their partners in health. So if a health system is still treating patients as passive recipients, they may find themselves near their last breath in business. Luckily, some health systems and providers have started to see that the keys to building lasting relationships are understanding what patients value and making them feel like participants rather than patients. To help health systems evolve from providers into partners, MediaPost.com shared three proven patient strategies for providing a better healthcare experience.
1. Personalize the Patient Experience
Many health systems simply promote their strengths, but patients don’t respond to these over-the-top statements—instead they want to see that their needs are understood. One health system that has taken this idea to heart is Penn Medicine. The organization shifted away from self-serving messages and started to offer tools to their target audience that let them take their health into their own hands by exploring healthcare information and options. Penn also now strives to interact with patients through every step of their journeys to provide the proper support and care. These efforts have helped the health system develop a strong connection with patients and become a trusted patient resource.
2. Stimulate an Emotional Connection
Most patient healthcare decisions are driven by their emotions, but health systems continue to bombard patients with factual information. Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore has pinpointed the following four factors that influence emotionally-driven decisions:
- People often shut down when faced with overwhelming choices, but condensing complex solutions into simple steps can greatly increase engagement.
- Since people put a priority on their current concerns, explaining the immediate impact of an offer can expedite consideration.
- Loss is a bigger motivator than gain, so focusing on what a person has to lose is a stronger appeal than expressing what they can gain.
- People tend to follow the advice and actions of others like them, so sharing stories of similar patients who have had satisfying and positive experiences can resonate and produce a response.
3. Focus on What Patients Care About
To help Cape Cod Health Care reverse their recent patient declines, the health system conducted a market segmentation study to explore consumer behaviors, perceptions, and interests about healthcare. Their findings encouraged them to revise their marketing strategy to make their engagement efforts much more meaningful to consumers. By showing consumers that the health system understood what truly mattered to them, Cape Cod Health Care has been able to create more personal and relevant communications that continue to lead to more new and long-term relationships.
By positioning healthcare providers as partners in patient journeys, healthcare systems can breathe brand new life into their business.
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MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, is one of Florida’s top healthcare marketing companies and branding firms, whose healthcare clients include Dental Care Alliance, MDVIP, Max Planck Florida Institute, HCA East Florida, Primary Pharmaceuticals, and MD Now. MDG’s core capabilities include branding, logo design, print advertising, digital marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, media planning and buying, radio and TV advertising, outdoor, newspaper, video marketing, infographic development, website design and development, content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO. To learn more about the latest trends in healthcare marketing, contact MDG Advertising.
Written by Michael Del Gigante