Category: Patient Experience

Approved Category

Your Hospital’s Explosive Consumerism Makeover

[Series Installment] It looks like the majority of hospitals throughout the US want to be gearing up for major advances in consumerism. From a marketing and business development perspective, the institutions that make aggressive consumer moves will differentiate themselves from the other 92 percent of the industry. A mere eight percent of hospitals and health systems are “high performers.” This top tier successfully applies best practices to meet new consumer expectations “in access, experience and pricing.” This according to the 2017 State of Consumerism in Healthcare benchmark report by Kaufmann, Hall & Associates. The report numbers reveal some alarming disparities. “Consumerism ... Read more

Why I Fired My Doctor (and Went to Her Competitor)

A professional colleague provided this first-person experience and the reasons he fired the doctor. We’ll cloak the identities involved, but here’s what went wrong—and how the problem could have been avoided. “The physician that I had been seeing was leaving the practice, and an alternative specialist was recommended. Two weeks later I was present for an appointment…the second patient to be seen that morning. I was shown to an exam room by a technical assistant who took some minor notes and left me to wait for the doctor. “After about 15 minutes alone, I asked the front desk about the ... Read more

Does a Rundown Office Predict a Bad Patient Experience?

Let’s call this an informal Patient Experience survey—or a real-world test of “first impressions.” The thing is, this is something that actually happened to me recently. Please let me know what you would have done in my place. Having waited a couple weeks to get an appointment I was scheduled to see a doctor that I had not seen previously. I was surprised to find the physical office was old and run-down. The chairs, for example, were clearly tired and worn, and my first impression was bad. Should I stay or go? In just a bit, I’ll tell you the ... Read more

A Tale of Two Cafes: Take-Away Service Lessons for Hospitals

Each week I look forward to Chris Brogan’s business advice email. You probably know his name; Chris is a respected author, consultant and speaker…and he knows marketing. His notes are insightful, conversational and they deliver solid, practical guidance. Without mentioning hospitals, medical practices or doctors, his recent note about a Tale of Two Local Cafes hits home with a powerful lesson for healthcare. The contrast of two local businesses is an analogy-of-sorts for contemporary patient satisfaction in healthcare delivery. With Chris’ permission, here are some (slightly condensed) slices. He writes: “The day before yesterday, Jacq and I walked into a ... Read more

Doctor, Tear Down Your Glass Window — Now!

Our friend and colleague Rob Klein—a consumer authority for hospitals and doctors—told us this story from a research focus group. Many people in the group agreed that the glass window at the front desk made patients feel unwelcome. A glass window seems to be standard issue for every doctor’s office on the planet. But it turns out that the window is one of the most hated features about a medical office visit. It’s a reflection (no pun intended) of how patients feel they’re being treated. And it’s not good. Rob shared that, through the window, “people could see a staff ... Read more

Choosing a Hospital: The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

A friend of ours is a one-person blend of Yelp-and-Angie’s-List of references, referrals and recommendations. This is a well-connected word-of-mouth resource for recommendations for life’s everyday needs. Just ask: They’ll suggest the best value in retail goods, where to find discounts on groceries, who to trust for reliable home handyman services. This a person who is recognized as a brand advocate, someone who provides guidance in healthcare decisions. The concept of “word-of-mouth marketing” appeals to doctors, hospitals and communications professionals primarily because of the low cost. The trouble is, that unpaid or inexpensive promotion—where satisfied customers actively tell others—is difficult ... Read more

7 Radical Ideas to Retain Patients (and Revenue) at a Doctor’s Office

Doctor’s offices don’t always recognize when their routines and procedures work against their efforts to win new patients or retain current patients. The patient experience begins with an instant demerit. People who need an appointment are already dealing with a measure of stress. And medical providers should not make it difficult for patients to access the care they need. Here are a couple of personal experiences—decidedly real-world—because they happened to me just last week. A doctor’s office needs to be open and answer phone calls, particularly during the lunch hour. I tried calling during the lunch hour this week to make appointments, ... Read more

Two Cans and a String Will Destroy Your Leading-Edge Reputation

Websites show their age quickly in our digital world. A healthcare website that is three or more years old is probably doing more harm than good and it needs a fresh start. Here’s how an old site works against you and what to do about it. This came up again the other day where a particular practice was limping along with their aged website. After several years, it needed to change, but the leading doctor had to convince the partners in the practice. Simply seeing the tired site is obvious evidence. But the most convincing argument was how the old-fashioned website ... Read more

How to Kill Unoccupied Time and Enhance Patient Satisfaction

[Part Two of a two-part article about long waiting times in accessing care and healthcare service delivery the doctor’s office. Read how to identify the problem and what to do about it. The first post is available here: Rethink Reception and Reduce Patient Waiting in Healthcare.] The nearly universal patient frustration (over 90 percent) tracks to the perception of a lengthy wait. The many experts who have studied the issue remind us of the “perception” part—something we have all experienced. And that is the difference between “occupied time” and “unoccupied time.” Dr. Richard Larson, an M.I.T. expert, explains the difference as: ... Read more

Rethink Reception and Reduce Patient Waiting in Healthcare

[Part One of a two-part article about one of the top patient satisfaction complaints: long waiting times in accessing care and healthcare service delivery the doctor’s office. Here’s how to identify the problem and what to do about it.] There’s a well-considered reason that the healthcare industry is doing its best to banish the term “waiting room.” Every hospital and multi-physician practice knows that “reception area” or even “welcome desk” is a more thoughtful and sensitive term. Unfortunately, the label doesn’t do much to improve the actual environment. There’s more to the term than a semantics-spin or a stab at ... Read more