Healthcare Marketing: It’s About the Patient

hospitalbedG100706_228x228The current trend in hospital marketing is to emphasize “patient experience.” In a consumer driven market it has to be.

Gone are the days when the healthcare industry provided clinical competency and didn’t put much emphasis on the patient experience. We are indeed living in the age of consumer driven, consumer-controlled marketing. The consumer is in charge. The consumer has choices and he or she is choosing the services that provide a higher level of service and attention to their needs. And now this is becoming more and more true in healthcare.

The buzzword within healthcare marketing is now “positive patient experience.” And it should be.

More and more consumers are taking control of the healthcare decisions rather than just following doctor’s order. A recent Massachusetts survey indicated that only 24% trust their doctor completely to make the right choices on where to go for healthcare services. Consumers are taking control and making decisions based on convenience and service. And that’s a changing paradigm for many hospitals.

But it’s happening. In the latest HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey of senior healthcare executives, 88% of the respondents ranked patient experience among their top five priorities. This is up from 25% of CEOs who put consumer satisfaction among their top three priorities in last year’s survey. The shift to an emphasis on the patient is happening. And rightfully so. It’s what consumers are demanding and it’s what’s right. What has long been the emphasis in most service industries is now reaching into healthcare.

Not only is this the proper emphasis in our consumer-is-in-control economy, it also provides great opportunities for healthcare marketing. It provides real tangibles to market. It makes healthcare services something more than a commodity. It provides some real uniqueness to take to the marketplace.

It’s all about the consumer! For healthcare marketing, that creates substantial challenges, but also great opportunities.

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