Healthcare is changing – and we’re not just talking about payment and care delivery models. The way in which hospitals and practices market to patients is also evolving, and it has to do with how people make decisions about their care.
Patients are moving away from relying heavily on doctor referrals and from simply visiting healthcare facilities closest to where they live. Instead, they are placing greater importance on factors such as care quality, comfort and the reputation of the physicians and facilities they intend to visit. But it’s not just that.
Gen X-ers, Baby Boomers and Millenials all make decisions in different ways, which means that healthcare organizations need to fully understand each segment of their healthcare audience in order to market to patients and engage them in the right way.
Here are three things you might not know patients are thinking about when choosing a hospital or practice:
1. Their prior experiences with your organization and staff.
Care quality is about the entire patient experience. This means that patients don’t just want help feeling better – they also want to be treated well in the process. Patients’ encounters with your doctors and staff will determine whether they choose you for medical care in the future or go to one of your competitors for an experience that’s more to their liking.
2. Your reputation – rating systems and review sites.
If a patient hasn’t visited your healthcare facility in the past, chances are they are going to go online to try to find out what others are saying about you. In fact, according to a recent study 25% of adults in the U.S. have consulted online physician-rating sites – and more than 33% have chosen or avoided a doctor based on those ratings or reviews.
3. Your brand – how your organization is perceived.
Consumers relate to brands and repeated positive experiences. By using the right medical marketing services to target specific groups, focusing on building an emotional connection, and reinforcing brand messaging you can control the conversation around your brand.