Patient Satisfaction: Defenseless in the Battle of Wits

Yesterday I came close to being able to answer the question, just how many Raisinets can a person eat in one day.  The Players Championship, the TPC, is being played in Jacksonville this week.  My hotel is overflowing with men dressed like peacocks, and wearing golf costumes, outfits they would never wear at work; plaids, loafers with no socks, Granny Smith green, amaranthine and heliotrope, and cadmium and salmon colored shirts, shorts and jackets.  When they stood together they looked a bit like a fruit salad.

Patient touchpoints.  Does your hospital realize that most patient touchpoints are not under their control?  If you are not controlling them, who is?  Does your hospital even have a global patient experience strategy for the touchpoints you can control?

Billboard, direct mail, YouTube, television, radio, email, online searches, brochure, mobile apps, Facebook, Twitter, blog, website, physician, friend, family, WebMD, online forum, family, therapist, admissions, aide, nurse, support group, call center, online chat, social worker, pharmacist.


Did you know that thirty-four percent of patients use social media, 46% health portals, and 67% search engines?  (Ira Kaufman, Entwine Digital).  These figures do not even take into account all of the prospective patients who went to the web and upon looking at your website decided to take their healthcare to someone else.  What was it about that patient touchpoint with your hospital that failed them?

What is important to you about those figures?  They probably made you think you need to get your social media program in place.  Perhaps.  The social media aspect means that your patients are either writing about your hospital or reading what others have written about it.  One thing is certain.  Your patients are not using social media to write or read about how much patient experience has improved because of all of the reports you have purchased on patient experience data.

Most hospitals of any size have an entire staff dedicated to business development.  Billboards, ads on NPR, a single Facebook page, and direct mail.  How is that working?  Was your organization able to tie a single dollar of revenue to the billboard depicting your urology group?  One hospital I know tied twelve million dollars of revenues to its new website in the first year.  Using traditional, proven methods to develop business is outdated.  The proven methods have proven one thing, they no longer work.

The reason traditional business development tools do not work is that the hospital is unarmed compared to its opponents, the people it wants to attract.  Defenseless in a battle of wits.  Hospital business development efforts are using stone-age tools.  Prospective patients are using 1’s and 0’s.

Where is the disconnect?  Hospitals are selling hip replacements.  People are not buying hips; they are buying the ability to play golf for another ten years.  See how nicely we were able to tie this all back to the TPC?

One thing on which most of us can agree is that giving every discharged patient a copy of Celine Dion’s new CD will not improve the patient’s experience.


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