Hospital Marketing: Get Out Of Town!

Hospital Sign w ArrowEvery CEO, every marketer should sample his or her own product. But employees prevent them from seeing the truth.

A hospital CEO or marketer gets sick and has to be admitted to the hospital. GREAT! Now they can sample their product. But can they?

Probably every employee knows all the occupants of the executive suites, so when they appear at the hospital as a patient, they get the best room, the most attention and an extra dose of care.  So unfortunately their experience is not at all the experience that is common for other patients. 

I have a friend who was a hospital administrator who became ill out of town and had to go to the hospital. In that hospital, no one knew him so he didn’t receive the ‘special’ care that’s given to an insider or known VIP.

He said it really opened his eyes. He saw everything entirely differently. He noticed dust bunnies, dirty vents, cold food, hard beds, cracked paint, inattentive staff, slow response and conflicting information from various care providers.

His first thought was pride that his hospital was not run this way. And then he questioned if he could really say that. His experience at his own hospital was that of a special person. And he wondered if indeed this non-VIP treatment was exactly what if was like for those who visited his hospital. Needless to say, he came back with a renewed zeal to emphasize customer service.

Every hospital executive and manager should try in everyway possible to see things through the eyes of the patient. It’s easy to get so caught up in establishing procedures and rules to help lower costs and increase productivity, satisfy physicians, adhere to mandated guidelines and a zillion other things. And forget to see how the patient experiences the brand.

Every effort should be made to see it as the patient sees it. And because that has it’s limitations, patient satisfaction surveys, community perception surveys and even casual talk by former patients should be taken seriously.

Otherwise, maybe the only way we will see the truth is to get out of town.



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