How Experience Spurs Even Lazy, Passive Patients into Action

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , October 14, 2009

I was a little skeptical that my records would really be there on the day of my appointment (based, by the way, on my experiences at the other two hospitals—when I would show up for an appointment, it sometimes seemed as though the staff had no idea who I was or what I was doing there). She assured me my records would not get lost in the transfer and that even if there was a mishap they would straighten it out immediately—it's all done electronically, she said.

She followed up with a note that arrived at my home two days later letting me know what to expect on the day of my appointment and giving my very clear directions to the facility.

And that is all it took for me to switch hospitals—the promise of a better experience. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if they deliver on that promise. And, if not, what I'll do about it. Is it possible the hospitals closer to my home could woo me back? Probably not. Is it possible they can improve the patient experience to the point where they stop losing even their most passive patients to the beautiful new facility a couple towns over?

Absolutely. And so can you. But you'd better get started now.

I'm writing my column earlier than usual this week because I'm headed off to our two events in Chicago—the HealthLeaders Media Marketing Experience 09 and HealthLeaders Media 09: Hospital of the Future Now. The marketing event will be a day-long learning experience with a focus on real ways that healthcare marketers and leaders can execute excellent experiences for their patients, family members, and employees. At the leadership event, I'll be moderating a live discussion about patient experience with an all-star panel of experience experts as well as breakout group sessions on the topic.

I hope to see you there, but if you can't make it, I'll also be blogging and Twittering from the events, so make sure to follow me on Twitter and on the MarketShare blog.

Note: You can sign up to receive HealthLeaders Media Marketing, a free weekly e-newsletter that will guide you through the complex and constantly-changing field of healthcare marketing.

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