On the other hand, I think that in 2009 we had a collective "a-ha moment" as we came to understand that employee satisfaction is one of the biggest influencers on patient satisfaction. The math is simple: Happy employees equal happy patients and families, creating increased word of mouth, a stronger brand, and a better bottom line. And as the importance of the patient experience continues to grow in 2010, I think healthcare organizations will catch up with me on this prediction, too.
One more prediction for you: Unless my crystal ball is cracked, next week's column will take a look at the year ahead and the healthcare marketing trends that will emerge in 2010.
An added bonus: It's also a popular time of year for "top 10" stories. One of my top picks? 10 Weird Healthcare Stories of 2009 by HealthLeaders Media editor John Commins.