As much as we might love to loathe the American Healthcare system which, let’s be honest, isn’t the best in the world, there is one gleaming light poking around the edge of the cloud – the competition is stiff. In fact, 76% of hospitals in the US of A have a competitor within 15 miles. The reason this is good is that, well, it gives you a choice of hospital. It lets you vet the different medical teams, the facilities and the service, instead of just having to bow your head and accept your fate.
Of course, if you flip this on its head, wow, it becomes a horrid realisation for those in charge of hospitals. It makes coming out on top of the lot super-important to their success (another flaw in the system?!).
With this in mind, there is one giant question that needs answering: apart from looking at what their health insurance allows, what are the key factors consumers weigh up when deciding on a hospital?
Read on to see what our reports had to say:
1. Word of Mouth
It’s the age-old adage that says there is no better marketing tool – and it keeps proving to be true. In fact, half of all people looking for a hospital relied on an input from their family and friends. Even when it came to picking a doctor for a specialist reason, over 22% of patients relied on the opinion of a friend. What’s more, it isn’t even just direct chit-chats that have an effect; two in five people have been affected by social media posts. Our advice: make sure you are offering the most positive experience possible and focus on how you can retain repeat customers. Train employees on how to interact with patients and treat them as people, not numbers.
There is no point dusting over this one because a whopping 90% of people said that the reputation of a hospital had a big impact on their decision. Yeah, we’re talking about your brand, something that isn’t all too shocking. After all, your branding is how you project yourself onto the world and, what’s more, an ever more connected world where bad stories spread like wildfire. That means having a website that gets to the core of who you are and why it matters, imagery that is memorable and copywriting that connects. It is also vital you keep up with all regulations, from having National Bio-Care deal with all your medical waste to ensuring you vet every single member of your staff and everything in between. In a world of reviews and social media, it only takes one bad story to wreck your branding efforts.
This one actually surprised us, not because location isn’t important (it is), but because location scored higher than the clinical quality of care. That means the patients around you are yours to lose. That means, if you are losing custom to faraway hospitals, you need to dig down and look at why this is happening. It’s as simple as that.