Improve the Patient Experience through Multidisciplinary Marketing

Marketers can play a vital role in improving patient experience.

By working closely with experts in other health system departments, we can provide insights and communications that enhance their efforts. Understanding and managing the preconceptions and expectations of patients and their families—and the staff members who serve them—is essential for success.

Here are eight ways marketers can help:

1. Correlate internal patient satisfaction research with market-based studies to provide additional perspective for understanding patient opinions and attitudes.

2. Assess patient experience in light of the claims and promises made in vision, brand and service-line communications. Are we who we say we are?

3. Integrate operations and communications to be sure we are ready, willing and able to deliver experiences that meet or exceed expectations.

4. Inspire front-line patient-care staff through simple, ongoing quality/satisfaction updates that praise their efforts and challenge them to improve.

5. Develop simple training and motivational materials to help improve performance in areas where needed.

6. Welcome patients and their families with friendly, practical and informative communications that ease anxiety by telling them what to expect during treatment.

7. Examine and improve all aspects of communications with patients from initial contact with the physician referral line through episodes of care to interactions around insurance and billing.

8. Report individual successes and overall achievement in providing positive patient experiences to your administration, staff, patients and community.

By working in cross-functional teams across the healthcare enterprise, marketers can help organization keep an extra finger on the patients' pulse and develop communications that heal and strengthen relationships. We can also provide communications check-ups and preventive care to keep relationships healthy.

Ideally, we can be members of a multidisciplinary team that focuses on providing an optimal outcome for patient experience.

— Tom DeSanto


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