Patient Experience – a lot of buzz around it.
Simply put, better the patient experience, the higher your chances of:
- Better, more patient reviews. i.e. cheaper patient acquisition
- Higher chances of patient engagement in their own health. Therefore, more recall appointments rather than running after new appointments. i.e. lower marketing costs, higher life time value of patient, higher profits.
- Better chances of patient referrals to friends and family. Again, lower marketing spend.
- More likelihood of physician referrals due to better patient experience. aka, lower marketing expenses.
I could go on. Hopefully this gives you an idea of why you should concentrate on patient experience.
Let’s look at ways to improve patient and the value it brings to your medical practice.
Across the globe, there are many patients who still continue to have a negative healthcare experiences.
As per a recent research by Accenture on 10,000 patients in 5 countries US, UK, France, Germany and Brazil, patients are still looking for quality services throughout the patient engagement journey.
Below are the key findings from the research:
- 65% of all patients surveyed said that pretreatment is the most frustrating period for them.
- Less than one in five patients are aware of services available to them
- 58 % of patients use services when they are aware of them
- 79% of the respondents said that the services they used were “very” or “extremely” valuable
- 85% of patients wanted their healthcare professionals to be the point of contact for providing services to manage their condition
Do not confuse patient engagement with patient experience.
Patient engagement is a gauge of how engaged a patient is with their own healthcare.
Population demographics typically play a big role into how engaged (or disengaged) a patient is or will be with their own care.
Patient engagement is not something that you can really force on a patient.
You can certainly aim to utilize all available tools for your patients to be more engaged with their own health.
However, you cannot govern how your patient’s engagement in their own care is going to end up being.
Patient experience on the other hand is almost entirely in your hands.
It starts from the moment the patient first comes in contact with your brand.
This is not when the patient decides to make contact with your medical practice or health system.
It begins when they first see your ad or business listing or brand post or ad..
Your patient experience (brand experience) starts way back then.
Think of the ads you see for Sloan Kettering.
Do you currently have cancer? Hopefully not. But you have already started experiencing the brand of Sloan Kettering.
It behooves you to carefully design the patient experience of your brand.
If you understand the various steps in a patient’s engagement journey, you will know how to design patient experience around it (and thereby lower your paid advertising costs as well).