Fresh Perspectives: Build a Rewarding Long-Term Patient Experience

arms lifting ornate mirror into air

As healthcare marketers we enjoy being in control. So coming to grips with the fact that sometimes we’re not in control can feel quite uncomfortable. This growing reality was difficult to swallow a few years ago and even more so today. We need to embrace the fact we can’t control every single piece of the consumer experience. Sounds radical doesn’t it? Not being in control goes against the very nature of who we are as human beings and how we strive to become even more valuable as marketers to our communities.

Does giving up control mean losing control of your story or message? I submit to you, if done correctly, it does not.

One advantage you can give yourselves as healthcare marketers is fostering better relationships with members of your community years before they step into your healthcare organization. Making this proactive change does require a conscious effort of continual accountability, improvement and most importantly, action!

As such, this change should be part of everything you do as a healthcare marketer. According to a Pew Internet study 75% of Internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year. It’s safe to say these numbers will continue to rise due to the increasing number of SmartPhones, tablets and other Internet-connected devices.

During the 17th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC) I observed only a handful of organizations who are dedicated to building long-term relationships outside of their physical walls. “But wait,” you say, “we are in the process of building a newly redesigned responsive website, have a solid social media presence, plus finally have marketing goals in place to strengthen our organization. Aren’t those initiatives enough to achieve the desired results?”

Perhaps. Your efforts are not without merit. Why is this practice not yet the norm for healthcare marketers? Why is this not your practice? The reason for your organization’s lack of focus now, more than ever, might stem from a failure to prioritize simultaneous projects which directly support your organization’s mission.

Take a look at these obstacles which might be preventing you from focusing on developing more meaningful relationships outside your organization’s walls:

The best learning opportunities for continually building satisfying long-term customer experiences came from a keynote presentation Dr. Natasha Burgert gave to HCIC attendees. Dr. Burgert eloquently shared with us three problems she faced as a pediatrician:

  1. I couldn’t get information out. I can’t get the marketing messages to stick with the community.
  2. My point of care was average. I can’t control what’s happening online.
  3. I only had 20 minutes with a patient.

We can adapt and provide ourselves solutions to these problems as healthcare marketers:

  1. Find creative ways to stand out and engage your community.
  2. Work with your Web partner to determine what online areas need improvement and how you can measure these improvements.
  3. Research where people are engaged with your organization online and meet them there.

Sound familiar? Dr. Burgert offers us thought-provoking ideas on how to give patients more. More education. More reassurance. More direction. Reacting in real-time is no longer an option. The new norm is and forever will be proactively building a rewarding long-term patient experience. How will you change for the better?

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This entry was posted in Agile, Best Practices, Consumer Expectations, Industry Trends, Marketing, Social Media, Tradeshow/Conference by Kevin Stejskal. Bookmark the permalink.
Kevin Stejskal

About Kevin Stejskal

Kevin’s energy is contagious. He’s fun to be around, easy to talk to, and knows a thing or two about helping hospitals advance their online goals. That’s why healthcare professionals consistently turn to him for guidance and insight. As an account manager at Geonetric, Kevin helps clients stay ahead of their competition and make informed decisions about their eHealth initiatives. Kevin’s a team player – and we’re not just saying that because he won the 2007 Regional Teamwork Award while a marketing manager at Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. He uses his experience leading marketing teams to bring new ideas to Geonetric’s business development team and to help his clients gain buy-in for their Web strategies. This history buff and fisherman holds a BA in Communications from Clarke College and uses his coworkers as guinea pigs for his wife’s cupcake-making hobby. We’re not complaining!

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