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Why Should You Invest In Patient Experience?

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Patient experience means everything when it comes to healthcare. While it has an impact on patient payments, which we covered in a previous blog post, it also impacts market share. It can make or break your practice at the drop of a dime, good or bad, but most experiences seem to be bad.

In a study from Redpoint Global, 71% of healthcare consumers have been frustrated by their healthcare providers. This same study also found that 58% would prefer digital communications and 61% would visit more often if those communications were personalized.

And when Centric Digital and Navigant did the Healthcare Consumer Digital Experience Analysis, 90% of the 1,400 hospitals and health systems they analyzed were severely behind compared to disrupters in the healthcare industry. Providers can no longer ignore their shortfalls when retail health clinics continue to grow. 

During a time in which quality experiences are lacking and healthcare organizations are trying to regain market share, it’s worth putting more resources into the patient experience. If that isn’t enough convincing, here are our reasons behind the importance of patient experience in healthcare.

Increase Patient Acquisition

Healthcare consumerism is here and patients have more options than ever before. You can only do so much in terms of cost and services offered, but if you provide a high-quality experience with personalized and localized care, that will make you stand out above the crowd.

To get on your potential patient’s radar, you should promote your business with a Google business page and digital ads, but the most important part to incorporate in the patient experience: building online reviews.

The PatientBond Consumer Diagnostic, a national study on healthcare consumers, found that at least one in five healthcare consumers looks at social media ratings or reviews for primary care physicians, hospitals and urgent care clinics. And, at least 30% of healthcare consumers who don’t look at reviews are interested in looking at them for those types of providers.

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Potential patients want to find the right provider and they want insight from current patients to see if you’re the right fit for them. Whether or not you want to believe it, you will have a hard time getting business if you have poor reviews, not enough reviews or seldom recent reviews.

It’s daunting to know where to begin on getting reviews from your patients, but if you do it right, you will be well on your way to building positive awareness of your practice.

Improve Patient Loyalty

Patients want a good experience and if they can’t find it at their provider, they will move on. When you have loyal patients, it positively affects your business, but not just monetarily. Loyalty is a big component of your market share as well.

For instance, people love to talk about things they love and sometimes this includes their healthcare provider. That may seem weird, but sometimes the little things make a difference. It could be how your doctor really listens to you or how the front desk staff are friendly and warm on every visit. In the midst of COVID-19, it might be how safe you feel when they come in for care.

These people demonstrate the kind of patient loyalty that you, as a provider, want. If it’s a really good experience, patients might be compelled to leave a review, but if they don’t, word of mouth is just as powerful, if not more. 76% of patients would recommend their provider to a family member or friend and that’s accounting for the fact that eight in 10 Americans report good or somewhat good care. Even if these referrals may not directly lead to new patients, one of them may tell another person about their friend or family member’s experience. 

Those personal recommendations can make all the difference.

Patient Experience and Psychographic Segmentation

As a provider, you want to do as much as you can to improve patient experience in healthcare, but you may not be able to figure out how to personalize it. That’s where psychographic segmentation comes in.

Unlike other approaches to categorizing groups, psychographic segmentation looks at people’s beliefs, personalities, lifestyles and values to determine how they’re motivated to take action. In PatientBond’s model is made up of five groups ranging from the most to least proactive healthcare consumers. Those insights are then used to engage patients based on their segment. And as a practice continues to communicate with patients, the system tweaks its approach to better engage with that patient. This leads to not only a positive patient experience in healthcare but also one that drives more patients and generates loyalty to increase market share.

It’s no secret patients have options these days, so any effort you can make to improve the patient experience at your center will make a strong impact on your market share.

For more ways to attract patients and keep them around, take a look at our market share tip sheet.

How to Attract, Engage and Retain Patients

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