The patient experience at any hospital or health system lays the groundwork for every marketing initiative, and yet thanks to barriers such as department silos many marketers feel they do not have a direct influence on how that experience is delivered. But while marketers are not involved directly in patient care, their internal communication initiatives and C-suite influence can be used to break down those roadblocks and bring about positive change in the lives of patients.
"Marketers have always had a vested interest in the patient experience. After all, without a positive patient experience you cannot build loyalty or improve the bottom line," Kristin Baird, president and CEO of Baird Group, a consulting firm specializing in customer service improvement for healthcare organizations, tells HealthLeaders Media. "Because marketers are skilled at listening to the voice of the consumer, they often have the skill set to get a clear picture of the current reality."
The most glaring weak points in the patient experience often lie in a lack of intentional culture within an organization, she says. The marketing director can play a key role in guiding that culture by opening a dialogue with other hospital leaders and pushing them to think about how they can create a consistent, positive, and patient-centered experience.