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Healthcare marketing strategy2 min read How to use marketing to drive patient experience

3 ways marketers can influence patient experience

September 7, 2021The Coffey Team

Healthcare marketers know that a positive patient experience is the most powerful way to increase loyalty and influence brand. A patient's first-person experience, especially if it is a negative one, will be shared and creates a ripple effect that can drive word-of-mouth and online reviews.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), patient experience encompasses the range of interactions that patients have with a hospital or healthcare system, including their care from health plans and from doctors, nurses and staff in hospitals, physician practices and other health care facilities. These interactions shape a patient's perception and experience of the healthcare organization as a whole.

While patient experience lays the groundwork for marketing initiatives, many marketing departments feel they do not have a direct influence on that experience. However, to be effective, marketing should take the lead in making sure the patient experience aligns with the organization's brand and value proposition.

Here are 3 ways marketers can influence patient experience:

  • Elevate online user experience. Your website must be a valued resource for your healthcare consumer, who has higher expectations today than ever before. That means taking a patient-centric approach that focuses on patients at all stages of their care. Today's healthcare consumers are digitally savvy and, for them, the internet has become an essential part of making health decisions.

Ensure that your website is easy to navigate; loads quickly; utilizes a strong SEO strategy; and provides compelling, patient-focused content. Offer convenience tools such as online appointment scheduling and registration, a customer service chatbot, text reminders, and telehealth doctor visits.

  • Focus your content.At a time when consumers wonder if they can trust what they read, health information must be relevant, accurate and well-sourced. Content also needs to be engaging. For today's audience, that means keep it simple, easily digestible and presented in an engaging format that works well on mobile devices. Create content that will improve your consumers' health and empowers them to take action. Provide the education and support patients need to make informed decisions and participate in their own care. Ensuring your content is well-structured and easily found contributes to a positive user experience.
  • Manage your reputation. Like any reputation strategy, it's essential to reply to all reviews, whether negative or positive, to show current and prospective patients that you are engaged and value their opinion. In addition to responding to online reviews, implement an email campaign that follows up with patients after they are discharged, and ask them to review you on popular consumer sites or social media networks. These reviews will improve your search rankings.

In a post-COVID-19 world, organizations can no longer simply meet patient expectations; they will need to exceed them.

We're here to help

Coffey can help you elevate user experience with compelling healthcare content, a patient-centric website and a strong SEO strategy. Let's work together to make sure you provide your healthcare consumer an experience that exceeds their expectations. Give us a call at 888.805.9101 or email us.

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